These news items were reported by Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom from the Action Sports Retailer show, held Sept. 4-6 in San Diego.
Flexdex shows off clear PC skateboard
Flexdex LLC of San Diego introduced 23- and 29-inch-long skateboards made of clear polycarbonate. The boards come with or without kick tails.
Flexdex obtains half-inch-thick Makrolon PC sheet from extruder Sheffield Plastics Inc. of Sheffield, Mass. The sheet contains some recycled material.
A sister company, custom manufacturer Ridout Plastics Inc. of San Diego, cuts the sheet into raw decks. Flexdex bends, decorates and assembles the performance skateboards, which are guaranteed not to break for 90 days, said Elliott Rabin, Flexdex chief executive officer.
Flexdex also sells polymer-matrix-composite skateboards using decks from Liberty Pultrusions of West Mifflin, Pa. The surface texture of the fiberglass pultrusion can accommodate silk-screen graphics that Flexdex applies at its facility.
More surfers in '08,
Surfboarding is still gaining in popularity.
About 2.4 million people in the U.S. participate as surfboarders now, compared with 2.1 million two years ago, according to Angelo Ponzi, president of research firm Board-Trac Inc. in Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Snowboarding participation, however, appears to be flat at 7.1 million people, and skateboarding actually lost participants, with 11.3 million in 2006 and only 10.2 million this year.
Female participation in the sports is growing, with surfers at 28.6 percent of the total, snowboarders at 36.5 percent and skateboarders at 24.9 percent.
Numbers show drop
from last year's ASR
ASR said show participation was down from last year.
In 2008, 400 companies representing 675 brands participated, compared with 435 companies representing 700 brands at the 2007 event.