Despite a slow start to the FW15/16 season with less than favourable snow conditions making for tricky selling conditions in the run-up to Christmas, the fluffy white stuff did eventually join the party.
The hotly anticipated El Niño reversed a recent snow trend in America, with the parched West Coast finally receiving a winter to remember, and the East Coast suffered from a strange weather system, resulting in a fairly snow- free season. While El Niño mixed things up for the snow business, the pacific ocean served up some all-time conditions ranging from many spots on the Americas’ coastline to Hawaii’s Pe’ahi (Jaws) providing the greatest live televised XXL Wave contest ever. Not to be left behind, snowboarding has just seen its highest ever air, made at the Suzuki Nine Knights hip session at Watles in South Tyrolian Italy, with Christian “Hitsch” Haller boosting an astounding 11.3 metres into the sky.
As thoughts of snow turn to slush and to the beach, waves and balmy days full of skating, it’s with great pleasure that we can report on the news of Sport-Achat, Nantes, Europe’s first tradeshow since ASR Europe with significant relevance to the surf industry. Sport-Achat, Nantes offers the European surf industry an opportunity for retailers, brands and distributors to meet under one roof to discuss, share stories and view next season’s collections for purchase.
In this issue, we take a look at what retailers in both our industry and the wider landscape are doing to ‘Embrace Technology’, while online action sports marketing expert Jérôme Harlay talks us through a case study of his, where he helped launch the digital offering (website and social media) for a newly opened bricks and mortar surf shop in Tenerife. We have all our usual spots, with Retailer Profile going
to Bude in Cornwall, Buyer Science travels to Brittany in France and trend reports spanning surfboards, SUP, longboards, hanging shoes and sunglasses.
For our first surf issue of the year, our Big Wig interview features Reef’s EMEA General Manager, Nathan Hill. Nathan’s life hit a fork in the road, when in the 90s he decided to swap selling cars at an Audi dealership for a career in the surf industry. Nathan fills us in on what he’s learned in 20+ years in the business and explains why Reef’s ‘Just Passing Through’ campaign has seen great success for them.
Harry Mitchell Thompson
On the cover: Dragon’s Director of Product, Mike Tobia slotted in a dreamy Nicaraguan pit. Photo: Tony Zacharek.