Some were there to just to scan the scene, others were conducting business, but most would agree that the second annual Southwest Snowboard Trade Show was an excellent preview for retailers and good practice for reps.

“Our show enable retailers to use SIA as more of an exploratory show,” explains organizer Glen Garland. The Southwest Snowboard Trade Show in Costa Mesa was one of the growing number of regional snowboard-specific trade shows. This show offers retailers a demo day on the slopes in Southern California and a five-day show in Costa Mesa. This year there were over 150 companies represented and 182 retail stores attended.

“The Southwest show is a good time to really see lines you know you’re interested in because it’s more personalized,” says Marc Loreau, the snowboard manager at Hobie Oceanside. “No one walks in on you and everyone seems to know each other.”

Loreau, like many retailers, was still hesitant to write orders before Vegas. He says that in past when he wrote orders at earlier shows, he missed out on things at SIA.

But other retailers prefer to do the bulk of their writing at the smaller shows.

“I wrote three quarters of my orders at the Southwest show this year,” says Steve Swanson of Ventura Ski and Snowboard.

“The reaction we got from retailers was extremely positive,” says Garland. “We’d like to keep this show intimate and snowboard related. That way people can get their work done.”