Kayak, canoe and paddling accessories manufacturers attended Canoecopia, the worlds largest consumer paddlesports show, Mar. 13-16, 2009. “If the 2009 early season trend holds true, consumers are out there ready to spend,” said Jim Miller, Werner Paddles marketing manager. Both traffic and dollars were up at this year’s Canoecopia.

Here is what a few manufacturers had to say:

“We were very pleased. Overall, Canoecopia was a really good show for us. We were busy the whole time and we sold more dry suits this year over last year.” – Michael Duffy, director of sales and marketing for Kokatat.

“There was a lot of activity around the Easky 13’ and 15’ touring boats and the Fusion our new hybrid river running/touring boat. It was a really good show, I am feeling solid going into the season,” – Jim Hagar, sales director of P&H.

“Perhaps it is the mid-west, but people really responded to the fact that Werner Paddles are manufactured in the US and that we are giving back by partnering with non-profits through our Healthy Waters initiative. We did not have any problem moving people up from our recreational product to our Premium and Performance Core lines.” – Jim Miller, marketing manager, Werner Paddles.

There are two trends that resonated with many manufacturers; people are looking for activities close to home (staycations), as well as activities that allow for family together time. “Families are being cautious, but not afraid to spend on paddling gear. They view paddling as a way to get everyone out, without breaking the bank,” said Miller.