I’ve tried to steer clear of talking about Brexit in any editorial of mine over the past three years; to say it’s an embarrassment to be British at the moment is an understatement. The bare naked truth is that no one in power in the UK seems to have any better idea now than they did three years ago about just what Brexit will look like. To be frank, it’s an uncertainty that we could all do without.
At the time of writing this, even the brightest minds have no idea how it will unfold. Retailers are doing their best to plan for every eventuality, but airing on the side of caution seems to be common practice. Speaking from a purely British point of view, we have huge numbers of snowboarders and surfers who travel to European mountains and beaches for their annual shred fix. But despite the uncertainty in the air – with everything from documentation needed to travel right the way through to just what the pound will do against the euro should we stay or remain – I’ve had reports in from a good early start to winter, even in mid-September. Imagery did the rounds on social media showing dumps of snow in the Alps and this combined with a slightly cooler than average September has seen a solid early bout of winter sales, according to Nick Warne from SnowTrax on the English South coast.
Moving South, our friends in the SW of France make their money in the summer months, although another political affair presented an obstacle for the Biarritz community with the G7 Summit transcending on the coastal haven for three days in the height of summer where locals predicted close to no footfall with the streets on lockdown.
But we’ve heard that despite a mixed bag overall in France, there were pockets of success, all centring round those who dare to change up their marketing mix with events and activations and of course with a sprinkling of good luck from Mother Nature.
While the weather will always be key to successful seasons, it’s something completely out of our hands. Something felt full force by event organisers at Board Masters Festival in England, who had to cancel and refund all tickets due to high winds.
Our Skateboard Editor Dirk Vogel digs into the growing experiential endeavours action sports events are tapping into, combining music, art, culture and our favourite boardsports. A brand synonymous with combining the above is RVCA, who through their Artist Network Program have created one of the surf industry’s best loved brands. Now under the Boardriders umbrella, we present a double Big Wig with industry heavyweights Etienne Pinon and Alexis Maillet to find out more about the workings of RVCA in Europe.
As always our retail buyers guides cover a raft of product categories but with this issue we extend our coverage to Kite Surf for the first time, as the popularity of the sport is increasingly visible along the coasts of Europe. Away from the desk, Source is still on the move as there’s a few more events still to be attended so hopefully see you in SW France, Lisbon or Nurnberg.