Paddlesports Retailer Show Debuts This Week in Madison


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Sayonara Salt Lake. That’s the message from the paddling industry, resounding this week in the inaugural Paddlesports Retailer tradeshow debuting August 29 – September 1 in Madison, Wisconsin, bringing the industry’s top manufacturers and buyers under one collective roof all to their own.

“For Paddlers, By Paddlers” is the impetus behind the new event, founded by Rutabaga owner Darren Bush and NOC president Sutton Bacon. An so far, even with many exhibitors still attending Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City this year, it seems to be working, As of show time, more than 250 registered stores and exhibitors signed up for the show.

The key, organizers maintain, is having a show that’s centrally located, is held at the right time (OR has announced plans to move its show up earlier to take place in June), and where paddlesports is the focus, and not lost in a sea of other outdoor categories. To help encourage attendance, it even offered free lodging to the first 200 stores that registered to attend – something OR would never do.
“Everything about this show, from its convenient time to its familiar location for paddlers to the onsite experience, has been developed with retailers in mind,” show manager Marcus Shoffner told SNEWS.
The industry has responded favorably.

“I’m delighted that we’ll have a trade show that fits both our cultural and financial needs,” says Joe Pulliam of Jackson Kayak. “We’re proud to support a show that supports our industry.”

Werner Paddles, exhibiting after a five-year hiatus from national shows, echoes that sentiment. “We are excited about this opportunity to be a part of Paddlesports Retailer,” says marketing director Taylor Robertson. “We are happy to endorse this show, which is aimed at solely supporting our industry.”

For buyers, it represents a chance to meet paddlesports manufacturers one on one in an intimate setting, without being upstaged by the likes of The North Face and other outdoor giants. “The focus is on one thing and nothing else, the paddler,” says Ed McAlister, owner of River Sports Outfitters.

Adds buyer Rich Orr of The Alpine Shop in St. Louis, Mo: “Paddlesports is a large and growing category for our company. With the plethora of low-end offerings Big Box retailers are presenting to the unwary buying public, it is critical for specialty buyers to be able to zero in on the brands and models that will allow us to compete successfully and profitably with the big boxes. That is where Paddlesports Retailer offers value no available at other shows.”

Bill Kueper, vice president of Wenonah Canoe, Inc. and chair of the Paddlesports Trade Coalition added, “our endorsement of Paddlesports Retailer as ‘the show for paddlesports’ came with high expectations, and the housing initiative along with readily available rooms make the show increasingly accessible.”

Paddlesports Retailer Founding Exhibitors:
Eddyline Kayaks, Onyx / Absolute Outdoor, Inc., H2O Performance Paddles, Astral, Delta Kayaks, Down River Equipment, Level Six, Jackson Kayak, Stohlquist WaterWare, Seattle Sports, Kokatat, Inc., Nova Craft Canoe, Branches, Kwik Tek, Kajak Sport Components Oy, Hurricane Aquasports/BIG Adventures, Sweet Protection, Hyside Inflatables, Pulse Sup, TRAK Kayaks, Werner Paddles, Hala Gear, Aire Inc, NRS, Pau Hana Surf Supply, LLC, Confluence Outdoor, Malone Auto Racks, Sawyer Paddles and Oars, SEA-LECT Designs, Suspenz Storage & Transport, Myka, LLC/Myka Canoe Loaders, Thule, Seals Skirts / Cloud 10 Gear, Accent/Cannon Paddles, MTI Adventurewear, Swift Canoe & Kayak, Hobie Cat Company, Mustang Survival, BOTE, Kaku Kayak, Paddlers Supply, Watershed LLC, Stellar kayaks INC, Immersion Research, Stellar kayaks INC, Cataract Oars, Geckobrands, KL OUTDOOR, Nite Ize Inc, Hyde Sportswear, Tahe Kayaks Ltd, Starboard SUP, DocksLocks/SOL Paddleboards, Oru Kayak Inc, Shred Ready Inc, Johnson Outdoors Watercraft Inc., Grey Owl Paddles Limited, Scotty Paddlesports, Torqeedo, Triton Diving Equipment.

Show Schedule

Tuesday, August 29th 2017
On-Water Demo
Willow Island Pond
10:00am – 5:00pm
Pig Roast
6:00pm to Dark

Wednesday, August 30th 2017
Industry Breakfast with Guest Speaker Dirk Sorenson
Alliant Energy Center, Mendota Room
7:30am – 8:45am
Exhibit Hours
9:00am – 6:00pm

Film Screening: Bear Witness
Alliant Energy Center, Superior Room
6:00pm – 7:00pm

Thursday, August 31st 2017
Industry Breakfast with Guest Speaker Wes Allen
Alliant Energy Center, Mendota Room
7:30am – 8:45am
Exhibit Hours
9:00am – 6:00pm

Friday, September 1st 2017
Exhibit Hours
9:00am – 3:00pm

About Paddlesports Retailer
Paddlesports Retailer is a tradeshow designed for paddlers, by paddlers. Endorsed by the Paddlesports Industry Coalition as its official tradeshow, Paddlesports Retailer provides the premier commercial and cultural experience for exhibitors, retailers, media and industry advocates alike. Visit for more information.

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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