Chuck's right: Anti-establishment rebellion and shareholder returns make for a difficult balancing act. In fact, in an article last year, I noted the irony that some kids view Volcom
However, I think board sports can retain their soul while they become accessible to more and more people. Just consider one of skateboarding's best-known athletes, Tony Hawk.
Back in the '80s, when my skater friends and I watched The Search for Animal Chin featuring Tony Hawk among those in the Bones Brigade skateboard troupe, most of my high school peers -- obsessed with football and cheerleaders -- had no idea who Tony Hawk was. Tony Hawk's now a well-known name even beyond skate enthusiasts, and he arguably helped bring the sport to the mainstream. Not only is a wildly popular series of video games from Activision
Speaking of video games, they once brought to mind stereotypical uber-geeky teenaged boys who didn't leave their parents' basements. Again, fast-forward to today, and gaming is becoming increasingly a part of many people's leisure lives, including teenage girls and older people of all stripes. Although Tony Hawk and Activision have no direct relationship to Volcom, I'm not digressing -- I'm simply arguing that niche activities can evolve to fit comfortably into popular culture. And I'd say that board sports -- both participating in them and watching them -- also fit the bill. This ain't the hula hoop.
Chuck's right, though. Volcom could become a victim of its own success. However, I'd say the company's got great positioning in a growing market, and Volcom should keep rocking and rolling along.
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