From Jan. 25-27, over 30 paddlesports industry leaders, manufacturers, and brands gathered in Bentonville, Ark., for a leadership summit, where the group approved the formation of a new national trade organization.
The Paddlesports Trade Coalition will bring together manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, retailers, and media to grow paddlesports in North America. The group will also “monitor and engage in relevant federal and state legislation,” water access issues, sustainability practices, and other industry-related concerns.
The organization has defined “paddlesports” to include all modes of human and electric-powered personal watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, SUPs, pedal drives, and electric-drive-powered personal watercraft (such as e-foils).
“It is time for the paddlesports community to come together and have its own voice so we can expand our sport and make it more accessible and inviting to more people,” said Ed Vater, retired president of Aqua Bound, and the moderator of the 2-day summit.
The vote to form the coalition was unanimous by all attendees. In addition, leaders of the summit created a steering committee that will prepare a formal draft proposal for the formation of the coalition to make everything official.
Who’s Who in the Paddlesports Trade Coalition
As of the January 2023 Summit, here are the current industry brands that have joined the Paddlesports Trade Coalition (PTC):
- AIRE Inc. Whitewater Division
- Angle Oar LLC
- Aqua Bound/Bending Branches
- BIG Adventures (Native Watercraft, Bonafide, Liquidlogic, Hurricane Kayaks)
- Canyon Coolers
- Diablo Paddlesports
- Down River Equipment
- Eddyline Kayaks
- Grey Duck Outdoor
- Hobie Kayaks
- Jackson Kayak
- Kokatat, Inc.
- Level Six
- Malone Auto Racks
- Mustang Survival
- Old Town
- Ocean Kayak/Carlisle Paddles
- Pau Hana Surf Supply
- Sawyer Paddles & Oars
- SEA-LECT Designs
- Seals Sprayskirts & Accessories
- Wenonah Canoe
- Current Designs Kayak
- Werner Paddles
- Yak Power
Trade Coalition organizers expect more brands to join throughout the year.