Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA)


Trade group made up of about 350 surf industry manufacturers and distributors; founded in 1989 and headquartered in Dana Point, California.

Before the formation of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA), the collective voice of the American surf industry manifested itself primarily through the Action Sports Retailer trade show in California and the Surf Expo trade show in Florida. Because both shows were owned by corporations outside the surf industry, surf company executives were concerned that the events might someday move away from their beach origins; SIMA in large part was created to address these concerns.

O'Neill Wetsuits marketing director Kelley Woolsey proposed the idea for a surf industry trade group in 1988, and one year later, for the inaugural SIMA meeting, more than 50 companies had signed up as members. (Failed pre-SIMA trade groups include the 1965-founded Association of Surfing Industries, the 1966-founded Surfboard Manufacturers Association, and the 1972- founded Surfing Industries of America.)

The SIMA officers and board members include the biggest names in the American surf industry; in 2013 this included the publishers of all the major American surf magazines, the president of Surfline, and ranking brass from Hurley, Quiksilver, Billabong, and Rip Curl. 

SIMA has independently budgeted committees that address environmental issues, trade shows, membership, and the Waterman's Ball, an annual promotional event and fund-raiser. The organization also conducts studies on the health of the surf industry. 

In 1997 SIMA held its first annual Surf Summit in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, a three-day event bringing together industry leaders for a series of meetings and panels. SIMA also founded Surfing America in 1997 as an umbrella group for domestic competitive surfing organizations.

Bob McKnight was the first SIMA president, followed in order by Michael Tomson, Tom Knapp, Jimmy Lomes, Tom Holbrook, Bonnie Crail, Peter Townend, Dick Baker, and Doug Palladini.