Posted by Abe Sauer on April 2, 2013 01:03 PM
Beijing's ban on fixed gear bicycles or "fixies" was dismissed on local English language blogs as an April Fool's gag. But then China's state-run media carried another report that Fujian, a southeast province outside of Shanghai, had also banned fixies. It followed numerous late March anti-fixie stories in the Chinese press.
China's brewing war on fixies, the ubiquitous accessory of US hipster culture and an increasingly popular creative outlet for free expression for China's similarly hip youth, is very real. And further actions like those in Fujian and Beijing could turn out to be a blow to a market that is just beginning to blossom.
"If the 'fixie' has no brakes, it cannot be ridden on the road and the police will punish riders according to the law," read the March 26 declaration from the Beijing Morning Post. The Post had noted that in Fujian's Zhangzhou city, a 13 year-old girl riding a fixie without brakes was recently killed in a traffic accident.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on November 14, 2012 03:28 PM
Red Bull has been the talk of the world, and the out of this world, with their most recent stunt in space involving Red Bull-sponsored daredevil Felix Baumgartner breaking the speed of sound by free-falling back to earth.
Now Red Bull keeps the awesomeness coming with a new video unlike anything they've done before. The Red Bull Kluge. So what does Kluge mean? Red Bull defines it as "/Klooj/ Noun, Slang - A Witty, yet inelegant solution that succeeds in performing a particular task." And that's precisely what they've created.
The Kluge is essentially a Rube Goldberg machine powered by human athletes, with each athlete performing some type of stunt that comples a piece of the machine. From skydiving to golfing to BMX riding to drifting, the spectacle covers a wide variety of action sports.Continue reading...
Posted by Michael Waltzer on July 10, 2012 04:04 PM
Following on the viral success of Gymkhana Four, DC Shoes co-founder and professional rally driver Ken Block is back with "Gymkhana Five: Ultimate Urban Playground." Filmed over four days on the streets of San Francisco, it's the most jaw-dropping Gymkhana production yet. The Monster World Rally legend treats SF as his personal playground, with special appearances by rider Travis Pastrana (a DC brand ambassador) and Jake Phelps (of Thrasher magazine). The drifting scenes alone are a thing of beauty — no wonder it generated 4.5 million views within 24 hours of being uploaded on YouTube on Monday. Watch it below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 9, 2012 11:49 AM
With 1.3 billion residents, China is the place every marketer hopes to conquer. Even if a product can get a percentage of that market, they are golden.
Last week we noted how Chinese surfing brands were taking market share from their neighboring action sports brands in Australia. Now, Western brands are chilled to hang ten in China. The mainland isn’t exactly known as a surfing hotbed (yet), but that isn’t stopping the International Surfing Association from trying to rope in some dollars from China.
This past weekend marked the start of the four-day China Cup sponsored by the ISA and Womei Media along with Quiksilver, according to the festival’s website. The idea of the Hainan Wanning Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival, which features back-to-back surf contests, a food festival, and live music, is to “blend surfing with elements of Chinese culture,” according to the site.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 5, 2012 02:40 PM
Made in China surfboards are taking market share from Australia's surfboard brands, according to Bloomberg. Blame undercutting on price by the Chinese manufacturers, along with rising production costs for the Aussies, who are also being slammed by "a strong currency that’s making their products less competitive overseas."
The dilemma, as Bloomberg puts it:
From Bells Beach to Brisbane, Australia’s board builders are facing a choice: close down, or try to preserve local designs and branding by applying them to products made abroad. “We have to adapt,” said Michelle Blauw, co-owner of Currumbin, Queensland-based D’Arcy Surfboards and president of the Australian Surf Craft Industry Association. “You can’t always point the finger and blame everybody else for the situation that you’re in.”
Another solution, beyond local branding and craftsmanship, is to better utilize digital marketing to more deeply engage with surf, board and action sports fans. Case in point: the D'Arcy Surfboards website offers a Japanese version, in addition to riding the social wave with a Facebook page and store, blog, on Google+ and on Twitter.
The Australian Surf Craft industry is also promoting "Made in Australia" labels to battle the cheaper imports and appeal to homegrown pride:Continue reading...