Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC) and the Trade Association of Paddlesports (TAPS) are co-hosting two first-of-their-kind women-focused events at the paddle tank during Summer Outdoor Retailer 2007. Both events, underwritten by Kokatat, will be held from 12 – 1pm on Days 1 and 3 of the show and will feature women’s paddling gear and skill training for experienced and newbie female paddlers.

“TAPS is very excited to be working with OIWC and Kokatat at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer trade show. Promoting paddlesports to women is important for the health and growth of our sport. We appreciate what OIWC does on the industry side to promote women in paddling and all outdoor activities,” stated TAPS Administrator Nikki Rekman.

The first event, Women’s Paddling Gear Demo, showcases innovative women-specific paddling products. Well-known female paddlers will be in and out of the water demonstrating the gear while an emcee describes the product attributes. Demo watchers will receive a handout highlighting the products and manufacturers on display, along with the manufacturers’ booth numbers. All showcased products will be available for sale at a silent auction during the OIWC Gathering.

The second event, Ten Ways to Persuade Women out of their Mental Eddies, pokes fun at the barriers preventing women from exiting their comfort zone to learn how to paddle. While the emcee amuses the crowd with the Top 10 list, Girls at Play and Dagger pro-paddler Anna Levesque will be in the water with inexperienced female paddlers-some of them expert climbers, skiers and bikers-teaching the techniques to help women overcome these barriers.

“It’s important to be light-hearted and to encourage women to try kayaking, which is what the second event is all about. There are a lot more mental barriers for women in kayaking than physical barriers, so with Girls at Play I like to focus on ways women can build their confidence and have fun trying something new. We all face similar barriers and fears, so it’s good to have a laugh at them sometimes.” said Girls at Play founder Anna Levesque.