SURF DEMO DAYS Hossegor: Organisers Buffalo, Riou & Maillet Explain Concept

SURF DEMO DAYS in Hossegor is the brainchild of three industry vets in Olivier “Buffalo” Cuissot (Santocha Distribution), former pro Alain Riou (also of Santocha Distribution) and Alex Maillet (6AM Agency). The three day event aims to bring retailers, consumers and brands to La Centrale in Hossegor for product demos and testing – something the three felt simply wasn’t on offer in France before. We spoke with the trio to find out all the details of the event, which debuts next weekend in Hossegor. Stay tuned to SOURCE for a gallery from the event.


Tell us about people behind SURF DEMO DAYS Hossegor and what led you to create the event.
The project was born after some long discussions between Olivier “Buffalo” Cuissot, Alex Maillet and Alain Riou. Buffalo noted the lack of surf events, outside of the WSL event in France and especially nothing dedicated for our consumers. And we’re firmly of the mind-set where, “if you want something done well, do it yourself!” So combined with Alex Maillet’s 6AM agency, who are taking charge of all the communications side of things, SURF DEMO DAYS Hossegor was born.

Having an ex pro surfer and friend (Alain Riou) in the organisation was mandatory. He will be the face of the event and will be there for some activations in the water for kids / retailers and all those wanting to have fun.

Today new technologies are changing, brands / shapers are offering new shapes and outlines, new materials and even accessories are advancing rapidly. 2018 is the service era, and we feel we simply have to offer this experience. Nowadays customers expect to be able to test a premium hardgoods product before purchasing.

Where did the need come from for the event and where are you taking inspiration from?
We like to think of the notion, “kiss before getting married.” From our mountain experience between Buffalo an Alex, we decided to propose the same concept for testing snowboards to testing surfboards. The idea is to combine a board test for the public and pros.  A combo of Rock on Snowboard Tour and Snow Avant Premiere, but at the beach. And with all local network, it naturally ended up in Hossegor. The Hossegor tourism office are super enthusiastic about the project agreed to a partnership for the next three years.

We’re offering a fun opportunity for the public to meet and greet with shapers, brands, surfers and more to connect over three days. Over the next three years we look to elevate the event to a European level.

Which brands have confirmed?
We currently have more than 15 brands lined up: Firewire, Slater Designs, Rusty, Chilli, JS, Mick Fanning Sottboards, Rip Curl, Catch Surf, Haydenshapes, Lost, Surfin Estate, Pukas, Modom surf, Al Merrick, Dakine, Leus, Venon, Torq, FCS , Softech, Deeply, Picture Organic Clothing, and more to come…

What is the schedule for the three days?
Each day from 9 – 6pm La Centrale in Hossegor will host the test centre. Because we love fun, there will be big party at Hotel de la Plage with the famous STANDART DJs. We’ll also have some nice surprises in store for during the weekend, and the forecast is looking good. So check before you come with our partners:

How have you been marketing the event to consumers?
We’ve created an app and website for the event, and you can also check out our Instagram and Facebook

Will consumers be able to purchase products there and then?
It’s not going to be possible to buy anything on site. The idea is not to create a market and we don’t want to have business conducted on site. We are here to present and test and then consumers can go and buy from their favourite surf shop.

How are brands and retailers going to work together to showcase products to consumers?
Every brand will have a pop up tent, and will showcase their brand through demo boards. We want to keep it simple and we don’t want to reinvent the wheels.

Most of the brands will offer between 10 – 30 test products. The online registration process allow for us to offer a smooth process. Brand creativity and marketing uniqueness when you are facing your public is a key… We look forward to seeing how retailers interact and take advantage of the brands’ investment


On the cover: Pukas’ Adur Letamendia surfing the Pukas Pegaso by Chris Christenson. Photo by Carles Medina.


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