The tide has turned on wave-riders and thrashers who now represent a generation of style innovators careening down half-pipes and walls of water. And with the continued rise of the grassroots culture cultivated by the molten-hot world of extreme sports, its influence in fashion has been very well noted.
“The thing that makes the boardsports style unique is that it’s a subculture—an identity,” explains Freddy Gonzalez, President of Freesurf, Inc., the company that exclusively distributes core action sports brands through concept stores like Aloha Boardsports. “It’s important to consider the grassroots culture where all of this began.”
Being a company so immersed in the culture of the boardsports industry, it’s no surprise that Aloha Boardsports’ mix of brands fuses iconoclastic bent and mainstream fashion. It is likely the company’s insider understanding and appreciation of this rapidly growing subculture that has allowed it to straddle the delicate line separating core practitioners from everybody else and still maintain each brand’s offhand style as well as cult status. And while you’ll find plenty of looks that blend bold, art-driven fashion with the hardcore boardsports lifestyle, you’ll also see pieces taking cues from the stylishly functional world of action sports.
Its main brand, RVCA for instance, offers a line where the barrier between street wear and action sports apparel are virtually dissolved; all the while ensuring that each item is wearable yet still functional and retaining its grassroots surf or skate appeal. The brainchild of company Founder and Creative Director, PM Tenore, RVCA transcends the boundaries of traditional action sports design through design-driven pieces, unshackled from fleeting trends. Items include denim, casual wear and accessories that incorporate influences from street fashion—all in all creating a comprehensive boardsports line. Apart from RVCA, Aloha houses a full complement of brands that represent the entire action sports lifestyle—specifically for surfing and skating. These include Global Surf Industries, Channel Islands and Sticky Bumps—all of which are brands that focus on providing board riding enthusiasts with access to surfing hardware and accessories; while Girl, Chocolate, Lakai and DVS are some of the globally renowned names, which offer equipment and gear that make up Aloha’s skate complement.
With the continued rise of the boardsports culture in the country, it’s no surprise that they have now expanded outside the confines of Metro Manila—opening its doors and introducing the ideals of this lifestyle to more Filipinos.
“Each collection is, of course, functional with an edge,” says Gonzalez. “And we want to maintain this image as the epitome for all the core brands that we carry, without alienating its mainstream appeal. Filipinos have shown significant interest in boardsports and it continues to rise to this day. And given the growing attention it has seen South of the Philippines, the opening of Aloha Boardsports in Abreeza Mall in Davao is an opportunity for us to share and represent the real spirit of the sport and lifestyle,” he ends.
Photos and Text from Aloha Boardsports