Issue 102 Editorial
Surf and skate hardgoods (and many categories connected to them) have thrived through COVID-19. Those who were able to pivot and set up online stores, or further accelerate current offerings have been the real winners. No one would have believed we’d head into the pandemic and come out complaining of a supply shortage. You’ll read a feature on the booming beginner segment in skateboarding (P.74), with a report from the frontline by the UK’s top action sports academy where since opening from lockdown, their coaching sessions for beginners – of all ages – are maxed out!
With furloughs and government grants propping up unemployment figures at the moment, the real damage of COVID-19 may not be fully realised until 2021 or even 2022. But it’s our job as the boardsports industry to keep the stoke alive and welcome these new skateboarders and surfers with open arms. Make sure their first board is a legit one, not some shitty Wavestorm or piece of crap skateboard that’s going to break within a couple of weeks. That whole ‘one chance for a first impression’ thing is more pertinent now than ever before.
I write this with a combination of real energy, optimism, and utter excitement for taking off on holiday for the first time since early March. To most normal people a 6-month hiatus from heading to the beach may seem like a first world-problem, but with the shit pay we receive in this boardsports racket, the glitter this jobby of an industry is rolled in is supposedly travel. But like everyone else in our industry, I’ve bitten down hard, bent over and have been shafted by an almighty workload, the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
Here’s to getting fucked by the new normal. But here’s to also working in a business that benefits from being practiced solo. Let’s take a minute to think about our poor counterparts who have been hit the hardest in the festival, live music, hospitality industry or even the team sports world. We’ll all learn lessons from this one, and even though it sucks balls, I think we can feel thankful our biggest problem from all of this has been a shortage in supply. So, without being a total capitalist bastard… next time the world plummets into an economic recession or global pandemic… hit the fucking go button! (also, read our feature on how to secure inventory and service customer needs P.12)! Make surf- and skateboards. Get innovative with ways to operate through lockdown laws, because that’s what we are as surfers, skaters and snowboarders… innovators.
Harry Mitchell Thompson