SURF EXPO WAKES UP ORLANDO

ORLANDO—Over fifteen thousand surfing enthusiasts crammed the Orlando Convention Center for the bi-yearly Surf Expo.| ORLANDO—Over fifteen thousand surfing enthusiasts crammed the Orlando Convention Center for the bi-yearly Surf Expo. Attendees were laid back and eager to soak up a variety of earth-friendly ideas and make beach activities more enjoyable. Retailers, surfers and artists including the NYC Endless Love Crew, who painted a mural, added atmosphere for this event and the hundreds of exhibitors. Thousands of boards, fashion, and beach products enticed. Crowds swarmed in booths and rapped about their challenges to make their board experience more intense or safer. The experts and enterprisers had the answers. At the Expo just with a “What’s Up” or a peace signal you can start a conversation, share life experiences or get the latest scoop. SE is where quick spontaneous friendships can form. Orlando was polled the “Angriest city in America,” but at the Expo one could not tell. Maybe if more angry Floridians attended the Surfing Expo their moods would improve. America’s top wakeskaters and wakeboarders took their sport past oceans, lakes and inlets when a huge outdoor pool was built for the fastest growing action water sport: “Railing.” Pat Panakos & the Projects in Orlando hosted a Liquid Force event. Railing is being mechanically pulled through water and over rails. Tricking out the trip with back turns and other moves is key and showcasing the finale with a splash like a 360 or flip or other stunt, wins points. This fast growing sport unfortunately can’t be done in most community’s backyards now but who knows what the future holds. Surfing, wakesurfing, and kiteboarding and of course skateboarding are serious business and major industries from soft/energy drinks to textile companies are getting on board. Mike Gerard, executive director of Surfing America USA, a California non-profit, spoke to The Epoch Times about surfing becoming a major force in sports and the struggles to propel USA Surf Team to the Olympics. Yes, your eyes are correct: surfing in the Olympics. From Surf America’s website: “Surfing America’s Mission is to promote the growth, competitive success and positive image of surfing in the USA and to provide the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, advancing and administrating the sport, while producing champions.” The Surf Expo and organizations like Surf America promote good values and ideas. They are about individuals expressing themselves and having fun while being harmonious with others, the ocean and the earth. The next Surfing Expo is scheduled for January 11-17, 2007. Surf’s up.

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