Labor Day; a day off of work to acknowledge the work that people do. And what a picture perfect weekend in Southern California it was. Fun swell. Good friends. Sweltering heat. And no labor. Unless you consider paddling back out for another set wave labor. But now that Labor Day is over, for the surf industry, the real work kicks in. The three weeks after labor day mean lots of labor for surf biz types, with a fair smattering of fun mixed in.
Cell phones are charged. Email is cleaned out. Calendars coordinated. Those of us in the surf industry have tons of work ahead us. Go ahead, feel sorry.
It all starts this Wednesday as surf businesses prepare for the Action Sport Retailer (ASR) show down at the San Diego Convention Center. Officially opening on September 7th, ASR exhibitors work hard prior to opening day. Move in and set up takes place all week long. Surf industry marketing folks, retailers, and team managers run around dealing with hotels, party logistics and putting out related trade show fires. ASR is a lot of work. It can also be a lot of fun- for some it can be too much fun. They’ll need a day of recovery and luckily they can find it at Lowers.
Next up for the working class surfer is the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley. Starting on September 9th and running through the 15th, the world’s elite 45 surfers will be clocking in at Lowers. Current number one in the world, Mick Fanning, will be laboring to gain valuable points. If Fanning’s form holds for the remainder of the 2007 season, he’ll be the first Australian to win the World Title since Mark “Occy” Occhilupo back in 1999. Those surfers lucky enough to catch Fanning’s act in solid Ponto lefts on Labor Day can attest to his championship form. The rest of you will have to hit Lowers. But Fanning’s got his work cut out for him as Slater, Irons, and Burrow are hot on his heels. The Boost event also showcases next year crop of labor leaders in the form of Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith. Both are wildcards and both are expected to get wild -nothing to lose, everything to gain.
Next up is the longest running and most prestigious surf industry awards show, The 35th Annual SURFER Poll and Video Awards presented by Suzuki Auto. This prestigious black tie affair is the final leg in the trifecta of surf industry functions taking place in the next few weeks. And while Fanning has a firm grasp on the WCT ratings, who will win this year’s SURFER Poll is up in the air. The last few years have seen an Andy Irons / Kelly Slater one- two combo. Either Slater wins it or Irons wins it. And with healthy SURFER Poll contract incentives and an even healthier love/hate relationship between the two, you can bet Slater and Irons want host Sal Masekala to read their name on the cue card last.
With the entire world wide surf industry basically invading Southern California, team managers, marketing folks, sales staffs, retailers, team riders, groupies, models and various other worker bees are on full alert. Cell phones are charged. Email is cleaned out. Calendars coordinated. Those of us in the surf industry have tons of work ahead us. Go ahead, feel sorry.