Shane Wallace’s About Time Snow Event Debuts
Shane Wallace’s inaugural snowboarding community gathering and trade show made its debut Tuesday in an intimate setting in Los Angeles’s Harbor Area.
The event drew a variety of snow brands ranging from heritage to up-and-coming labels, including Dakine, DC Shoes, Whitespace, Oakley, Vans, Skullcandy, Burton, Roxy, Rome, and 1910 among several others. Lunch on Tuesday included TK Burgers, while Wahoo’s was on site Wednesday.
Wallace, Dakine’s vice president of sales, said he saw a hole in the market for an event that brings the snowboard community together, aptly naming it “About Time.”
“It’s about time we pulled the snowboard community together,” Wallace said. “I had a lot of good times and even had my own influence on helping shape the ’90s snowboard community. I feel if I can help others see snowboarding the way I got to see it, that’ll help. If we can have some line showings and make the best use of buyers’ time, then it’s about time.”
Wallace booked up all 25 vendor spaces available for About Time and said there were invite acceptances from as many as 50 retailers for the two-day event, which ends Wednesday.
While buyers are booking meetings and seeing new product lines much like a trade show, Wallace also tried to bring in snowboard history with footage playing throughout both days of late ’80s to current day athletes, while food and music added to the more community-like atmosphere. The environment was less like the frenzy of a typical large-scale trade show and more calm and quiet in the late morning of Day One when SES stopped by as a few buyers perused the lines at 1910, Nidecker, Nitro, and other brands.
“The idea really wasn’t to create a trade show,” Wallace said. “It’s more like a snowboard community event. I’ve been really stoked and blessed to be part of the snowboard industry since the late ’80s. Living through the ’90s was something so magical and special.”
Wallace said attending the Interlude Snowboard Show in Utah this past January, which brought the industry and athletes together, was inspirational.
“It makes sense to set up booths and see what happens from it, but it’s not a financial type of endeavor or a business that we’re going to try to make into a trade show,” Wallace said.
In fact, he’s waiting to see how the event plays out before making the call on whether About Time becomes a regular occurrence.
The launch of About Time comes as smaller, local trade shows pop up around the country, including the Bungalow Tradeshow in Huntington Beach and the Traffic Show in Austin, Texas.
Wallace said the popularity of the smaller format, at least locally, goes back to the loss of major industry trade events on the West Coast.
“We used to have ASR. We used to have Agenda. We used to have SIA in Las Vegas. And those have all gone away,” he said. “So the community that we lost there, has been missed.“
In some ways, the site of About Time makes sense at the home of a sprawling building in an industrial section of Harbor Gateway that’s becoming a small hub for snow and the broader action sports industry.
The building is owned by JR286 President and CEO Jon Hirshberg and also includes a two-story Wave Rave store, Dakine headquarters, and a warehouse servicing all three businesses. Construction is also taking place to build out the future offices of JR286, which is expected to move into its new home in early 2024.
JR286 not only has the license for Dakine equipment, but also equipment and accessories for Nike and Jordan Brand.
“Wave Rave has done such an incredible job coming down to Southern California and cultivating the snowboard community, that I feel it’s an important location. With Wave Rave there, Dakine there, (About Time) just seemed like something we should do.”
The energy within the building and what Wallace hopes to cultivate with About Time comes at what he described as a critical time for the industry, with plenty of marketplace shifts. Given all the change, there’s no better time, he said, to ramp grassroots events for the snow, skate, and surf communities.
“We’re all in the driver seat and in the surf, skate ,and snowboard industry we’re at a crossroads right now. There’s a lot happening and authenticity, coolness, community, and our own magic is what’s created decades of us having a successful industry,” Wallace said. “There’s a lot of risk right now in what we’re facing with as many new people coming into the space, with ownership of really powerful brands, and you can smell there’s a changing of the guard happening. We really need to monitor and protect and keep it authentic.”
Click through for photos from Day One of About Time and visit to Wave Rave: