Broncos, Rangers, UTVs, and sand cars oh my! The 2021 Sand Sports Super Show brought the builds and did not disappoint show attendees. This year’s show was held from September 17-19 at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California. It had been 733 days since UTV and sand sports fans alike had set foot inside the fairgrounds and it felt like the show never skipped 2020. Everywhere you looked, it seemed as if things were back to normal.“There were less people, but it felt like business as usual” claimed Frank Amezcua, regional manager for 4 Wheel Parts, “and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.” While the amount of show-goers might have been down compared to previous years, there was no shortage of entertainment for the people that did show up. Vendors made sure to go above and beyond to attract the foot traffic that came their way by advertising huge deals, product giveaways and of course the key to anyone’s wallet: free food and drinks!
2021 Sand Sports Super Show Standouts
Speaking of freebies, one of the show highlights was 4WP giving out free beer Sunday afternoon just for talking to a salesperson and receiving a quote. Dozens lined up for their tokens and were entertained in line by a 100” digital screen showing the Chargers game.
Although free beer is usually enough to get the crowds running, Speed UTV stole the show with the largest crowds in their booth and didn’t need any gimmicks to do it. Robby Gordon’s company ripped the covers off four pre-production models from his upcoming UTV line Friday afternoon and the industry response was deafening.
Skip to 18:05 in the video above to see Robby announce the UTVs
Featuring window nets, custom graphics, orange powder-coated roll cage and suspension, carbon suede seats and steering wheel, factory intercom, bead-locks and a roof scoop, the Robby Gordon Edition of the El Jefe (4-door) model carries a $41,999 MSRP. After waiting in line for over fifteen minutes, sitting behind the steering wheel immediately evokes visions of blasting through the Baja just like the UTV’s namesake. Even though they were tucked into the back corner of the grounds, the booth constantly overflowed into the walkway.
Just down the aisle from Speed was another booth attracting a crowd all weekend long: Rockford Fosgate. Boasting a 2021 RZR rocking their Stage 6 speaker system in one corner and a 2021 Ranger named Project X built for Destination Polaris in the other, the booth could be heard from inside the Anaheim building throughout the show. The Rockford Fosgate employees couldn’t hide their smiles as they cranked the volume knobs each and every time.
Proline Wraps designed a great display for Friday’s night show with LED whips, rock lights and great music along with unique builds to showcase their quality exterior wraps. Literally outshining Gatorwraps’ obnoxiously reflective trailer, Proline had customers’ interests piqued as to what custom designs could be applied to their vehicles.
New Technology Everywhere
Although Cardo Communications didn’t have the largest amount of traffic throughout the weekend, their presence at the show is worth noting. Very well-known in the motorcycle industry, Cardo is attempting to make a name for themselves in the side-by-side industry. Featuring proprietary technology called Dynamic Mesh Communications, the system is much stronger and more reliable than bluetooth. DMC allows for “always-on” communication, meaning there are no buttons to press and no need to re-pair if you fall out of range and later reconnect. Hugo Caballero, marketing manager of Cardo America, made some bold claims and didn’t pull any punches.
“Plain and simple we have the best comms system out there. We invented motorcycle communications in 2005 and even though competitors exist, they just can’t match our features”. Always-on communication, bluetooth group music streaming, automatic pairing, app-controlled groups, active noise cancellation (with voice amplification), one mile range and integration with virtually any helmet/headphone should make Cardo the first stop for anybody looking to invest in a communications system.
What’s Going On With the Big 3?
Polaris earlier this year expanded their Ride Command technology and made sure to have all of the new vehicles on display. Yamaha and Can-Am took quite differing approaches to showcase their 2022 model lineups although only Can-Am figured out how to draw people away from the visually-appealing Polaris encampment in the center of the show. With celebrity signings, a sweet 6×6 4-door Defender and screen-printed t-shirts handmade on site, show attendees had plenty of reason to walk the extra distance. Yamaha’s booth was the closest to the entrance, but most patrons just weren’t interested in the six vehicles they had on display.
2021 Sand Sports Super Show Supporting Missions For A Cause
Each and every year, the Bureau of Land Management closes more and more public-use land to off-highway vehicles. Luckily there are a few organizations out there fighting the good fight to keep public land available for OHV use. Shows like the 2021 Sand Sports Super Show are a great way for the community to become more informed. “We just need people to understand their own environmental impact” says Nicole Honstead, Secretary of the San Diego Off-Road Coalition. “As soon as a little bit of trash is found on a trail, it gets closed. And it’s next to impossible to reopen once that happens”. The American Sand Association is another organization heading up the fight to keep the dunes in California, both North and South, open. Bryan Henry, board president of the ASA, oversaw the giveaway of a 2021 Polaris RZR built by SDR Motorsports, “We do this every year and it’s a great way to introduce people to the cause as well as the issues at hand.”
Raffle tickets were sold at $100 apiece to raise funds for the organization and Jesse Wilcox of Arizona was the lucky recipient of that call Sunday afternoon. Other nonprofits at the show included CORVA, Tread Lightly and Friends of Oceano Dunes who all keep the citizens informed while working hand in hand with our legislators to maintain off-highway vehicle land use. Without the BLM land, events like the 2021 Sand Sports Super Show would not exist and vehicles like Robby Gordon’s $42,000 SPEED UTV would only be a pipe dream.