At the end of March we packed up a few of our demo boards along with a couple of boards set aside for our racers and shipped them to a warehouse near Las Vegas, Nevada. Hotels and flights were booked, and soon we were on our way to Sin City to attend an esk8 convention hosted in a lot next to the Oasis hotel.
We arrived the day before and set everything up as much as we could without it blowing away. It was windy that day, but the hosts had sandbags for us to keep the tent still. We set up the tables, expanded this giant billboard sized backdrop on a collapsible frame and tied it to the fence, and planned where we were going to do what. Then we packed our boxes neatly together and headed for the burger bar across the street.
That night we got to hang out with a lot of cool people from the industry and trade intel over beers. The vibe was amazing. Everyone was excited to talk shop and share what they’ve learned recently from the community as well as their own experiences. Soon it was time to head back to the hotel and get some sleep. The next day was going to be super busy.
We showed up on site in the morning a while before it opened and started getting our tent completely set up. We rented two tents, and both of them were bright red. Nobody else had a red tent there so we stood out well. We were also wielding a feather flag and a half dozen demo boards.
Also to our advantage, we were in the slot right next to Hoyt. We got to talk a lot of shop with those guys and had a lot of fun hanging out with them. It certainly kept things from getting boring in the times between people walking up to ask questions about our boards.
Once the people started trickling in and the other vendors were set up, we started getting more attention. A lot of people were immediately attracted to the bright aesthetic of our boards on the table. The glowing red finish, bright metal, and white wheels immediately draw the eye. We spent the day letting people try the boards and the feedback was very positive. They loved the feel of the deck and the smooth power delivery. Many were impressed with the level of flex because they didn’t think it looked like a flexi deck at first.
I think my favorite part was all the free ride time. I got to ride on a track with a lot of other people which is always fun. In addition to the freeride time and the vendors, there were also races. Though we didn’t win any races, we did come in fourth place during our first heat. Our rider had a blast tearing up the track, and so did a lot of other people. It was a lot of fun to watch.
Something else that I thought was kind of awesome were the trading cards. The hosts made very nice esk8 trading cards with all kinds of items on them such as parts, vendors, personalities, and complete boards.
Everything went pretty smooth, though we had an incident with somebody’s runaway board. It came zooming into the tent and swept the legs out from under the table, causing it to drop everything on it. It felt like something out of a movie. Fortunately it didn’t hit anyone, but there was a lot to pick up.
The Evolve ambassador put me on the green gremlin, one of their new boards with all the limits removed. I tried easing onto the throttle but there was no easing. It shot out from under me and I cartoonishly stepped off it as it was doing so. I did eventually find the right gamer thumb setting for my hand and ride it around the track a few times.
Soon it was the end of the second day and we had a lot of logistics to sort out. What was going where, labels to print, and big boxes to cart over to the dropoff spot. But for two days we got to mingle with other up-and-coming board companies, some established board companies, a whole lot of DIYers, well respected vendors for bushings, wheels, and other components, and a lot of people who just love to ride. It was an amazing experience.