The Surf and Skate industry has survived the global economic crisis

The surf/skate industry is showing notable resiliency during recent global economic challenges, posting U.S. retail sales of $7.22 billion in 2008 according to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA). In a third-party research study conducted by the Leisure Trends Group (LTG) and commissioned by SIMA, the 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study, findings released today indicate that the surf industry is holding strong.

The study indicates that the surf industry experienced a slight dip in 2008 with retail sales hitting the $7.22 billion mark compared to $7.48 billion in 2006 (a 3.5% decrease). Softness was most apparent in the fourth quarter of 2008, coinciding with the global economic indicators of that time. However, the surf industry has shown substantial growth of 10% for the last five years. The SIMA Retail Distribution Study is conducted biannually, and launched in 2004 with findings showing U.S. surf/skate retail sales at $6.52 billion at that time.

“While the surf/skate retail industry is not immune to the downward pressure on retail sales nationwide caused by the global recession, the resiliency of the surf/skate industry is very positive and promising,” says Doug Palladini, SIMA President and Vice President of Marketing for Vans. “Powerful brands with close connections to their consumers will see us through these challenging times and put us in a strong position as the overall economy rebounds.”  

The 2008 SIMA Retail Distribution Study cites several key factors as driving the overall consistency of the surf industry, including: loyalty of core surfers and skaters to the lifestyle and sport; and, the increasing demand for surf/skate footwear and accessories as evidenced by the double-digit growth of these key categories.

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Sofia Mulanovich 

ISA and ASP 2004 World Champion, Sofía Mulanovich, has confirmed that she will be a part of the Peruvian Team for the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games to be held in Playa Hermosa, Jaco, Costa Rica from August 1- 8.

"Yes, I will be in Costa Rica for the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games representing Peru in this great event", said Sofía. "I love representing Peru in Latin American countries.  It feels like being at home, in a country where they speak your own language.  It is a better experience than competing in a far away country."
Peruvian Sofía Mulanovich, is the only surfer in history, male or female, to be crowned World Champion in the ISA World Surfing Games and the ASP World Tour in the same year. She won the Gold Medal in Ecuador 2004 and later the ASP World Title in Hawaii, thus achieving two of the most important titles a surfer can dream of acquiring in one season.

The addition of Sofía strengthens an already strong Peruvian team. The Open Men's division is composed of finalists from the recent WQS in Arica, Peru, Gabriel Villarán and Álvaro Malpartida, a former Latin American Champion, Javier Swayne and local standout Matías Mulanovich.  The Longboard division includes Piccolo Clemente and Tamil Martino.

Joining Sofía in the Open Women's division is ASP World Junior Runner-Up and former Latin American Champion, Analí Gómez.

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Thomaz Peterson 

Thomaz Peterson (BRA), 19, and reigning ASP European Women’s Junior champion Alizee Arnaud (FRA), 18, clinched the ASP Grade-1 Buondi Pro Junior today at Cordoama in Portugal respectively in the men’s and women’s divisions. In three foot (one meter) consistent although wind-blown conditions, both champions carved their way up to the final where they left their opponents away from any title hopes, Reunion Island representatives Damien Chaudoy (REU) and Johanne Defay (REU) placing second of the 2009 edition.

Peterson, who had to battle through a close semifinal against Basque surfer Mario Azurza (Zarautz, EUK), ended up winning his first ASP Pro Junior event with an excellent 15.50 point score out of a possible 20, the Brazilian surfer finishing his run with the event’s fourth best heat total.
“I am very happy with that win and I am sure my whole family is watching in Brazil,” Peterson said. “It was a very hard day and the conditions were difficult to read and surf. My semifinal against Mario (Azurza) was pretty close and very demanding so I quite relieved to take that title. I couldn’t expect much more.”

Peterson, who had left a first strong impression last April at the first ASP European Pro Junior event of the year in Carcavelos, Portugal, confirmed his promising talent today defeating regional favorites Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA), Joachim Guichard (DEN) and Damien Chaudoy (REU) en route to the title.

“I want to win as much events as possible this summer in Europe,” Peterson said. “I am going to stay around and travel across Europe to take my chance, surf in some of the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) main events as well and see how things go.”

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