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SUP sales expected to double in 2012

Check out the top new stand-up paddleboard products and trends for 2013 that we encountered at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.

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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:

To gauge the mark stand-up paddling is making on the outdoor market, we looked no further than the Boardworks SUP Cross event on the Weber River in Salt Lake City, part of a 13-city “Show Up and Blow Up” tour preceding Summer Market; the SUP-blanketed Jordenalle Reservoir at this year’s Open Air Demo; and the record 70-plus exhibitors lining the Outdoor Retailer show floor halls.

The sport is riding as high as its participants, with dollar volume and unit sales expected to double in 2012 over 2011 numbers, said Leisure Trends Analyst Liz Stahura. Manufacturers are continuing to penetrate inland markets, kayak and other manufacturers are fine-tuning plastic offerings and inflatable technology is at an all-time high.

BoardWorks and Badfish offer the new MCIT inflatables (MSRPs $1,375-$1,470), available in three sizes (9 feet; 10 feet, 6 inches; 11 feet, 6 inches) with tapered, inflatable rails, three separate air chambers and consistent thickness. Boardworks new technology delivers design elements previously only possible in hard boards, including the tapered rails, which increase responsiveness and stability.

Boardworks MCIT

Upstart Hala out of Steamboat Springs, Colo., enters the show with a new line of 10-foot, 9-inch and 11-foot, 9-inch inflatable SUPs (MSRP $1,249) at 5.5 inches thick for added stability versus the conventional 4 inches. It also debuts its Butterknife paddle (MSRP $289), with an innovative T-grip built into one of the blades to serve as both a SUP and kayak paddle for sit-and-switch applications. NRS adds to its inflatable arsenal with the new 9-foot Tyrant (MSRP $995), made from PVC-coated drop-stitch and weighing just 19.2 pounds with three removable fins. Advanced Elements showcases its 11-foot, 32-pound Stiffy (MSRP $1,200), which it says rivals the rigidity of hard boards thanks to aluminum support shafts along the sides.

Hala Butterknife paddle

NRS Tyrant

On the hardshell front, Jackson Kayaks is hitting the show with an inaugural polyethylene SUP line consisting of the 9-foot, 8-inch SUP’rcharger (MSRP $799), a versatile river runner with a channel bottom hull and removable fins; the 11-foot, 6-inch SUP’rnatural (MSRP $899), an all-around board; and the 11-foot, 6-inch SUPerFISHal (MSRP $1,099), designed as a virtually tip-free angling board with such customization options as cooler or rod holders.

Jackson Kayaks SUP’rcharger

In a nod toward custom graphics, Stand Up Paddle Co. hits the show with its 11-foot, 2-inch TD49 Signature (MSRP $1,449), a legacy to founder Tommy Donnelly’s late father, Tommy Sr., in a jack-of-all-trades SUP that’s stable, yet playful, for all ages and abilities (the graphics mimic Donnelly’s body art). Also pushing a dynamic aesthetic is Suplove, with its 11-foot, 2-inch Adventurer (MSRP $1,475), an all-around board with a high-gloss mirror finish, six rail colors and six deck traction options for retailer visibility. Shaped from an ESP foam core with a timber stringer and sandwich construction epoxy of fiberglass and bamboo, it offers fast glide and stability for paddlers up to 260 pounds.

Suplove Adventurer

C4 Waterman continues its SUP presence at the show with the 14-foot Wainui (MSRP $1,600), a FeatherCore technology rec racer for all types of water, blending design attributes of elite race boards with wider SUPs for both speed and stability; as well as the 10-foot, 11-inch BK Pro iSUP (MSRP $1,200), a board for the plus-sized paddler and/or plus-sized rapids with its most progressive Rigid Aircore design to date (available in 4-inch and 6-inch thicknesses).

Showing that SUP paddles are on the forefront of design trends as well, Bending Branches debuts its adjustable Amp (MSRP $275), made from red alder and black willow with rounded blade edges and a 10-degree bend.

Bending Branches Amp

–Eugene Buchanan