Melbourne, FL - September 8, 2013 – When I registered for the semi-annual September 2013 Surf Expo I had expectations that this year’s show was going to be just like the other past shows I had attended. I would cruise the 30 isles looking for great brands and human interest stories to tell. This show, like the line from Forest Gump, “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates, was full of unexpected experiences. Yes, you never know what you're gonna get”. Like the saying goes, when one attends the Surf Expo, you never know what you’re gonna find.
One of the many booths I stopped at was the Hang Ten booth. What caught my eye was that they four booths situated in the same area each dedicated to cell phone covers, surf and SUP boards and sunglasses. I spent time at each booth chatting with Hang Ten sales and marketing representatives learning about what was new for the 2014 season. As I talked to one about their reps about SUP boards, I learned that Hang Ten was going to do a big brand re-launch. If you go to their web site today you will see that it is under construction. While learning about the re-launch, I mentioned that I had been wearing Hang Ten tee shirts back in the 1960 while in high school. At this moment I was asked if I wanted to meet Duke Boyd, the creator of the Hang Ten brand. I said absolutely. For the next five minutes we walked the isles until we found Duke Boyd’s booth for South Shore Traders. You see Duke is, at the young age of 79, still in the surf lifestyle business. When we arrive at the booth, Duke was busy with customers so I arranged to return later to speak with Duke.
When I returned to the South Shore Traders’ booth I got to meet Duke Boyd. What an honor that was. Duke was born in Kansas City in 1934. As a young boy in Waikiki, HI he started surfing. During the 1960s, as the story goes, Duke approached Doris Boeck to make him a pair of strong surf trunks that he had designed. The rest is history. Duke sold the Hang Ten brand in 1970 and went on to influence and shape the surf apparel industry for many years to come. He was also instrumental in the development of the Lightning Bolt brand of surf gear and apparel after he sold Hang Ten. You can read more about Duke’s life story on his web site.
So what is Duke doing these days? He now lives in Makaha, Hawaii where he enjoys the surfing lifestyle he helped create many years ago. He has started South Shore Traders, LLC. His new company rolled out their Original Hawaiiana Collection in early 2013 where he premiered the Retro Original Hula Lady mini brand made so famous in the 1990s. This September at the 2013 Surf Expo he is rolling out their new Spring 2014 Sportswear line in Orlando, Florida which is composed of three collections: Ocean Collection, Sports Collection, and the East/West collection. He will also be showing the entire spring 2014 sportswear line at the Hawaii Sales Representatives Association (HSRA) Tradeshow in Honolulu on September 18th and 19th.
If all goes as planned and Duke Boyd’s South Shore Traders collections are a big hit, you may be able to find his many fine knit garments for both men and women in a local specialty surf shop near you.
As Duke and I parted ways, he said to me I am a lot older than you are. Remember to enjoy every day to the fullest and do what you like to do. What he told me was ever so profound. Many of us go through life missing all the great things we could be enjoying.
So until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day on the water and Mahalo nui loa.