Is that an eye-candy glossy magazine or a catalog? Yep, this year’s NRS catalog is that good it’s hard to distinguish the two, which is why we’re giving it props. In this day and age of declining print products, it’s nice to see NRS up its catalog game with one of its best efforts ever, whose prose matches its photography in making you want to dust off your paddle and hit the water. “We had a lot of fun putting it together,” says NRS’s Ashley Peel, who helped on the project, with Karen Woodard overseeing the entire project as Director of Art and Advertising. “Everyone here paddles, so it’s pretty authentic.”
We took the liberty of tracking NRS’s marketing brass down to piece together a few snippets of their latest catalog for your pleasure.
First off, the intro, to which we wholeheartedly agree:
Let this be the year.
The year we take that big trip. The year we do less and do it better. When we follow through on spending more days outside, more time with our people, and less bandwidth on Internet buzz. Let us live fully—mindfully, joyfully, healthfully—remembering what matters and forgetting what doesn’t. Yes, there is work to be done. For this, we need our strength. Let us go and restore it.
Soliloquy for SUPs
And for you SUP lovers, they also didn’t leave you out, painting a picture that just wants to make you paddle:
There’s something special about spending a quiet afternoon paddling languid waters amidst a stunning wilderness landscape. Adventure doesn’t have to equal sufferfest when your basic needs are covered. Start with a PFD for safety, trusty sandals for onshore exploration and apparel to keep you cool and sunburn free—the rest is up to you, your board and your paddle. Stuff a dry sack with snacks and strap a Nalgene through a D-ring and you’re ready to make ripples.
Whether you paddled all day to reach this moment or pumped up the boards 20 minutes ago in a gravel lot, nothing beats a quiet twilight paddle. Performance-minded apparel wicks moistures and keeps you sunburn free for long days on the water, while active layers cut the chill when the sun sets. If SUP is your workout routine, your wind-down routine or just a means to reach places like this, trust our gear to keep you focused on the present.
Raft Guides Getting Their Due
Yes, the catalog even pokes fun at raft guides, albeit good-naturedly. Behold a few product-promoting blurbs on our river-guiding brethren. First up: their Guide Shirts (though you don’t have to let us know if you would actually date this piece of apparel):
We would date this shirt. It has a work hard, play harder, bring-on-the-fun vibe that goes from the office to the river to the pub. Guide Shirts set the standard for easy-wearing apparel that gives maximum freedom of movement and UPF 50+ protection. Men’s and women’s specific cuts come in short and long-sleeve designs with dual chest pockets and grommet-style snaps for ready-for-anything performance. Quick-dry fabric reduces smell, and Silkweight fabric underarm panels enhance ventilation and comfort when rowing, casting, hiking or handling pesky admin duties. You might crave a rest day by the time you hit the sack, but your shirt will be ready to go again tomorrow.
Tell us you’re a raft guide without telling us you’re a raft guide. If the ‘stache and Chaco tan don’t give it away, that NRS Strap for a belt sure will. Our rafting apparel perfectly blends dirtbag style with professional performance to keep guides and private boaters comfortable from the first bag rigged to the last raft-a-pult. Ultralight sun protection, ready-to-party button-ups—we know that having to earn your fun doesn’t mean you can’t look good doing it.
From geography lessons to cannonball sessions and the rigging, rowing, and chores in between, a guide’s day starts at dawn and ends well past twilight. Apparel that offers both protection and comfort isn’t a desire—it’s a need. Whether you’re a shorts and button-up type of gal, prefer the full coverage of tights and long-sleeves or fancy a sundress, we have the apparel that works as hard as the rookie guide vying for a TL position. Wrap the wardrobe with a floppy hat, a well-loved PFD and that Chaco tan.
Touring in the catalog’s crosshairs, too
Don’t think sea kayakers got the short end of the creative stick, either, with the catalog giving them equal billing, as evidenced by the below two blurbs touting their men’s and women’s touring apparel…
Exceptional gear fuels the fire of exploration and gives sea kayakers the confidence to take on the unknown. Breathable insulation and premium dry protection make the white caps and squalls part of the fun, while comfortable safety gear supports ventures farther from shore. Come sunset, peel off the layers, and cue the stories—tall tales of mermaids and Nessie sightings are a rite of passage.
It’s easy to feel small against the ocean’s vast expanse. Whether you explore shoals or fjords, hug the coastline or navigate offshore, paddling open waters means embracing its ever-changing moods and conditions. Sea kayakers depend on adaptable dry gear and safety equipment with touring-specific details to keep the focus on the vista ahead and finding the perfect camp to take it all in.
Whitewater blurbs splashy as well
Whitewater didn’t escape the creative juices of its marketing team, either, with the catalog’s creators touching upon the little nuances we all love…
Nothing beats piling out of your truck, your breath a cloud of smoke in the morning light, and stepping into the most expensive onsie you’ve ever purchased. If you’re gonna buy it, you gotta use it—amirite? We don’t judge fair-weather kayakers; we just assume they don’t have the right gear. With waterproof-breathable outerwear and a combination of layers you can adapt to the season, you become the paddler guilting the rest of the crew to ditch the couch for chilly laps.
From practicing ferry glides in the sunshine to finessing Class V runs in the snow, we can’t control a paddler’s line, but we can control her comfort. Focusing on the details of women’s silhouettes—shorter torsos and arms, wider hips and larger busts—we’ve designed women’s technical outerwear that enhances comfort and confidence. Pair that with a dropseat, strategically placed seams, and fun colors—layering up to go boating gives the same fuzzy feeling as nailing your first combat roll.
Mid-paddle insulation or post-paddle plush, Expedition Weight layers are an essential piece to the cold-weather gear mix. Rashguard material on the cuffs, ankles and neck play well with dry suit gaskets, and our seam placement avoids high-friction zones, enhancing athletic performance. While this line of breathable heavy-weight fleece was designed for paddling insulation, there’s no denying its off-water appeal. Mix and match the styles to suit your needs—but nothing beats snoozin’ then boating in the same garb.
Focus on Fish
And finally, fishing is “one that didn’t get away” from designers’ diatribe as well, getting its due in dialogue that makes us all want to go out and wet a line
The biggest fish doesn’t always make for the best story. Sometimes it’s the embellishments we add when we recount the one that got away. That’s why our team of anglers, ahem, designers spend as much time and energy on the little details as they do on finding high-end technical materials for our fishing apparel. With floatation purpose-built to fit your flies and nippers to sun protection and waterproof insulation designed for comfort when casting, the next time you head out to #catchtheadventure, you’ll be ready to land the big one. Even if you don’t bring home the catch of the day, you’ll figure out a story to hook the next generation.