Musings from Agenda Trade Show

Agenda was the second trade show I’ve been to in a month and the second I’ve been to in my life.

The first was the Dwell Design Festival, which had some interesting modular homes but, for a design festival, did a horrible job filling out the massive LA Convention Center. In contrast, the Agenda show ripped through the Long Beach Convention Center and delivered the glitzy pop-up mall vibes it promised. I tried to uncover the wackiest skate products I could find, thinking it would be a hot-bed for skateboard kookery.

The stupidest/best/stupidest skate ideas I’ve heard, though, were not there. Skateboarding is an industry that generally plays it safe, following the buying and selling trends of fashion and streetwear. The Agenda trade show, in line with that, is essentially for established brands who want to sell more of their stuff to stores. So my friend and I drank cheap tequila that we snuck in and expensive beers that we bought. We washed it down with expensive falafel and on Saturday, the third and final day, watched some rap music. I took some notes on the few chuckle-worthy items I could find. Overall, my takeways were that women and other non-cis male identifying people need greater representation in skateboarding brands and more booths should be skateable, and I hope you grabbed one of our big Monster Children prints. Here’s a list of images from Agenda based on my memory, some crappy notes, and bad phone photos:

I found a skate deck fidget spinner and managed to leverage my press credentials into one of my very own. Go figure. A man carrying a sleeping baby was peddling gigantic backpacks and when I asked him why they were so big he pointed at one with a weed-leaf print on it and said “To carry my stash.” The baby gurgled and the man said, “I want to go home.”

The Secret Tape was in attendance and, as a result I, and I’m assuming the skate-nerd contingent in general, was grateful. Consolidated had a booth and was still selling my friend Alex Duke’s board graphic of a unicorn shitting rainbows. Vans was promoting their store-sized booth with free waffles and I put probably 3-4 cookies worths of Oreo crumbs on mine. There was a “Dat Boi” pin prototype at an expensive pin purveyor called “Pin God” that I would have bought if it wasn’t a prototype. Unfortunately, I couldn’t leverage my press credentials for that.

Tensors still exist but don’t have slider pieces. Cactus shirts are popping off right now. Cam’ron was humble and entertaining. The skate youth like Lil Dicky but couldn’t care less about Cam or Ludacris, who didn’t really play any songs. Oh, and props to Ethik Clothing Company, I don’t know what you are or how you’re affiliated with Hella Clips but you’re the only booth that had anything skateable in it.

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