More than 25 new paddlesports brands have decided to exhibit at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market thanks to collaboration between the trade show and the Paddle Advisory Council.

New brands attending this years show Aug. 3-6 include Osagian Canoes, Conquest Kayaks, Alaskan Series Inflatable Boats, Victory Tropiskin and Surf Hardware International.

“Exhibiting at Outdoor Retailer was the best way I could find to connect with the people who love to paddle,” said Tyler Callaway, director of business development at Surf Hardware International. “Outdoor Retailer seems to be equal parts marketplace and summit meeting for people who love paddlesports.”

Several major boat builders and retailers formed the Paddle Advisory Council last year to negotiate new arrangements for paddlesports vendors exhibiting at the show. Their efforts include bringing more paddle brands to the Open Air Demo and Summer Market, enhancing the Paddle Zone, moving the Open Air Demo to a more paddle-friendly location and developing new paddlesports features for Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 to be held August 3-6, 2010 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. OR Summer Market is preceded by its Open Air Demo held August 2, 2010 at Jordanelle State Park in Heber City, just 38 miles from the Salt Palace.

Paddle Zone
The Paddle Zone at the Salt Palace Convention Center is a 1,500 square-foot gathering place on the show floor for paddlesports industry advocates, athletes, retailers and brands, highlighting exciting new product and hosting paddle-specific presentations and guest speakers. OR and Rapid Media are sponsoring Happy Hours in the Paddle Zone on days 2 and 3 of the show, August 4 and 5 (4 p.m.).

Paddlesports attendees will experience a new energy and value in the Paddle Zone with the first-ever New Product Gallery (NPG). Produced by Rapid Media in partnership with OR, the NPG will feature photo displays of 2011 paddlesports gear. Information about products featured in the NPG will be available in the New Product Gallery Guide, an insert placed in the summer issues of Rapid Media's four paddlesports publications, Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Kayak Angler and Canoeroots. 

Rapid Media is also coordinating the schedule of Paddle Zone presentations and will print it along with the NPG Guide in its magazine insert. Brands interested in participating in the NPG or giving a presentation in the Paddle Zone should contact Russ Schroeder at 613.635.7249 or Product and presentation submission forms are available online at

Features in the Paddle Zone like the New Product Gallery will h

elp retailers like Doug Davis of River City Canoe & Kayak in Louisville, Kentucky anticipate products and trends that will shape their business in the coming season.

“Outdoor Retailer offers a unique opportunity to meet with the movers and shakers within our industry and to find new and exciting products to offer to our customers,” Davis said. “Attending Summer Market for the first time in '09 really allowed us to be on top of our game in finding the next new 'it' product for our store before reading about it on the web or being the last ones to have it in stock.”

Summer Market Paddle Events
OR's Paddlesports Breakfast sponsored by the Paddle Council at the Sandbar on Wednesday, August 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. will be an open gathering where paddlesports industry professionals can meet and build essential relationships. The Paddle Council will give a presentation updating attendees on the status of the paddlesports industry.

Paddlesports features outside of the Paddle Zone include a seminar “Farmer or Miner? Creating Communities to Support Your Brand” for paddle business owners by Darren Bush, owner of Rutabaga, an influential paddlesports retailer in Madison, Wisconsin. This seminar, held Thursday, August 5, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, will address how paddle retailers can remain competitive with larger retailers by creating communities of loyal customers. Bush will discuss how creative, low-cost marketing strategies like community events are key to securing allies that will help retailers brand their businesses.

“There is always something to learn about from other sectors, from marketing strategies to products with practical crossover,” said Bush. “With the Paddle Council's initiatives at OR, I believe that the paddlesports industry will be more unified. The goal here is to attract new energy and focus to paddlesports, attracting new blood and growing participation. We need to work with all sectors of the outdoor industry to accomplish this.”