This was the inaugural Paddlesports Retailer, so I managed to get a day off work and hit the show for one day. Unfortunately, that day was Friday and the show was sparse. Most of the PR folks lit out for home on Thursday, though I did get to meet a few.
On the positive side, fewer people made for better viewing and definitely better chatting – most vendors had time and a strong desire to tell their story.
I met with Hala some years ago at Outdoor Retailer, but it wasn’t a good fit, as they were primarily focused on whitewater river SUPing at the time. They’ve branched out into the recreational SUP market now, with an insanely cool new feature that should bring joy to all inflatable SUP fans.
Unidirectional Carbon + Fusion Drop Stitch is combined with aramid fibers and compressed at 200,000 lbs and then laid up on the top and bottom of the board, creating the benefits of a hardboard, but with less weight and the portability of an iSUP. Fantastic stuff.
This year Paddlesports Retailer was held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI, where we attended Canoecopia. It was cool to see the similarities and differences between the 2 shows. Organizers of Paddlesport Retailer have announced plans to host the next industry trade show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2018. I don’t think I’ve visited that city before, so a great reason to go!
Article published by Midwest Basecamp.