We in the surfing world don't often talk about the economic downturn that has plagued America in recent months. Sure, there are more guys out in the water during work hours, having lost the jobs that used to keep their days filled. Surfboard sales are at rock bottom (the relatively small manufacturing industry can barely support itself). The stock of many public action sports companies, perhaps most notably Quiksilver, has plumetted. Your mags might feel a little thinner due to a lack of ads. We pay for parking at Trestles…Ok, so I guess we do talk about it a little.
But by and large, 2009 has been a powerfhouse year for surfing in Orange County, with two over-the-top main events, the U.S. Open in Huntington and the Hurley Pro at Lowers, leading the charge. We've had good waves and a couple of big swells, and perhaps more of us have got to ride them if we're not at work as much as last year.
But finally the bad economy has hit home and had a visible, undeniable impact on the world of surfing in Orange County. Boardfest, a festival event that in that past has attracted hundreds of thousands with it's blend of fashion, music and action sports, has been cancelled this year. Put together by Huntington Beach-based firm MKM, the event has apparently faced mounting funding shortages in the face of a slow economy, and decided to close up shop. Still, Boardfest is expected to return full-force next year.