Surf Expo is held in Orlando, Florida twice each year. Among some of the amazing products you will find at Surf Expo will be apparel, SUPs, and accessories. What’s truly amazing is the apparel companies you’ll find at Surf Expo, many new to the industry.I’m always amazed at the growth of the fishing industry, especially in the realm of apparel. Each year, we learn about new clothing companies with some amazing logos and artwork aimed at the fishing community. We found several apparel companies at Surf Expo, many of which showed off some great new apparel just for anglers.
Southbound Apparel is a new company, well new to us, that we just happened upon while at Surf Expo. I’m a bit of a redfish aficionado, so anytime I catch a glimpse of a redfish on a shirt, it immediately draws my attention. They were founded back in 2012 by two longtime friends who share a passion for the lifestyle of being on the water.
Redfish Trio Long Sleeve Tee
- 6 oz 100% cotton
- charcoal heather
- MSRP: $25
We first learned about Avid Sportswear while finishing up our day at last year’s Surf Expo. We initially noticed some sharp looking ball caps with images of 2 hooks, and a fly. We hung out for a few minutes to learn more, and ended up buying some caps for ourselves. This year, we wanted to see what was new with Avid Sportswear. To go along with new styles and colors, what initially caught my eye was a new hoodie/jacket from Avid Sportswear, the Alpha Fishing Jacket.
Alpha Fishing Jacket
- Athletic Fit for the warmth you want without the bulk
- Water-resistant fleece body with anti-pill face
- Ultra-soft inner layer traps heat keeping you warm & comfortable
- Removable Zip-off Hood for versatility
- Front welt pockets to keep your hands warm
- 80% polyester, 20% cotton fleece
- MSRP: $75
Another apparel company we first learned about last year was true flies. Again, we happened to be walking by, and noticed a shirt with a redfish tail, so we stopped by. We were pleasantly pleased by all of the apparel choices from True Flies, and this year we were excited to see what was new. We met with Capt. Cole Fairbanks, Vice President of True Flies for the most up to date info available from True Flies apparel. While we were definitely intrigued by the new Shell Creek short, and Red States long sleeve tee, the Bokeelia shirt really caught our eye.
Woven Bokeelia Shirt
- side mesh vents
- double pocket
- saddle yoke
- Tagless Label & Neck Tape
- Sleek Sleeve Tabs
- Button Down Collar
- MSRP: $75
Saltwater Mafia was also a new company to us at Surf Expo that we had to check out… besides the name itself required further investigation alone! We met with Shields Smith, sales manager, and Marvin Day, president of Saltwater Mafia to check out their line of apparel. Their performance tees offer vibrant colors with several species of fish to choose from. Then we noticed something that immediately drew our attention, and actual quality shirt of a kayak angler. While the only style available initially was with a sailfish next to the yak, Saltwater Mafia is designing a redfish shirt as well.
Breathe Like a Fish
Breathe Life a Fish is an apparel company that we’ve known about for some time, and have actually worn their shirts out kayak fishing. These shirts offer a breathable mesh on the underside of the arms and bodice, which definitely comes in handy on those hot summer days to keep you cool. We spoke with BLAF owner, Kent Hickman, and checked out their new apparel.
Long Sleeve Camo with Gray Mesh and Mask
- High Performance Long Sleeve 100% Microdenier Polyester
- Breathable mesh on underside of arms and bodice
- Pocket located at base of mesh on underside of shirt
- Moisture wicking
- Anti-microbial stain resistant
- UPF 50+
- Anti-static fabric.
- Integrated face shield with mesh breathing port
- MSRP: $59.95
Howler Bros offers some unique apparel styles, but focus mostly on performance clothing that can be worn both on the water and for a night out with friends. We’ve long been fans of their Horizon Hybrid fishing pants and Pescador shirts, but were also introduced to their Loggerhead shirts during this trip to Surf Expo.
- 2-button Henley collar
- Certified UPF 45
- Contrast taping at side vents
- Regular Fit
- Stash pocket at lower back lined with sunglass-cleaning microfiber
- Thumb holes at cuffs
- Wicking and quick dry 100% Polyester
- MSRP: $65
When it comes to apparel, Salt Life is the embodiment of apparel and performance for anglers and fishing enthusiasts. We’ve all seen the decals on cars across the country, but Salt Life offers some great apparel with shirts, shoes, and hats for men, women, and children. Recently I’ve been wearing more of their performance style shirts, especially the SLX UVapor.
Grand Slam Long Sleeve Pocket SLX UVapor
- UV30 sun protection
- mega soft, ultra light, quick dry, and moisture wicking
- 88% polyester/12% spandex
- Screenprinted logos
- MSRP: $40
Bimini Bay Outfitters
Bimini Bay Outfitters provides apparel to the angler that are made with quality, but without the high prices. They feature quality outdoor clothing for both men and women who enjoy the outdoors. Women’s clothing included the Travel Capri, and Harbour Island V Neck shirt. Although Bimini Bay Outfitters offers mens fishing pants and shirt, along with face shields and optics, we’ve long been a fan of their outerwear, including the Boca Grande Waterproof jacket.
Boca Grande Waterproof Jacket
- 100% Breathable Nylon
- Vented Back
- Two Zipper Front Pockets
- Hide Away Hood
- Hidden Security Pocket
- Taped Seams
- Full Mesh Liner For Breathability
- Storm Flap With Hook and Loop Closure
- MSRP: $95
Sunglasses have become as much an important part of our apparel choices as what shirt to wear on the water these days. For good reason though, as there are tons of styles, colors, as well as quality makers of optics these days. We checked out the latest from Hobie Polarized, and were quite impressed with the styles, choice, and quality available. Three new styles we found appealing were the La Jolla, Rockpile, and Cruz styles.
- Hydroclean™ Plus Polycarbonate Lenses
- Megol Rubber Anti-Fog Gasket
- TR-90 Frame
- Precision Flex Hinges
- 8 Base Polarized Lens
- L Fit 64-18-125
- RX Friendly
- MSRP: $79.99
Salt Life Optics
Salt Life Optics are distributed by Bimini Bay Outfitters, and I can vouch for their quality on a personal level. These sunglasses are comfortable, give you amazing clarity, and won’t break the bank! We swung by the Salt Life booth at Surf Expo to check out the new styles and colors available on these amazing optics. While there are many styles to choose from, I prefer the Tortola frames. If you’re like me and have a wide noggin, picking the best pair of sunglasses is a chore. The Tortola fits me perfectly, doesn’t press on the temples, and heck, they simply look amazing.
Salt Life Optics – Tortola
- Zeiss lenses
- polarized polycarbonate lenses
- Ri-pel front and AR5 back of lens treatments
- MSRP: $169.99