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Paddle Days 2014 - additional attraction for OutDoor visitors

18.06.2014
Canoeing and kayaking are classic outdoor sports that offer a change of perspective, often in untouched countryside

Friedrichshafen - Canoeing and kayaking have always been part of the outdoor scene and they now present new retail opportunities. These water-based forms of transport embody all the elements that make outdoor sports so special: exercise, enjoyment, relaxation, a chance to wind down and a change of perspective. At the 21st OutDoor trade fair from 10 to 13 July 2014, international water sports brands are coming together.

The foundations for a new trend have long been in place. Europe has a considerable number of magnificent lakeland areas from Hungary, Austria, Poland, and Germany to Finland, Sweden and England - not to mention its breath-taking coastlines and rivers with different flow rates. If you’re looking to travel by boat, there’s plenty of water to chose from. Almost two dozen international exhibitors will be showcasing their products at OutDoor 2014 in Friedrichshafen. And they are coming from Norway and Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic, from Austria, Germany and Estonia. In addition, there will be OutDoor exhibitors offering the required accessories and equipment.

"Canoeists and kayakers are naturally outdoors all the time, this makes them potential users of many of the products sold in outdoor shops,” said Jörg Rostock, distributor of Blue and White, Prijon and Wavecrest. Steffen Sator from folding boat specialist Out-Trade agrees, "We have products that are clearly purchased by active outdoor sport enthusiasts.” He feels that canoeing and kayaking offer the outdoor sector genuine new perspectives. "Modern folding and hybrid boats enable sport and outdoor retailers to round off their range and demonstrate a further area of expertise to customers.”

One major reason for the renaissance in canoe and kayak paddling is the innovative new boat designs. "Any retailer who still thinks that folding boats mean those heavy, old things that came in two or three 50 kg bags should come and take a look at the latest designs and do themselves and their customers a favour,” commented Steffen Sator. Outdoor manufacturer Coleman has a similar opinion, despite the fact that the company continues to make the traditional heavy canadians that form such an important part of the rental business. "An inflatable boat and a telescopic paddle will fit into any larger car boot,” says Georgina Sattler, Junior Brand and Communication Manager at Coleman. Folding boats start from models weighing 8.5 kg - i.e., "less than a crate of beer” - for a hybrid 1-person boat that can be carried in a rucksack. Expedition sea kayaks start from around 18 kilograms. The trend towards lightweight design also applies to boats. For example, at the OutDoor 2014 Nortik is presenting the new Nortik Pakraft, an inflatable model made of tear-resistant PU that weighs in at just 3 kg and easily fits into any rucksack.

There are other important factors too - the new wave of paddling is family friendly, user friendly and aimed at more than just serious canoeists. "Many campsites and popular holiday destinations are close to rivers, lakes or the sea,” explains Georgina Sattler. "There’s the opportunity to offer camping enthusiasts not just camping equipment but also inflatable boats, either for river day trips or just paddling with the kids on a lake.”

Outdoor canoeing and kayaking also represents a secure source of sales for retailers. "Our folding boats and hybrid boats are only available from specialist retailers and not off the shelf in a department store. Outdoor canoeing and kayaking means solid sales,” argues Steffen Sator, the man who knows when it comes to water sports. Jörg Rostock adds, "The German Association of Canoe Manufacturers presentation additionally confirms the high-quality nature of the products and the superior aftersales service. All in all, canoeing and kayaking offers a major additional attraction for visitors to the show.” And by the way, paddling at the OutDoor, by no means implies all talk and no action. The majority of exhibitors can be found at the Entrance West - next to the trade fair lake where visitors can test the boats.

The OutDoor 2014 will only be open to industry visitors from Thursday, 10 to Sunday, 13 July (Thursday to Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).  All important information on the OutDoor trade fair with a directory of exhibitors, events and directions are available to download free of charge at: www.outdoor-show.com.

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