Just back from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City last week. The show is the largest expo of outdoor sports, camping and clothing in the country. I went to get a peek at what’s happening for 2015 in stand-up paddle (SUP) and other related paddle sports. Let’s just say I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of companies focused on stand-up paddle. While I cannot summarize in one blog what products really jumped out at me because there were just too many, I can tell you what’s trending in the sport of SUP.
The main theme for 2015 is about getting everyone paddling on the water on a stand-up paddle-board. Anywhere, in any condition, at almost anytime day or night and at any age. When I started stand-up paddling in 2006 I never thought that the sport would blossom like it has and where its headed is even more exciting.
What's most exciting to me is the sport of stand-up paddling does not discriminate on age. Kids from the ages of 4-6 years old to folks in their 80's are hopping up on a board and seeing the joy of standing up. The stand-up paddle manufacturers want to make paddling easier, less scary and with no barrier to entry. In the coming year, you will see more stand-up paddle yoga on the bay, on lakes and even pools. SUP Yoga has been around for a couple of years now, (i.e OnBoard SUP out of Sausalito). At the show, almost every stand-up paddle board manufacturer had a yoga or exercise board, and there will be lots of new ways to do yoga and exercise on the water in the coming year.
Under the special purpose boards like yoga and exercise, the abundance of SUP fishing boards was a big surprise and quite impressive. Understandable since fishing is so popular, but SUP fishing boards allow the SUP fisher to paddle into shallow narrow fishing holes that a boat cannot get into and have an unobstructed view of the water below. These boards had all sort of contraptions to hold a fishing rod, a cooler and even a place to hold your drink of choice. Look for the SUP fishing boards to be a hot item at Cabellas.
Last but not least, the inflatable stand-up paddle board is becoming a mainstream item. This is the barrier to entry killer, no roof rack, fits in the trunk of a car, and just about anyone can paddle an inflatable. The inflatable technology is only getting better allowing the boards to inflate quicker, be more stable and almost as stiff as standard epoxy board. And of course these boards come in lots of types: yoga board, river board, fishing board and even a race board but have no fear the all around cruiser board will be the big seller.
Lots more cool SUP trend and accessories to come in future blog posts, but for now the future of SUP is getting everyone on the water the easiest way possible.