Surf Expo, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, got off to a busy start Thursday in Orlando with lots of industry brands, executives and retailers in attendance.
It was nice to see brands like Channel Islands there for the first time in years, and one of the biggest surprises of the day was at the Salty Crew booth.
Partner CJ Hobgood, who just retired from the pro tour, was very busy showing the line to retailers. I had figured he would be shaking hands and kissing babies in his new role, but the Salty Crew team said he is the Florida rep and has jumped in with both feet in his new role.
We also learned that Aaron Quigley is the new VP of Global Sales at Captain Fin, having previously worked at Neff and Oakley.
Firewire, now majority-owned by Kelly Slater, debuted Kelly's new Slater Designs boards and had Rob Machado at the show, who was showcasing his new Firewire/Rob Machado boards.
Vissla also debuted its first full wetsuit line at the show. Vissla decided to expand its wetsuit offering due to high demand, according to the Vissla team.
We have lots of photos of who we saw during the day in our slide show.