Roy Turner

Roy Turner is a 45-year veteran of the action sports industry and current SVP/Show Director of Surf Expo. Turner began attending Surf Expo in the 1970s and began working with the show in 2007.

Turner rode his first wave at the age of nine in Topsail Beach, NC and has been hooked ever since. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he worked his way through school at local surf shops and skate parks before opening his own surf shop, Surf City, in Wrightsville Beach in 1982, along with long-time partner and friend, Mark Allison.

Surf City quickly became a part of the local community bringing skate and surf pros to Wrightsville, exposing the area to world class talent. In the early 1980s, along with friends from Record Bar, Turner helped to manage a series of ASP top rated events in Wrightsville Beach. The events were blessed with great surf allowing East Coast surfers to compete against the best in the world, which helped put Wrightsville Beach on the map as a top East Coast Surf Town.

In 2003 Turner saw the business of surf rapidly expanding and leaving core shops without a consolidated voice. Along with support from his friend, Mike Duncan, and Surf Expo, Turner brought together key board sports retailers from around the country, who shared the vision that independent owners were not competitors but partners who needed a way to make their voices heard. Today, the Board Retailers Association (BRA) is in its 23rd year helping independent board sport retailers have a consolidated voice and be heard in the industry.

Under Turner’s leadership, Surf Expo has grown to a global event, attracting buyers and brands from more than 50 countries. He has also helped to expand the show’s content offerings, while remaining true to the business of Surf. Surf Expo is a strong supporter of the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and the East Coast Surfboard Shape-Off, traditions that have been a part of the show since the early days.

Turner is a passionate advocate for the action sports industry and is committed to helping it grow and thrive. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of SIMA and BRA and is a frequent attendee, volunteer and speaker at industry events. He enjoys the waterman lifestyle – skating, fishing, surfing and paddling with friends and family.

Photos by Tom Dugan