We spoke to Cam Deegan (UK lifestyle icon), Gizmo from AOB, Bodhi from Slide Perfect Wheels and Jenny of BTR Wolfpack about their experiences across the ISPO weekend. Get to know more about these awesome people and awesome event.
What is ispo?
C.D: ISPO is a monster trade show that has stops all over the world.
Giz: An exposition for people and shops to show what sick new products they have out for the new year and for riders to try out.
J.S: its the biggest sports trade fair in the world, it´s about connecting people in the sports industry
B.K: A very large sports convention which seems to have a corner with a couple longboards in.
What is your favourite part ?
C.D: Catching up with all of my international friends that I only see a couple of times a year.
Giz: Talking to people and getting to know more about the sports in different countries/cultures.
J.S: Action sports hall obviously, longboard corner and snowboard one.
B.K: Meeting all the skate family.
Did you learn anything unexpected?
C.D: German police don’t like you walking on underground tracks at 5AM.
Giz: How to ask for a pretzel and a piece of cake in German. Germans are very foodsy-people so I came home with a food baby.
J.S: That most people (mainly men ) who skate are kind of autistic.
B.K: I did not know the size of some companies and how much effort goes into a convention like that.
What did you think of the German food?
C.D: A little meaty haha.
Giz: Love it
J.S: Pretzeeeelllss and bearer ahhhh (come on i love it!! i grew up there)
B.K: REALLY GOOD! if your in Germany get a ‘pork knuckle’ it is so good!
What did you get up to on day one?
C.D: Day one was spent having a cruise round all of the stands, working out where everything and everyone was.
Giz: Speaking to shop owners about what AOB do and what they have to offer.
J.S: Pretzeeeelllss and bearer ahhh.. ehh hehe I mean.. many talks with many important and fun people. Really EVERYONE was there!
B.K: Finding my feet. It was all very different to how I expected. The longboard side is completely dwarfed by the rest of the convention on size.
How did you spend your last day?
C.D: Nursing a groggy head, saying good-byes and thank yous.
Giz: Playing on the AOB toy hover board and watching the BMX competition where Mark Webb and Daniel Dhers stole the show.
J.S: The last day was quite hectic, we had to take the train (hungover) from my parents to the airport. All that with a huge backpack full of pretzels :)
B.K: Trying to see everything I missed the previous days and trying not to miss my flight home.
Did you meet any cool people?
C.D: Yeah, a group of guys dressed in USA flag lycra. They were pretty wild all week.
Giz: Everyone I met was cool.
J.S: Only cool people. Most of them I knew though.. two Americans I got a set of slide wheels from and another bunch of nice Americans, Austrians, Swiss and Spanish peep.
B.K: There was a lot of people who are big names in the sport but I think Michael from Concrete Wave is a very cool interesting guy, he’s putting lots of work into great foundations such as Longboarding For Peace.
Is ISPO important for the longboard industry?
C.D: Its important for the business side of longboarding, it allows brands/shops/distributers all to meet in one place. So in that respect I guess so. Otherwise its just a great place to have a peek at all the new gear dropping soon.
Giz: Very, it's important we get opinions and feedback as well as make friends with other brands so we can keep the sport(s) rolling.
J.S: I would say yes. Even though the industry is apparently going down, ISPO offers a space for longboard sport, many buyers and sellers come across the stands and have the chance to explore a fairly unknown sport in all its facets.
B.K: It is a great place to show case new products and get connections with people who would normally be very hard to reach. It is also a great way to beta test a product from people’s reaction.
Where there any unusual characters lurking around?
C.D: This creepy guy called Bodhi?
J.S: Hmm, in my eyes it is quite hard to be unusual. I live in London and am quite wild myself. I fell in and out of love with every other person lurking around in the action sports hall, I must say,definitely a lot to look at :)
B.K: Seems to be the usual bunch of pros but I think for lurking Dominiek from Woodwings was always there. Great to see everyone in a non rain/road rash/leathers place for a change.
What else can you find at ispo apart from skateboard stuff?
C.D: There is a ton of mountaineering and outdoor gear at the show also. I spent a large amount of time riding a motorised beer crate around, thanks TSG.
Giz: Everything. Swim, gym, snow, football, golf, tennis, clothing, BMX, scooter, inlines, segways, climbing, kayaking the list is endless.
J.S: EVERYTHING! Even things you didn’t know existed. The main attractions were obviously the individually shaped vehicles that people were shooting around on through the halls. Best one: beer boxes with wheels and steering wheel you could rent out from TSG Helmets :)
B.K: It would be a far shorter list to name what isn't there. I only saw 3 out of the 16 halls. Longboarding only took up 1/32 of one hall. Its is HUGE.
A lot of people say ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is that true for the longboarding scene also?
C.D: Yes and no. If you make the effort to speak to people then you are obviously going to open up potential doors for yourself.
Giz: To a certain extent, it's easier if you have people you know who can help you learn and take you to good hills, but at the end of the day, you don't NEED that you can learn by yourself and make friends along the way
J.S: Thats surely true. I literally have no idea of brands, I know a lot of people though. I learned a lot about the brands, who belongs where and what the connections are between the people and brands.
B.K: It will always help, there is a lot of times that just having facts will not get you far enough. In such a tight community its hard not to know anyone though.
Is there anything exciting we should be keeping out eyes out for in 2016?
C.D: Landychtz Triplebeam & the new handheld DJI video camera.
Giz: That would be a spoiler
J.S: Beer boxes with wheels ahaha! Other than that, I think Root boards are quite trendy at the moment. The new Predator DH 6 Open Face helmets that are super old school shaped.. LOVE EM!
B.K: From the show there are a bunch of things coming out that I thought might be interesting. From AOB?…There might be.