Surf Expo: A Complete Guide

Water sports and beach resort lifestyle trade shows like Surf Expo are an excellent way for players in these industries to learn about the latest trends and stay ahead of the times. 

These shows help manufacturers and retailers understand what customers want and don’t want. This enables them to add new, exciting product lines that customers love, which increases their profitability.

Such trade shows also allow manufacturers and retailers to showcase their latest products and services, network with customers and suppliers, and generate more leads and revenue.

If you’re a business that deals in water sports and beach resort lifestyle products and services, Surf Expo is one of the top shows you must attend.

We will tell you all about this expo, including its history, who it is for, and its benefits for attendees and exhibitors. We will also list the top hotels you can stay at during the expo.

Let’s dive in.

What Is The Surf Expo?

What Is The Surf Expo

Surf Expo is one of the biggest and longest-running water sports and beach resort lifestyle trade shows in the world. This semestral expo is held in January and September every year at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

It boasts more than 2,600 exhibitor booths of fashion and hard goods brands and draws around 26,000 attendees from across the globe. This makes it a high-profile international industry event that you shouldn’t miss.

The expo features a wide range of product categories, including water sports clothing, sports gear, etc. You will find everything related to the beach resort lifestyle, like surfboards, dive fins, boardshorts, dive-specific wetsuits, swimwear, sunglasses, sun protection products, masks, spearguns, and underwater photography equipment.

As the one-stop shop for the latest products and hottest trends, the expo also offers resort wear like tees, shorts, casual shirts, sundresses, sarongs, batiks, and other high-end apparel. Buyers can also shop for beach jewelry, footwear, towels, outdoor accessories, gifts, mementos, and custom merchandise.

The show also displays paddle sports gear like stand-up paddle (SUP) boards, kayaks, and canoes. A massive collection of coastal home decor, beach games, toys, drinkware, collectibles, long and shortboard decks, cruisers, trucks, wheels, and protective gear also await attendees at Surf Expo.

Moreover, visitors can participate in a full line-up of special events, including fashion shows, annual award ceremonies, industry parties, and demos.

History Of The Surf Expo

History Of The Surf Expo

Surf Expo was launched in the same year that pro surfing was established, that is, in 1976. Emerald, a leading operator of B2B trade expos in the United States, hosts it.

The Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA), the Board Retailers Association (BRA), the Standup Paddle Industry Association (SUPIA), and the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) all support the show.

Surf Expo was established to offer a platform for leading global brands and buyers from different industries, including surfing, skating, swimming, resort, and water sports, to connect and network.

They gather under one roof twice a year in a business-first buying-and-selling environment to do business, learn, share, inspire, and celebrate.

Surf Expo has grown tremendously since its first edition and is now an influential business gathering. It is currently the longest-running trade show in the multi-billion dollar surfing industry, having run for more than four decades.

The upcoming edition of Surf Expo in 2023 is set to be even bigger and better than Surf Expo 2022. Make sure you attend the event to boost your business and hobnob with some of the most influential water sports and beach resort lifestyle industry leaders.

Who Is The Surf Expo For?

Who Is The Surf Expo For

Surf Expo is a professional, trade-only B2B trade show open only for qualified business trading and free for verified buyers. It is not open to the public. Exhibiting manufacturers, qualified retailers from the industry, and media professionals can participate in the show.

Surf Expo offers a unique platform for exhibitors and attendees to showcase and shop product lines. Non-exhibiting manufacturers, brands, reps, team riders, suppliers, vendors, graphic artists, and other businesses or individuals affiliated with the industry who are not buyers can also participate in the show as non-exhibiting manufacturers.

Why Should I Attend The Surf Expo?

Attending Surf Expo offers visitors many benefits, including the following:

Shop From A Wide Range Of Product Lines

Shop From A Wide Range Of Product Lines

Buyers from across the country and the world come to the show to discover and test the hottest innovations and latest products in water sports and beach and resort lifestyle. They can buy surfing gear and apparel, skating gear, boutique offerings, jewelry, footwear, and coastal gifts and souvenirs.

The expo is also a leading marketplace for paddle sports gear, swimwear, resort wear, outdoor accessories, custom merchandise, coastal home decor, hammocks, games, toys, and collectibles.

Attendees can also check out wakeboard and waterski products like boards, bindings, clothing, wetsuits, helmets, fat sacs, pumps, and other accessories.

They can also explore jet skis, wake boats, towers, pylons, boards, kites, windsurfing sails, masts, harnesses, booms, racks, lights, speakers, and biminis and add them to their existing inventory selections. Other items at the trade show include inflatable SUPs, futuristic fabrics, and standing wave machines.

Whatever you need for your store or business, you can be sure to find it at Surf Expo. Moreover, the show floor is sorted by product category. So you can easily spot the merchandise you’re looking for without wasting time searching for it.

This helps you optimize your time at the show while finding innovative products for your store’s shelves.

Discover New Brands

Not only can you expand your current product offering, but you can also acquire the hottest new brands in town. You can check out their cutting-edge innovations and boost your business with the latest products from the best manufacturers in the industry.

Research Industry Trends

Exploring the latest products and brands allows you to get a glimpse of what’s in and what’s out. This will help you gain key insights into current market trends and stock only those products that customers want.

