Monday, August 6, 2012


We recently went to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show in Salt Lake City, a vast trade show for shop owners and manufacturers involved in the business of selling and promoting the outdoors.
It's a huge event, and takes over most of downtown SLC every year. We thought it a great chance to see new gear, meet existing suppliers, and experience full-on the nuts and bolts of the outdoor business. Yep, sounds pretty boring, but someone has to do it.

We flew into Vegas, hired a car and spent 5 days driving, camping and hiking in valleys, canyonlands and desert landscapes of extreme beauty. Man, there are some big cracks in the earth. This was the highlight of the whole adventure... hiking in Mukuntaweep Canyon, a night at the Lodge on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, driving through Monument Valley, and on up to Moab and the spooky landscapes of Arches NP.

Of course, none of this involved any paddling, so by the time we reached the demo lake for the ORSM show, we were jonesing for a dig. With over 70 SUP companies in attendance, we hopped from one board to another, until we reached the kayak shore, by which time everyone was packing up and going back to town. But, it seemed like OR was not really a big canoe and kayak paddlers' gig, with very few sea kayaks to be seen. We did, however, run into Nige Foster and P65, which is always cool.

Voyageur SUP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

For the next 2 days were spent fumbling and stumbling through miles of aisles, trying to meet appointments, stay on schedule, and keep focused on task. We failed at this quite brilliantly, and are very sorry to those companies whom we had appointments with, but were some three miles away from where we needed to be at the time.

Foam Kidz...for those looking to reduce stress, expense and footprint. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

The end result of all this is?
It was good to be reminded that we live in a fantastic country with broad mysterious landscapes. Thanks to the Bureau of Land Management, there are even free campsites to stay at, in incredibly beautiful places.
We have several new lines coming to the store which we are very excited about. The outdoor industry is big and corporate with a large foot print indeed, but everyone we met was super cool and a pleasure to do business with.
The water flowed like beer.

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