Highlighting the event was keynote speaker Olympic gold medalist and USACK CEO Joe Jacobi, who talked about how to grow the sport and get it out to more people who would not normally get the opportunity to paddle.
He was followed by NOC’s Sutton Bacon, who talked about the need for us to tell our story differently to reach more people and get new kinds of people interested in the sport. ICF Freestyle chair, Lluis Rabaneda, also presented at the event, as did event host and longtime Symposium supporter Eric “EJ” Jackson.
“It was a great format and speaker list this year, as we had great access to on-water events,” says co-organizer Bob Campbell, adding that the event was staged at Rock Island State Park.
Other presenters included Chris “Jaymo” Jamison of GoPro and Ken “Hobie” Hoeve, who discussed the world of SUP.
“It was the best paddling symposium yet,” says attendee and instructor Jessie Stone. “I left feeling really inspired and energized to put more energy into my paddling, teaching and contributions to the sport in general.”
Attendees, who included instructors, outfitters, association members, dealers, distributors and more, also attended on-water clinics lead by Team Jackson’s finest – Dane, Emily, and EJ, along with Nick Troutman and Clay Wright and other top-notch instructors. “We had industry leaders from the US, Europe and Asia,” says Campbell. “It was a pretty cool melting pot of paddling talent.”
With an increased emphasis on targeting dealers, Jackson Kayak hosted this year’s event largely because of its belief that what takes place at the Symposium can help strengthen the core of whitewater paddlesports.
“The symposium helps everyone focus on what lies ahead for whitewater and offers actionable ideas on how best to head toward the future,” says Jackson. “Retailers are a key link to consumers so I think it’s critical to have their perspective be part of the larger conversations about our sport that take place at symposium.”
More Info: www.wwsymposium.com