After decades of waiting, boaters on the East Coast finally get to cruise the booths of an on-water kayaking and canoeing convention organized by the Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS). This year TAPS is presenting the first ever Northeast Canoe & Kayak Symposium (NECKS). “It will be an opportunity for curious, new and more experienced paddlers to come together and share the fun and rewards of time on the water,” says event director Ray Fusco.
The event will be held at the Spruce Run Recreation Area in Clinton, New Jersey, on September 5-7.
While the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium (WCSKS)—which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year–focuses primarily on open water kayaking, Fusco says that NECKS has been designed to be “a non-denominational event” that will “showcase the diversity that is paddlesports in the North East.”
While the fall show season already has a crowded calendar of events, with the Outdoor Retailer show preceding NECKS in August and WCSKS following it two weeks later in September, Fusco maintains that because the show’s premise is to promote all of paddlesports, retailers will have a unique opportunity to showcase their own competitive advantages, while consumers will benefit from sampling the variety of products exhibited.
Between 25 and 30 exhibitors are expected at the symposium, and there will be a lot of new boats to demo. More than just a chance to update the gear in your garage, there will also be opportunities for world class on-water instruction provided by the BCU and ACA, ensuring polished strokes for the fall paddling season.
No matter what kind of boater you are, TAPS Board President Tim Rosenhan maintains that the event “will be a great opportunity for both paddling novices and enthusiasts to explore the sport, improve their skills and have a great time.”
While still in its infancy, this show is being built on the experience that has carried WCSKS through a quarter century. While keeping his expectations for the future reasonable, Fusco is “building the foundation to expand the show so that NECKS will also have a 25th anniversary.” For more info on the event check out the TAPS website.