Photos by Michael Watson
Each year for the past 25, car audio enthusiasts have descended on Daytona Beach, Florida for the Spring Break Nationals. This event has grown in depth and breadth each year since its inception and this, the 25th Anniversary event met yet another major milestone.
This year’s SBN event hosted IASCA, MECA and the dB Drag Racing Soundoff competitions, including the IASCA and dB Drag Racing World Finals. These competitions cover all acoustical grounds from the most awe-inspiring sound quality vehicles, to the most ostentatious and ominous SPL competitors – all in one premiere location. To round out the event, the Funkmaster Flex Custom Car, Truck & Bike Show Tour & Tuner Jam gave visitors enough automotive eye candy to be reason enough to go to the show. Add Rap performances by ‘Ace Hood’, ‘DJ Khaled’ and ‘Triple C’ and rock band ‘STRIA’, the house was indeed brought down.
The leading brands in auto sound manufacturing and the territory’s premier car audio dealers, including Daytona’s own Soundcrafters (the presenting dealer of SBN) were exhibiting in over 80,000 square feet of the Ocean Center’s new Exhibit Hall. Dynamic “hands on” displays and millions of dollars worth of feature vehicles in exhibit booths gave revelers something to listen to and talk about. Keeping with tradition, thousands of dollars of free car audio gear were given away each day. Did we mention the SBN Bikini contest gave visitors something else to look at? It’s no doubt; SBN fills all of the senses!
Other than an increase in attendance, the notable change this year at SBN was the focus on industry seminars. “We wanted to take it to the next level” said SBN founder Paul Papadeas, “the dealer trainings held here in the past two years were conducted by a few brands and were relatively impromptu. With MERA under new ownership, we arranged for them to host two days of trainings for members of the car audio industry”. The seminars were lead by Industry professionals from companies like: Scosche, Autopage, JL Audio, Powerbass, Metra Electronics and AAMP of America. The presenters gave unique technical insight as well as motivating sales concepts and techniques to the dealers in attendance. Educational opportunities like these are essential to the industry’s growth.
On the competition side, Director of Operations for IASCA Worldwide, Moe Sabourin said “The IASCA competitors were certainly at the top of their game when it came to competition this year; they really stepped it up a notch and we were proud to have them representing! On the sound quality front, the new IASCA Triple Crown was a huge success; congratulations to Steve Hunter, the inaugural winner of the Triple Crown Cup. I’d like to extend a special thanks to the IASCA Judging staff and support crew; they did a phenomenal job evaluating the vehicles in all the IASCA formats. They are the heroes and one of the reasons why SBN is as successful as it is.” Steve Stern, Commissioner of MECA also commented on the show attendance this year, stating “This was the best SBN in several years as fat as overall attendance, especially spectators.”
Knowing that the love of car audio extends well beyond the borders of Canada and the US, the dB Drag Racing World finals were held live across 4 locations thanks to the consistency of the Term-LAB SPL Meter. Competitors in Daytona Beach were able to compete against fellow bass-heads located in Dayton, Ohio; Praia Grande, Brazil and Montichiara, Italy. Each location held their own qualifying rounds before the competitors lined up for their virtual head-to-head showdown!
It’s creativity like this, combined with the hard work of the judges, exhibitors and coordinators and the enthusiasm of competitors and show attendees that makes SBN a can’t-miss-it destination for car audio lovers everywhere.