ASB MAGAZINE:  Since relaunching just over 18 months ago there’s been over 1200 articles published and thanks to the power of analytics we are able to rank the TOP TEN viewed stories of the year. Our Professional Edition includes exclusive content for our valued subscribers and five of our top viewed stories came from over 80 Professional Edition features we published throughout 2019.  However, for most of you taking that next step and subscribing to our Professional Edition still  proved a bridge too far. Like all media businesses we face our own set of challenges in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. We think we are striking the right balance of paid content and still offering daily news, event coverage and free features to our readers.  We’re still committed providing our Premium Print issue, for free, to every surf shop in Australia five times a year, thanks to the generous support of like minded partners and advertisers. If you like independent surf journalism (and enjoy things arriving in the post)  why not subscribe to our Captain of Industry subscription for $2 per week and keep them coming in 2020?

Click on the image to read our TOP TEN stories of 2019


After finishing 2018 with positive growth for the first time in four years the US ActionWatch panel of retailers had a great start with double-digit growth in January 2019. January results showed positive growth in all 5 broad categories, for both genders and across all age groups.


Shane Stedman Reflects on Fifty Years in the Shaping Game. Hanging up the phone after an hour with Shane Stedman is a little like slamming a cork in a bottle to capture some kind of rare essence. At 71, Stedman is celebrating fifty years in the surf business, a career that has taken him to every conceivable corner of the industry, and continues to entertain and energise him even now. In what started as an interview but turned into The World According to Shane, Jock Serong tried to pin down a few of the highlights.


The hottest topic right now in the surf industry is one that’s got everyone talking, but few want to talk about. In this Professional Edition article, Mark Eymes investigates the industry’s view on the new wave of promotions, Black Friday and Cyber Monday that have their origins in the USA and have taken a foothold here in Australian retail. Hear from Adam Sharp, Bruce Turner, Chris Athas, Neil Ridgway, Justin Daniels, Damian Monteleone and Dougall Walker on how surf brands and retailers can best address the new wave of promotions and discounting that look like they are here to stay…


There’s been a seismic shift in the surf industry landscape in recent years. Quiksilver and Billabong, after rising and falling spectacularly as public companies, are now both owned by investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, under the umbrella company Boardriders Inc. Quiksilver moved its Australian headquarters from its traditional Torquay base to share the cavernous and sparsely populated offices of Billabong on the Gold Coast. Far from celebrating the tough times of their competitors, Rip Curl founders Claw and Brian seem genuinely saddened by the changes wrought on their industry.


It is a trend defying the gloomy retail landscape, but are pop up stores a blessing or a boon for traditional bricks and mortars? In Australia the presence of surf pop up stores are omnipresent for surf retailers and love them or loathe them pop up stores look like a ‘trend’ that’s here to stay. Caz Ridings Emge takes an indepth look at the murkier side of pop ups – mobile clearance sales.


Accent Group’s ‘no lazy retailing’ strategy to remove discounting and focus on profitable, sustainable sales has paid off, with the footwear retailer recently opening their 500th store and breaking through $1bn Market Cap on the ASX for the first time. CEO Daniel Agostinelli discusses Accent Groups formula for success for our Professional Edition subscribers only…


He’s lasted over forty years – and counting – in the world’s ficklest industry, while calmer heads and better business brains have gone to the wall around him. In the process, he’s revolutionised surfboard design again and again. The reverse vee.Single concaves of such outrageous depth that the boards are known as ‘catamarans’. Tow boards for life and death situations and everyday workhorses for the nameless hordes. Maurice Cole criss-crosses the surfing universe at will these days, but he emerged from the farthest corner of the galaxy: western Victoria. Long walls, raw sea and heavy moves. If anything defines Maurice (which is unlikely), it’s those physical forces.


Vincent Stanley, co-authored The Responsible Company (with Yvon Chouinard) and has been with Patagonia since its beginning in 1973, holding key executive roles as head of sales or marketing. He’s widely regarded as Patagonia’s long-time chief storyteller. In 2019 Vincent visited Australia for Retail Week and shared some unique insights on how Patagonia helped forge a social conscience which is a hot topic in the retail sector at the moment, especially as consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of what they buy and consume. Now, more than ever, retailers’ supply chains are under the microscope and shoppers are demanding to know the exact origins of their product


The highs and lows of WA surf retail, with veteran Todd Taylor. In this article, writer Tim Hawken catches up with one of WA’s most enigmatic retailers, Todd Taylor. They talk about the wild days in the wild west, why the surfing boom eventually imploded, and the secrets to success in today’s retail landscape. A raw story with some interesting insights.


In this Professional Edition interview, we catch up with @Building_The_Revolution founder Mike Vavak to find out about Board Shop Day (BSD) a fast-growing movement among independent surf retailers worldwide, and we learn about its Australian connection with former Red Herring owner Victor Tilley and O&E’s Brian Cregan. Mike worked as a rep for O&E in the USA and after spending a lot of time listening to retailers, he launched Building The Revolution. Mike says that when Brian learned he was behind Building The Revolution, he supplied stickers that were spread throughout stores here in Australia. Next year, Mike says Ocean and Earth plan on releasing a limited edition product on the next BSD. Ace Trucks (USA) has also confirmed they will release a limited edition truck. The 2020 Board Shop Day on May 16 is shaping up as the biggest yet.