This will help you maximize your ROI, save money by not buying outdated goods, and boost your business revenue, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

Learn From Industry Experts

Learn From Industry Experts

Surf Expo offers a highly rated and credible learning platform called Professional Learning Labs, where you can pick up high-impact retail knowledge. It hosts free educational seminars by industry leaders and experts to help you grow your business and stay competitive in the modern marketplace.

The seminars take place on the show floor every day, which helps you access them easily.


Retail store owners from across the United States and even other regions like Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Australasia, and Africa attend the Surf Expo. Participating in this show can help you rub shoulders with the best in the industry and collaborate for fruitful partnerships.

Besides buyers, you can also speak directly to top manufacturers and suppliers in your industry and partner with them for business growth. You can also participate in the happy hours and special events held in the buyer lounges on the show floor for more networking opportunities.

Participate In Special Events

The Surf Expo schedule is jam-packed with several premier events. They include fashion shows, autograph signing sessions, annual award ceremonies, industry parties, surfboard shaping, surf and skate demos, other live product demonstrations, nightly receptions, happy hours, and music.

These events allow you to unwind and let your hair down in a lively, fun atmosphere where thousands of other attendees join you.

Why Should I Exhibit At The Surf Expo?

Why Should I Exhibit At The Surf Expo?

Exhibiting at Surf Expo offers exhibitors a list of impressive benefits. Some key advantages include:

Showcase Product Lines

Surf Expo exhibits around 2,600 colorful booths of apparel and hard goods relating to the surf and skate industries. The show offers exhibitors an excellent chance to present their merchandise using fun displays and other enticing marketing tactics. This helps them attract more customers to their booths and boost their sales and profitability.

Launch New Products

The expo showcases goods from various industries, including surfing, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, skateboarding, skimboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). It has also expanded its coverage to include other businesses from the swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and resort industries.

The trade show’s wide variety of product categories encourages businesses that deal in a specific product line to expand their production and retail stock to include other related goods. This helps them add depth and dimension to their inventory selections and cater to more customers.

Widen Customer Base

Surf Expo draws qualified buyers from leading specialty stores, large retail chains, resorts, marinas, cruise lines, and beach rental companies from across the country and also the world. This offers manufacturers a wonderful opportunity to get their exclusive products into the hands of more consumers via reputed retailers.

If you’re a manufacturer, the expo will help you increase your orders and forge long-term business relationships with a large base of loyal clients. You can easily reach more retailers in a concentrated business environment and drive more customers to your business. 

This, in turn, will help you improve brand visibility and take your business to the world.


Surf Expo is a highly popular business hub where key decision-makers and industry leaders gather under one roof to network. As an exhibitor, you can get valuable face time with such influential people and foster fruitful business partnerships that can boost business growth and success.


The trade show allows you to dive into the latest trends and understand what retailers and consumers want. This helps you tailor your production to include big-ticket goods that will increase your profitability.

Participate In Special Events

Surf Expo has a full calendar of premier events. Exhibitors can attend fashion shows, annual award ceremonies, industry parties, autograph signing sessions, surfboard shaping, demos, nightly receptions, happy hours, and musical events.

This helps them relax with other exhibitors and attendees in a fun atmosphere.

When And Where Is The Surf Expo?

When And Where Is The Surf Expo?

The next Surf Expo dates are January 4 to 6, 2023. The venue for Surf Expo 2023 is the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), West Concourse, 9800 International Drive, Orlando, Florida 32819.

Occurring twice every year in January and September, the show’s September 2023 edition will go on from September 7 to 9, 2023, in the same venue.

Accommodation Guide

Accommodation Guide

If you’re planning to head to the January 2023 edition of Surf Expo, you will need to find some good accommodation options for your stay during the expo. Fortunately, Surf Expo has partnered with Eventsphere as the official accommodation partner for the expo.

This will help you get negotiated travel discounts and reduced-rate hotel rooms, so you can enjoy a trip to Orlando without breaking the bank.

You can also enjoy exclusive promotions and perks, discounted rates on upgrades, and reservation relocation protection when booking a hotel room with Eventsphere.

But note that the hotel rooms at the group rate are few and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. So, it is best to book early so that you can get as many rooms as you need for your business group.

The hotels that are available through Eventsphere are listed below:

  • Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Orlando Convention Center/I-Drive Area
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive Convention Center
  • Hilton Orlando
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club Las Palmeras Orlando
  • Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center
  • Hyatt Regency Orlando
  • Hyatt Place Orlando I-Drive/Convention Center
  • Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando
  • Rosen Plaza Hotel
  • Residence Inn Orlando Convention Center
  • Vista Cay by Millenium

For your stay during the show, you can also make independent reservations at the following top hotels:

  • Days Inn by Wyndham Orlando Conv. Center/International Dr
  • La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Orlando International Drive North
  • TRYP by Wyndham Orlando
  • Four Points by Sheraton Orlando International Drive
  • Orlando Escape


Surf Expo is an internationally acclaimed trade expo for the surf, skate, beach, and resort industries. It offers exhibitors and attendees an ideal business platform to network, connect, buy, sell, learn, discover, and celebrate.

If you plan to exhibit at this expo to grow your business, you’ll need an arsenal of trade show supplies and services, such as booths, graphics, and logistics.

We at American Image offer a vast array of premium trade show booths, graphics, and other supplies for exhibitors. We also sell them at affordable rates, so you can easily find products and services that meet your needs on a budget.

Browse through our wide range of offerings on our website or contact us to learn more.