This year, Southern California's largest gathering of sand freaks saw a record number of tricked-out UTVs on display. Held yearly in mid-September at the Orange County Fairgrounds, the Sand Sports Super Show (or SSSS) is a chance for vendors to show off what they've been working on all year. This year, there were far less new products and gadgets than we are used to, replaced by a rather large amount of custom-built machines, most of which were on sale.
With a total of five buildings, two covered patios, and an outdoor area the size of a very large Walmart parking lot, the show hosted hundreds of vendors this year. We counted over 40 brand new RZR XP1000s in the mix, of which very nearly none were anywhere near stock. When the SSSS first started 15 years ago, the majority of vehicles there were ATVs and high-end sand cars. As the economic trends and waves have left many of the companies that used to dominate the show bankrupt, we are happy to see that there are still some thriving here in 2013. It's a bittersweet moment- while we enjoy all the new UTV offerings at the show, we miss all the custom Raptors, 250Rs, Banshees and 450Rs we used to see lining the booths.
If there is one thing a spectator can take away from the show this year, it is that the UTV segment is the largest part of our off-road market on the West Coast currently. With hundreds of Kawasaki, Polaris, Can-Am, Arctic Cat, John Deere, and Yamaha units at the show, it has clearly become the SXSSS (Side by Side Super Show).
Arctic Cat, Can-Am, and Polaris all had large booths set up showing off their numerous sand-worthy machines, offering up cool merchandise, hard parts, and the chance to get up close and personal with their mechanical offerings. Polaris even had RZR engineers on staff at the show to speak to the public about how they design their units and why, which led to a lot of interaction at their booth.
The two XP1K Race Cars built for the YouTube viral hit video were on display, sporting more stock Polaris hardware than even we thought they had. Sand car companies are in small numbers these days, but Funco had beautiful cars spread out all over the fairgrounds, showing that they have kept up with the times and prospered from it.
An annual raffle was held again this year, with the grand prize being a fully-customized RZR XP4 complete with doors, a custom cage, roof, graphics, and a turbo kit. Raffle tickets are purchased at the ASA tent to help feed the company that keeps our sand riding areas open, so the $20/ticket isn't too hard to swallow.
Bert's Mega Mall, a dealership out of Covina, California, had over a dozen vehicles on display. Every one of them was strung up with certain combinations of custom doors, cages, roofs, wheels, long travel kits, LED light bars, and many more accessories. HCR Racing's top-notch long travel kits graced about ten of the cars at the show, including Wildcats, Mavericks, Teryx4s, RZR XPs, and more.
Speed's Stadium Supertrucks put on a show in a course constructed behind the vendors this year, racing everything from bikes to full blown stadium trucks. UTV racing got heated, with some fantastic bump and grind racing that had fans cheering all night. The show goes from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, and offers patrons a chance to get great deals on the year's hottest products. Pro Armor came out in full force, selling doors, rollcages, harnesses, skidplates, clothing, and everything else in their catalog at special show pricing.
Yoshimura brought out a few new machines, all wearing stainless exhaust systems, which were available for purchase at SXS Performance's booth. Here's a quick look at some of our favorite cars and parts from the show. If you missed it this year, make your way down there next September!