Checking in with Sandbar, Aloe Up, and Baja Llama at Surf Expo Summer
Posted 10/30/2023 | By: Bart Schaneman
At Surf Expo this September, exhibitors were showcasing brand new products and offerings, including new apparel lines, new skincare products, and new swimsuits.
We checked in with exhibitors Sandbar, Aloe Up, and Baja Llama to see what they were rolling out, and how they felt about their Surf Expo experience this year.
Matching Family Swimwear
For Sandbar, a Singapore-based family swimwear brand, the company’s newest milestone is establishing a business entity in the United States. Sandbar sells products across the globe, including in stores in the Maldives, Thailand, Bali, the Caribbean, and the British Virgin Islands, and now customers in the United States are stocking its clothing, said owner Mel Reid.
Sandbar swimwear on display at Surf Expo.
At Surf Expo, Sandbar was launching two new products, a women’s rashguard and a new children’s swimsuit that’s part of its expanding “mini-me” selection, where the children’s swimsuits match what the parents are wearing.
Sandbar owns two brick-and-mortar locations in Singapore, and its online sales are “quite strong internationally,” according to Reid. The company looks to sell in locations where families are on vacation and they want to wear matching swimwear. “That’s so in at the moment,” Reid said.
Sandbar owner Mel Reid
For another popular offering, Reid pointed to Sandbar’s swimsuits that provide more coverage for mothers who want to enjoy the beach and still look good. Sandbar’s clothing also uses recycled ocean-bound plastic and the brand helps fund ocean cleanup projects.
As for her experience at Surf Expo, Reid said that she had stayed busy throughout. “It’s been very good, actually,” she added.
Minnesota-based skincare brand Aloe Up was rolling out a new mineral sunscreen line at Surf Expo. The company had been focused on its unscented sports sunscreen line and its traditional scented line for the past 40 years, but decided to change it up recently.
Aloe Up skincare products at Surf Expo.
The mineral sunscreen is different than typical sunscreen because the product uses zinc oxide or titanium so the cream sits on the skin, according to Nathan Tysk, director of retail sales for Aloe Up.
The mineral sunscreen comes in 30 SPF, 50 SPF, and kids spray, as well as 30 SPF, 50 SPF and kids lotion.
Nathan Tysk, director of retail sales for Aloe Up.
Tysk said Aloe Up has been coming to Surf Expo twice a year “since forever.”
“It’s a writing show for us,” he said. “We get lots of orders plus lots of new connections. We always get new accounts from here.”
New Golf Line
Over at Baja Llama, a California-based apparel brand, the company was preparing to introduce its new golf line called the Swingers Collection, with updated polo shirt fabrics and styles.
Baja Llama shirts on display at Surf Expo.
Co-founder Sean Kolina said his team had been driving its bus around the country doing pop-up events at retailers to build brand awareness and check in with business partners on the way to Surf Expo.
“It’s great to build connections within our key accounts and be able to go to the retailers as well,” he added.
Sean Kolina, co-founder of Baja Llama.
This was Baja Llama’s seventh Surf Expo, and Kolina said it’s always a great show.
“We like to call it our home show because we have a lot of key accounts in Florida,” he said. “We’re very summery and vibey, and it fits well for us.”