In August, the paddlesports industry launched a new trade show. These are some of the most exciting products introduced at Paddlesports Retailer 2017.
Previously part of the bi-annual Outdoor Retailer show, watersports companies launched a separate event more in tune with retailers’ needs and buying cycles.
Held in Madison, Wisc., Paddlesports Retailer has an on-water demo and more than 100 paddle-centric brands spread over 70,00 sq. ft. of exhibit space. Touted as “by paddlers, for paddlers,” specialty retailers saw products planned for 2018.
Here’s a sneak peak at some of our favorites.
Sanborn Canoe turns functional, lightweight paddles into head-turning works of art. The Artisan Painted Paddle line uses intricate patterns and vibrant primary colors inspired by the voyageurs that crisscrossed the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. There are more than a dozen painted models to choose from including Gunflint (pictured). The paddles retail for $245.
TRAFT offers a line of hybrid tent/packcraft/sleep systems that let you sleep in your packraft. A tent mounts on the raft to protect paddlers from sun and wind. Pull it on shore and snooze in comfort. There’s also a retrofit kit to add a tent and sleep system to an existing raft. Offered in 96” and 102” models, these hit the market starting at $900.
Paddlers often complain that even the best-designed PFD’s are too bulky. The Khimera combines low-profile foam flotation with a manually activated inflatable cell. The $200 Khimera by Mustang Survival offers 30 percent more buoyancy compared to comparable foam models. Plus, it’s approved by United States Coast Guard and Transport Canada.
One boat, more applications than you can count. The 14’ Rover is a standup paddleboard that can transform with a Modular Rac System. Start with a stable, easy-to-paddle standup paddleboard and expand to a high-performance, custom-rigged fishing craft. Equipped with a 6hp marine outboard, the $3,500 Rover can reach 16-mph with a 500-pound capacity.
Standup paddleboards have evolved to fit a wider variety of environments and applications. There are models specifically designed for morning yoga, racing, long distance touring, and now river surfing. The 8’ Hala Gram is a high-performance inflatable board that’s river-worthy and fast. Low volume rails and full rocker deliver quick maneuverability. It costs $1,099 and has a three-year warranty.
The Stance Jacket and Pant are made from Kokatat’s lightweight, packable Hydrus 2.5 waterproof-breathable fabric. They’re intended to keep recreational paddlers dry. The jacket has a gusseted neoprene splash collar and hook and wrist closures. The pants have an adjustable waist. An inner lining adds comfort on a long paddle day. Available in men’s and women’s sizes for $130.