Two big associations based in France, Outdoor Sports Valley (OSV) and the European Surf Industry Association (Eurosima), have agreed to offer all their services to the combined membership of 340 companies. The two associations have been working together from the beginning of the OSV three years ago, learning best practices from each other.

More recently, they have been integrating companies that straddle the boundary between board sports and the outdoor such as Patagonia, which has launched a line of wetsuits, justifying the new agreement. The borders between the two sectors are in fact becoming more and more blurred.

From now on, members of one association will automatically have access to the services and benefits offered by the other one. The benefits include preferential pricing on a number of services, special insurance rates, online employment platforms, stronger representation at trade shows, financial assistance, etc. They will also be able participate in projects conducted by both associations.

Headquartered on the Basque coast of France and created in 1999, Eurosima has more than 120 members including most of the major board sports companies, many of which have their European offices in the region.

Based in Annecy, OSV has 220 member firms. It was created in 2011 from the mountain division of Eurosima, which started up in 2005 to represent the snowboarding industry. The mountain division of Eurosima is likely to lose about half of its members and remain with a dozen firms like Nitro, specializing in snowboard hardware.

The two associations plan to create a European Action Outdoor Sports Forum for top executives, in addition to the Design Summer Camp already launched last year.

The new convention would target the top executives of the companies in both sectors. The idea is to hold it close to the head offices of the two associations in the French Alps and on the Basque Coast of France for the first two years, and move it subsequently to other European countries.

It would replace the European Outdoor Forum, which was launched by the OSV and for the last time in Annecy in the autumn of 2012, before the European Outdoor Group decided to launch its European Outdoor Summit, starting with a convention in Stockholm last October. For its part, Eurosima stopped its annual Snow Forum in 2012, but continues to hold an annual Surf Summit in Hossegor, targeting mainly the middle management of the companies in the French Basque region.

Concentrating on different segments of the broader sporting goods market around mountain and water sports, respectively, OSV and Eurosima will retain their separate boards of directors and staff. The presidents of both associations will continue to be members of each other's board. Remi Forsans, the general secretary of OSV, remains vice president of Eurosima.