How to support local surf shops & core media during the pandemic

While Europe is slowly getting back to opening stores, it’s still the time to support local surf shops, speciality retailers and core media. Even though some sales activity is allowed in most European countries, business in most action sport shops is still on an all-time low. Therefore loyal customers and readers LIKE YOU are their life support. If you still want to be able to shop core brands, touch new gear, get the most trustable customer service, meet like-minded people, enjoy stunning photography and travel stories in the future, local shops and coffee table magazines need your support now!

Mountainbikers, surfers, snowboarders, wakeboarders or runners unite all over the world to support their community during this pandemic. Cancelled events transform into online meet-ups, brick-and-mortar stores launch or increase their online sales and beloved coffee table mags host crowd funding campaigns because their advertisers had to bail out. Europe’s Blue Magazine for example just started a startnext-campaign for their 20 year anniversary year book, which you can support here until June 15th.

The time is now, since some of them are close to having to shut their doors forever.

We would love to share some ideas how you can support local speciality retailers and the core media sector. In addition we urge you to start as soon as possible.

photo: Carolyn Christine

The 7 best ways to support local surf shopS, speciality retailers and core media
1. shop local, use ding repair service or get your snowboard in peak performance

With the weather improving, it might be time for a new bikini or a new pair of boardshorts. While it’s easy to browse online at the big players, your local surf shop might carry your favorite pair of boardies as well. Chances are you discover a new (local) brand or find a core-shop-only collection there! And even though you might have had to postpone your next surf trip, now’s the time to get all the dings on your board professionally fixed or your snowboard serviced to be stored away for the summer.

2. Buy gift cards

Gift cards are a fantastic win-win situation. On the one hand you get to make someone happy or yourself excited for future shopping trips. On the other hand you support your cherished shop. By the way, it doesn’t have to be your “local” local surf shop – How about a gift card from your favorite snowboard shop in the French Alps or at your favorite surf destination?

3. Purchase an annual or multi-year subscription

Besides vlogs, blogs and podcasts, we are big fans of coffee table magazines! The big difference to all the first mentioned media outlets is that print mags have to physically produce the magazines, nowadays often with personal investment of the publishers. The results are timeless, beautiful pieces of surf or (enter your beloved action sport here) photography and captivating travel stories or portraits. We might be old school on this one – but there’s no bigger stoke factor! You will be surprised about prices of annual or even multi-year subscriptions for most classic magazines. A subscription also makes for a cool gift for a dear travel buddy you can’t go see now. As for all online magazines, switch off your ad blocker right now, if you are using one. This way you help generate ad views and thus allow for funding through their ads.

4. Think twice when you shop online

In order to shop sustainably you truly have to think twice! While we advocate for always asking yourself if you really need what you are going to shop online – or in short, stop buying crap (READ HOW) – now you also have to think where you shop online. Even though big online retailers carry almost everything, you will find what you are looking for at a small online store as well – for the same price or even as a limited core retailer collection.

5. offer your expertise and support

Are you a social media or SEO specialist, graphic or web designer with less work than usual? Your local surf shop or specialty retailer will highly appreciate any volunteer help improving their visibility online. With better times ahead you might score a new freelance gig or get another awesome referral while supporting your local shop.

6. consider a donation

Cash is gold. A few stores and magazines are down to financing their rent or their upcoming magazine issue, so they can make it through these times at all. If you see a crowd funding campaign, it’s a great time to drop some cash, if you can.

7. Share the stoke or write an outstanding review

Right now, a big part of business success has to do with visibility online. Since most of us can’t venture freely, our shopping reality is our online reality. By sharing your shop’s or magazine’s content, you increase their visibility. A new online store, re-opening day, a special gift card or a sale on annual subscriptions, are only a few examples of great sharable content. A cool photo of your favorite store with their Instagram handle and the #supportyourlocalsurfshop-Hashtag is another fun way to celebrate them. Furthermore an outstanding review on Yelp, Google or Facebook goes a long way. If you already gave them a review a year ago, write another one about their momentarily open services.