Saturday, August 9, 2008

Outdoor Retailer Show Day 2 & 3

This year the show discontinued use fo the paddler's tank in exchange for the "paddler's plaza" area that had couches, computers, and samples of many of the new products out on the market for 2009. I was able to get a look at the new Infinity from Current Designs that will give larger paddlers a choice in the british styling. Wilderness Systems have been showing a couple of all graphite kayaks (Zephyrs) that are pretty stealth looking. The finish work looked really nice. I also saw an Airlite long kayak (name?) from Wilderness that was not as nice looking as the composite. Time will tell if they can get this catagory off the ground but I saw a few mistakes in the construction that Eddyline had once made year's ago and since corrected. Secondary sealed skeg boxes, a better working skeg cable/handle, smoother parts needed around cockpit coaming. These were "show" boats which can sometimes not represent the "end" version so we'll probably see improvements in these areas once the Airlite boats reach the stores.

I was pretty booked with appointments the last two days with the lines I represent. It was fun to see some of the excitement around Esquif Canoes. I'm going to bring back several demo models from them to start showing people. I'm really looking forward to paddling the Raven and setting up a square stern for running around the cowlitz. Werner Paddles have come out with a new website and catalog that are really full of cool content. They also had a new $130 high angle but inexpensive paddle that should find some customers. I really liked that Bending Branches have changed the color of the telescoping ferrule to black. It really goes with the graphite and glass shafts.

more to come...