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SOURCE Issue 111 Out Now!

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On the cover: Event MC Henry Jackson. Photo: Dan Mullins.

There are too many clichés that could be used to talk about the current situation, but one that seems fitting is, «out of the frying pan and into the fire». Just as Covid seemed to be disappearing from the rear-view mirror, the atrocious scenes from Ukraine now make a virus seem somewhat insignificant. And indeed, boardsports pale in comparison, however it’s our job to talk boardsports biz, so I’ll try and put things into context.

Good winter season sell-through for most winter sports retailers in Europe has meant healthy POs placed for brands too. However, with many brands growing their endeavours in Eastern Europe in recent years, the uncertainty presented by the Russian invasion of Ukraine has left many brands with large gaps in order forms, where sales managers have to decide whether to take a chance on shops in these regions taking their orders in Autumn, or the brand being left with unwanted stock. This is looking at problems faced by our industry with those countries immediately involved including Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian boardsports businesses. However the knock on effects this war will have on the wider industry, consumer spending habits and purchasing powers is immeasurable at present.

Did I say Covid was in the rearview mirror? Well, apparently not with Shanghai heading back into lockdown and yet another huge impact excepted on global manufacturing and supply chains. We also have Covid to thank for the soaring costs of living we are seeing, of which many of us have never been exposed to before. Due to all of this unpredictability, we’re hearing many businesses
are making decisions on a daily and monthly basis, due to the difficulty of making medium and
long-term plans.

Some good news is those OEMs who popped into our skate and surf biz to try and mop up exploding demand have now retreated, leaving those in it for the long run to battle it out for sales. There’s a glut of skate product in the market but with the Ukrainian war, supply chain constraints should be eased as product for those aforementioned nations is likely not to be produced.

And filling my glass up to half full, all one needs do is examine the local line-up, speak with Skate parks about booming beginner (& progression) sessions and look at the appetite in Gen Z for partying like never before at festivals such as Snowbombing to see there is appetite to go and live the lives they haven’t been able to for the past two years.

Hoping for a continued upward curve in boardsports participation is our constant hope, but with the horrendous scenes being faced in Eastern Europe at present, our wish for a quick resolution to Putin’s madness is our true North Star.

Always Sideways
Harry Mitchell Thompson Ed-in-chief

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110 Vans Skate
111 Spinera SUP
111 Madrid Longboards
111 Miller Cruiser
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111 NSP SUP
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