Southeast Shop Report

Skateboarding sales have been strong at Cove Skate and Surf in Brandon, Florida, says Owner David Laytart: “There has definitely been a growing demand among surfers for skateboarding apparel. T-shirt sales in general have been a little bit soft due to the dress codes in the local schools, but there’s been a growing demand for lines such as World Industries and Droors.”

However, the shop’s seen growth from more than skate lines. HIC and Lost surf softgoods lines have also contributed significantly to overall business in the last few years.

Laytart notes that skate videos have been leaving the store faster than surf videos, with the video magazine 411 and Birdhouse’s The End leading all video sales.

In Palm Beach, Florida, PB Boy’s Club Manager Jan Coniglio says her shop hasn’t seen any need to adjust to the demands of an expanding skate industry. The shop is doing well with a product mix that’s faithful to the surf industry, although it does carry longboard skateboards¿a category that’s done well for a couple of years now. Coniglio also notes the shop’s line PB Boy’s Club and Quiksilver as consistent sellers.

“There has been an increase in demand for skateboard equipment because the skateboarders in the area are willing to spend more money,” says Danny Aguaylera, owner of Danny’s Surf and Skate in Sagrado Corazon, Puerto Rico.

Mixed lines like Volcom do especially well because “they are essentially surf brands with sort of a skater appeal,” Aguaylera says.

While sales of skate videos are strong with both surfers and skaters, Aguaylera doesn’t feel the surf industry is being compromised or diminished.

Jackie Vanness, owner of Para Vida Surf Shop, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, says skateboard lines aren’t replacing surf lines. Although the shop carries significant amounts of skate-related equipment and clothing, surfers in the area have remained interested primarily in the surf lines, she says.

“The skate lines have always done well¿and will probably continue to do well,” says Vanness. “However, sales are still strong with lines such as Surf the Earth and Quiksilver.”

“Skateboards are booming for me this year,” says Ocean Roots Owner Russell Wilson Chaplain in Avon Beach, North Carolina. And as far as videos are concerned, he says, skateboard companies are paving the way because of their funny antics and the new technical level the sport has risen to in the last few years.

Videos such as Zero’s Mislead Youth and Birdhouse’s The End have appeal for both surfers and skaters alike, he says.

But the surf softgoods lines are still holding strong, says Chaplain¿especially with Billabong and Rusty. However, lately he’s experienced an increase in demand for the less mainstream lines¿especially North Shore Underground.

¿Casey Macker

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