Germany's 9th annual Kanumesse international paddlesports trade show reported attendance rose 7 percent to 1,407 registered trade visitors from 41 countries. The show also indicates strong interest in SUP on the European continent.

Exhibitor numbers also grew to 171 (+5%) – the ninth straight year of record growth in nine years of the event. Net exhibit space also increased, reaching 6,628 square metres / 71,300 square foot (+6%). The show took place in Nuremberg Sept. 18-20.

Various exhibitors at the Kanumesse were showing shorter and more compact boats. Also strongly represented were folding and collapsible kayaks as well as inflatable kayaks and canoes, plus SUP boards. With these options one can address the limited storage options many who live in urban areas confront. Particularly noteworthy was the new construction push to make boats even lighter, without losing any stability. High-tech materials and construction techniques these days make such concepts possible. Bottomline is the overall trend toward higher-quality products; for many customers quality is more important than price, although a topic of conversation at the show remained the sales of cheap imports.

Dealers were eager to find entry-level and all-around SUPs, exhibitors said, although a lively competitive segment has slowly developed. At traditional paddlesports clubs the youth are particularly interested in SUP. The consensus at the show was the U.S. spawned sport has legs.

“Nearly anyone can master stand-up paddling, from children to seniors, meaning the sport profits from a wide and growing demographic base,” reads a statement released by Kanumesse promoters Monday. “SUP is family friendly, can be done either in groups or solo. SUP can be either competitive or recreational, offers a high quotient of leisure-time value, and is nature-friendly. At the same time the trend toward remaining close to home to participate in recreational opportunities has given the segment a boost. All of these factors are effective, long-term developments. Plus, the market is very dependable and predictable, with a stable growth potential.”