(On the cover: Portuguese shaper Diogo Appleton. Photo by Nick Pumphrey)
Winter is drawing to a close on what many retailers have called their best in years; it seems shops across Europe have learned their lessons, placed sensible orders, invested in the community and have reaped the rewards. Macro factors such as the weaker pound making UK trading conditions more favourable and the strong dollar meaning increased market share for European surfboard manufacturers and licensees have also shone brightly on the old continent.
Our April/May issue focuses on surf and our annual surfboard trend report by Senior Surf Contributor, David Bianic delves into what’s trending and confirms the aforementioned positivity, revealing talk of double-digit increases in surfboard sales. The new surf season spells the end in CEO Paul Speaker’s chapter at the World Surf League and we feature our first ever interview with the WSL, as SOURCE talks with the company’s VP of Communications, Dave Prodan on the future of competitive surfing.
Skate Editor, Dirk Vogel takes a look at what’s going down in the longboard market, with reports of stabilisation filtering through as most of the bad product finally exits the market, leaving only those serious about the business left to contend, and doing so with decent product.
And it’s not just the longboard sector we’re seeing lessons learnt; the wider boardsports market is seeing its brands being (more) sensible with sales periods and discounting and shops are becoming more savvy with their buys resulting in better sell-through. Brands have cleaned up their distribution and are realizing they need to protect their cyber distribution just as much as their bricks and mortar channels in order to protect their margins.
With a decent winter of trading under our belts, we now need to come together as an industry and figure out collectively how to strengthen going forward. SOURCE will be assisting the industry with our new snowboard retail survey where we’ll collect and present information to help the industry make more informed decisions.
Harry Mitchell Thompson