AGENDA Show in Long Beach Photos
Two days before the start of the AGENDA Show in Long Beach, CA, I decided to jump in the Subsonic Skateboards van with Bradley Cameron at the helm for a 1000+ mile road trip south for the AGENDA Show in Long Beach, CA. For those not in the know, the AGENDA Show is a trade show for the skateboard and lifestyle fashion industry where brands and retailers converge. The January showing is typically poppin. There are buyers, brands, investors, distributors, and various media all wearing different colored wristbands so people can get as much business done with the people they need to to kick off the year in time for the season. In addition to the whole business side, there are heaps of fresh gear, entertaining exhibits, pro skateboarders, lurking lurkers, highly groomed stylish pretty people, and (of course) strongly priced food and beer (some of it quiet good, but not all). In sum, it was a lot to take in over a short time and I am fortunate to have photos-to-recall it all.
Starting the drive in the Pacific Northwest meant starting in the wee hours of the morning and driving through snow for the Subsonic van on the #gonecorporatetour to Agenda. This would Bradley’s first trade show. Sam Galus was on board as well and came down to experience the show and hit some hills in Malibu before missing his first day of college for the year (well done Sam!). We hit some traffic along the way and we were completely stopped at one point. Sam got out to stretch his legs a bit.
After crossing into California, we visited a Mt. Shasta viewpoint, which was nostalgic for Bradley and Sam and reminded them of a previous road trip south.
Bradley and Sam switched off driving late into the night and parked in a strip mall parking lot in LA. We woke up late on the first day of the Show, missing the lunch at Famous Dave’s where a bunch of longboard industry heads go to talk about some realness. It’s okay, because there was plenty going on inside AGENDA and that’s what we were here for!
As far as ‘core longboard’ exhibits, there were much fewer than last year. Many companies were represented by their people on the floor, but just didn’t have an exhibit. I went and checked out Sector 9 to see what’s new and was welcomed by friends, familiar faces and a ton of stoke. (It was also Louis Birthday. HBD!)
Next, I headed over to see our friends at Landyachtz. They had a classy wood grain look to their exhibit.
Papa President and editor of Skate Slate, Les Robertson, flew from Vancouver into LA earlier in the day and was at the show. He called me and told me to come outside and join him at a table. He was sitting with Steve Van Doran of Van’s Shoes, longboarder Levi Green, photographer Ian Logan, and OG skater Cindy Whitehead of Girl is Not a Four Letter Word. Even with all the hustle going on AGENDA is also big for seeing friends and catching up on life.
Outside the Agenda Show, Les and I ran into Aera Trucks bossman Kevin Reimer and hung out with him for a while. They’re dropping some new trucks you should check out.
The next day, I visited the other exhibits I didn’t see the the day before. There were so many booths in the trade show, you could get lost without looking at the signs for the isles hanging from the ceiling. Two days really wasn’t enough.
I checked out Madrid’s exhibit, including Venom skate products, Cadillac Wheels, Valhalla and Remember Collective boards and wheels. Madrid had some cool stuff exhibiting their skate history from the 80’s. Their boards were used in the Back to the Future movies! Zak Maytum, who graces Skate Slate’s most recent cover bombing down the Mt. Baldy Spillway, was there with Justin Rouleau, who shot the photo on the cover.
After hitting the big companies in the longboard industry, Les and I checked out some others.
When I was finished checking out exhibits and it was time to eat, Les and I went to check out the Dubliner across from the convention centre. On the way we ran into Nathan from DB Longboards and chatted with him for a while. Anna O’Neill and Ken Leigh from Landyachtz were working on curbing their hangover on the outdoor patio area. We met with the folks from Loaded and Paris Trucks for some tacos (at an Irish Pub) and beers. It’s surprising how much actually done over food and drinks at the show every year. Ultimately, AGENDA brought us together in one place and it’s not likely that any one event in the industry otherwise does such a good job at nailing down all the heads of skate.
Check out the new vlogs from Brandon Desjarlais for some video from the event and an interview with Les Robertson from the show when Brandon ran into him and a few of the other brand personalities that were lurking about.
I finished my time at Agenda by drinking blonde Chimay with good people before our sober driver, Bradley Cameron, gave Les a ride to the airport for his flight back to Vancouver. Sam Galus stayed in LA area to skate with friends and flew home later. I stayed in the van with Bradley Cameron and he drove the van safely back into the Pacific Northwest over the next few days.
That’s it for now. I’m still beat and sorting it all out as we finish the 2016 Photo Annual and get going on all the plans for 2017.
Happy New Year!