Your Premier Jamaican Sports Portal
Jamaica brand surfboard a hit at USA expo
Jamaican surfboard brand, Quashi Surfboards, had its first showing at the 2008 Surf Expo, in Florida this past weekend at the Convention Centre. Jamaican surfboard maker Patrick 'Quashi' Mitchell and Jamaican surfing icon Billy Wilmot, partners in the fledgling Jamaican company, were very upbeat about the impact that the brand had at the world-famous trade show.
The booth featured Quashi's 2008 line of high performance surfboards, reggae music including a live acoustic set by Billy Mystic, a surfboard illustration session by top Florida tattoo artist, Mark Longnecker, of Endless Summer Tattoos and samples of Jamaica's world-famous Baba Roots. Quashi surfers Icah Wilmot, Jamaica, and Tony Chavez, USA, were also there signing autographs.
"The Quashi booth was definitely the belle of the ball" said Wilmot. "We had a continuous flow of people to the booth and we have created quite a few interesting and promising relationships with distributors, shop owners and many fans of our brand. But you know it is all about the follow-up now and then the ability to service the demand you have created."
Mitchell said he was also very pleased with the response from the potential buyers. "Over the many years of working to promote Jamaica and our brand of surfboards, we have made a statement, but this time, at the expo," he said, "we have sealed the deal that we are here to stay and we are a force to be reckoned with. Jamaican surfing has arrived and the industry is very interested. Our product has been tried, tested and proven by team riders in Jamaican conditions as well as by team riders in Trinidad, Costa Rica, Barbados, Europe and the U.S.A. and is now ready for the world."
Quashi has two production facilities in the U.S.A. - California and Florida. This year the company plans to establish the first state-of-the-art surfboard factory in Jamaica, bringing to an end over 40 years of local 'back yard' surfboard production.
"We have been having meetings with JAMPRO (now Jamaica Trade and Invest) and the Sports Development Foundation to initiate a strategy to take on the enormous potential benefits that exist in the surf industry, which encompasses everything from surfboard manufacturing to vacation packages," said Wilmot.
"We need to finalise the necessary agreements to facilitate the import of a computer-aided shaping machine and the many other raw materials used in the surfboard manufacturing process," he added.