Marketing Director Ernest Capbert shares his thoughts on ISPO and the future of cold water surf industry.
Last week was a big week for us in the workshop, we took off to Munich to be part of ISPO, a trade show for the surf industry, which for the first time hosted a cold water surf section. We were part of hall a2 - stand107 at ISPO.
At first glance, ISPO is a lot of brands in a very big space, screaming about the things they do and the things they make - at first glance, I would say a lot of noise. But if you happen to look a bit closer and you were passing hall a2 - stand 107, there was perhaps something far bigger happening than the space and the brands within it.
For a long time, i've not known many of the people behind many of the brands that have made up the once great surf industry. I would also say for the last 10 years, it's been fucking tough, the thing we all love isn't necessarily flavour of the month, and even more, the brands that power the industry and the sport haven't had the most solid ground to walk on.
I learnt a lot of things last week and passed time with some great people. I was reminded that there is still a light of innovation in surf and I was also reminded that a beautiful woman in a tight bathing suit still draws a crowd.
But perhaps the two things that stuck out in my mind more so than anything else were:
We talked more: Someone last week told me that surf brands spoke a lot more in the past. They got together more often, they talked about business and the things they love a lot more, they also said when this was happening, that things were good.
Moonshot thinking: Every brand in that space has employed moonshot thinking at one point or another, they thought bigger than themselves and the things around them, they thought about the moonshot.
Without wanting to sound cliche - waves have peaks and troughs, right now, we're in a trough. When things are tough, humans tend to take care of themselves, they tend to think small 'protect their keep'. In saying this, some of the greatest things around us, were born from tough times. The brands in a2-107 were born from great thinking, moonshot thinking and they were built when they thought beyond shelf space and sales and thought more about the whole.
Hall a2-107 in years to come, will be a size far greater than it was last week and it will be built from brands pushing both warm and cold water surfing and building great products for both warm and cold water surfing.
Now is the time - the time to begin talking more and thinking bigger.
Love to you all.
Ernie and everyone at Finisterre.