Paddlesports Booming: Big Gear Show Recap from Park City


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 The Big Gear Show, the marquee tradeshow for cycling, paddlesports and outdoor gear, wrapped up in Park City, Utah, on August 2-3, hosting two days of retailer centric education during the outdoor trade event. The two-day event gathered over 2,000 professionals from top bike, paddle and outdoor specialty retailers, brands and media.

The paddlesports industry again will play a big role in the show once again, with a variety of brands exhibiting—and demoing their product at the local lake. Paddlesports brands attending, says marketing manager Yoon Kim, include AIRE, Astral, Aquaglide, Aquapac Group, Cataract Oars, Esquif International, Fanatic SUP, Full Circle Ocean Gear, Jimmy Stix, Johnson Outdoors, Kokopelli, Küat Innovations, Mustang Survival, Ocean Kayak, Old Town Canoe, ORU Kayak, SeaSucker, Seattle Sports, Solstice Watersports, Tahe Outdoors (North America), Wenonah Canoe, Yakima Products and more.

“Some of the best paddle shops in the country showed up and had really valuable time with top brand leaders. Innovation in the inflatable space and powered products space was another noticeable highlight at The Big Gear Show,” says show director Kenji Haroutunian.“Paddlesports was lively on the water, and a pickup game of SUP polo contributed to the outdoor fun vibe at the show. I’ve already noticed some Best of Show recognition in the paddlesports realm, which is always satisfying to see as a show producer.”

SUP Polo Game Footie!

“Paddlesports was a mainstay of the show this year, like last, with innovation in inflatable SUP and kayak surging, as well as new product revelations from many brands like Tahe Outdoors, Red Paddle and Johnson’s family of brands,” Haroutunian adds. “Paddle-powered products continue to rise, and key meetings addressed everything from supply chain challenges to anticipated demand curves in ‘23 and beyond. It as the right place and time for paddlesports leaders to convene and reflect on the water, together.”

The Details:

Organizers feel the Big Gear Show is well positioned to represent the future of outdoor industry trade shows for a few reasons. First, the event is hosted outside, with dozens of brands hosting demos of their new for 2023 general outdoor, cycling, and paddle sports product. The event is also only open to retailers, media and exhibitors, giving attendees the full attention of each exhibitor. Park City also offers affordable lodging options, free in-town shuttles, and world-class trails and restaurants all just minutes away. And the event is only two days long.

Developed in collaboration with the show’s principal education partner, The National Bicycle Dealer Association (NBDA), and others like and the Renewal Workshop, education is also a big component of the show, focusng on hot issues faced by retailers including themes like the circular economy, e-bike risks, omnichannel marketing and mentorship in specialty retail.

Key education sessions included:

The Future of the American Consumer – Fueling Retailer Profitability in the Face of Uncertainty, led by Jay Townley, founding partner, Human Powered Solutions

The Retailer’s Role in the Circular Economy, a panel led by Nicole Bassett, co-founder of the Renewal Workshop, Ben Cranson, owner of Wanderer’s Outpost and Barruch Ben-Zekry, CEO of Out and Back

Understanding E Bike Risk at the Retail Level, led by Larry Pizzi, CCO of Alta Cycling Group

Mentorship in Specialty Retail, led by Steve Green, owner of High Mountain Sports and Mandela Echefu, owner of Wheelzup Adventures

So You Didn’t Marry a Marketer, led by Kristin Sundin-Brandt, co-owner of Steve the Bike Guy

Specialty Retail in the Hybrid Retail Environment, led by Teddy Schiavoni, president, Locally

For a full list of education seminars, visit The Big Gear Show’s education page.

Recap video


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