Sundance Beach Stops by the Oakley Headquarters in Irvine, CA
When our Oakley rep Tim Claydon invited me to their Oakley Headquarters I was very honored, stoked, and excited for the visit! My journey began on Monday July 11th when the boys from the One Way board shop came and swooped me from my pad for a 3hr drive from Santa Barbara to Dana Point, CA. The ride down was filled with lots of laughs and talk about our action sports industry. The nice people at Oakley put us up in a super dope hotel called Laguna Cliffs Resort and Spa by Mariott!
Once we got checked into our rooms we immediately took a shuttle to the Oakley headquarters in Irvine, about 30minutes from our hotel. We were greeted at Oakley HQ with a full bar and awesome pupus! My favorite was the sushimi (raw ahi dipped in soy sauce mixed with wasabi) and beer (I’m a Heineken kinda guy)! After a beer or two and a lot of sashimi we proceeded to the Oakley auditorium where we were given a break down of the activities to come!
After Oakley presented all the buyers with the weeks agenda, they took us up stairs to the ever so secret “engine room”. The Engine room is a secret bar located on the roof of the Oakley Headquarters.
Equipped with 8 kegs on tap and tons of bar snacks, you know peanuts, crackers, chips and nut mixes=)
The engine room is super secretive around the Oakley HQ’s. Rumor has it that until about 3-4 years ago only VIP were aloud in the Engine Room. We were stoked that they let us check it out!!!!The walls in the Engine Room are scribbled with autographs and drawings from some of the top athletes in the world!! My personal favorite was Bruce Irons scribble=)
After a few more drinks we headed back to the hotel for some R&R! The next morning we woke up at 530am to sneak in a quick surf before a day filled with events! The One Way boys, our Oakley rep and myself surfed some fun Salt Creek in the morning! It was a little full due to the high tide, but everyone got some fun ones=)
We then went back to the hotel showered and ate tons of bacon(they had a breakfast buffet and bacon seemed to be the fav of the boys)!!!After a high cholesterol breakfast we loaded the shuttle once again and headed back to Oakley Headquarters.
We met in the auditorium again and split into groups. The first thing we did as groups was check out the Oakley 2012 Clothing line. This was a very important part of the trip and one of the main reasons I attended.
Oakley has always been a leader in optics technology and design, they are now applying that same technology to their clothing. With an epic surf team which includes Bruce Irons, Kolohe Andino, Julian Wilson, Jordy Smith and a bunch of other rippers, Oakley is definitely making a statement in the action sports industry!
This meeting marked the introduction of their new.innovative board short: The Oakley Blade 2 board short!!
This board short is truly amazing! Not only is made out of some of the stretchiest/most comfortable material on the market, but it also comes with a detachable compression short!
The compression short keeps the thigh muscles warm and help prevent muscle strain. In addition, there is some evidence that compression shorts may enhance athletic performance.
After checking out the board short line we peeped the Oakley Spring 2012 Clothing line. The clothing line looked great and had alot of key pieces and great price points on their basics.
I’m not gonna lie, their mannequins were a little intimidating! Its not saying much but homeboys have way bigger muscles then I do!
After looking at more products and getting the full tour of Oakley HQ we proceeded outside for a surprise!
What was the surprise you might ask??????????????
60% of Oakley’s business is done with the army, hence the bad ass tank they own! We got to ride this beast of a machine around the course Oakley has around their headquarters! So much fun!!! After the dusty rambling session we went back into the cool AC of the Oakley headquarters to finish our tour.
Next stop: product testing and analyzing
This was a truly impressive part of the tour in which we got to see how the Oakley technology is tested and stacked up next to the competitors in the action sports industry. Oakley test all their competitors products better then their competitors test them themselves! With over 5million dollars worth of testing equipment, Oakley is obviously dedicated to bringing you the best quality in all categories it does. We got schooled hardcore!!
The machines that Oakley uses to test product is beyond impressive!
Next we headed off to the warehouse and production are of the Oakley headquarters.
Oakley produces and ships 60,000 pars of shades a day! All of which are made right here in the USA based factory!Amazing!!! With so many pairs of shades being made a day, Oakley keeps its factory open 24/7!
We then proceeded to the back court yard to eat lunch. Oakley’s back courtyard is sick! it has a place to hit golf balls and a sick little BMX track!
After lunch we proceeded to the Oakley employee store to check out their gear and merchandising!
After a long day full of great info, we got on a shuttle and went to dinner at a very nice restaurant 20 minutes from Oakley HQ.
The next morning we woke up early and drove to Trestles to do some product testing. We tested the new Oakley Blade 2 board shorts, which were amazing! Luckily for us the water temps weren’t too bad so we could actually try them out! Not only did we get to sample the new boardies, but the homies form JS surfboards came down with a van full of about 50 demo boards for us to try. I tried this one, a 5’10X19 Prodigy surfboard!
After an epic session of surf and amazing week at the Oakley factory, the One Way boys and I shot back up the coast! Exhausted from all the activities and completely knowledgeable about the Oakley brand and products, the trip was a total success! As I sit here in my office, writing this blog, I can only think of one thing. . . . .Could we fit a “Engine Room” at the Sundance Beach Headqaurters?????