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Germany's PADDLEexpo has become THE industry meeting place

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Oct. 20, 2014 (Nuremberg, Germany) —Deemed a true professional’s trade show designed to meet the industry’s needs, PADDLEexpo 2014 finished its run this year with rave reviews and an uptick in exhibitors, brands and attendees. It didn’t hurt that the brand-new Nuremberg Exhibition hall it occupied for the first time offered perfect infrastructure, streaming daylight, and just the right size for getting business done right.

Among the impressive numbers was also a much larger international contingent of exhibitors, reported show organizer Horst Fürsattel. The new 53,670-square-foot hall (4,986 square meters) hosted 136 exhibitors (2013: 121), 271 brands (2013: 263) and 1,405 attendees (2013: 1,369, 48 countries, with more than half from outside Germany). Of the three-day show (Sunday-Tuesday, Sept. 28-30), Monday was the busiest day, which to Fürsattel showed the growth of the industry’s professionalism. “In the early years, Sunday was always the busiest day,” he said. “This underscores the changes in the industry and its increasing professionalism since more people now use a regular workday for doing business.”

SUP continues wave of success, hybrids gaining attention

Once again, the real hit was stand-up paddling. This relatively new segment has continued to grow rapidly in Europe. A particular driver of the growth in Europe is in particular the inflatable SUP board. Suppliers say, in Germany, eight of 10 boards sold are now inflatables. At the same time, this gear only weighs up to about 7 kg (15.5 pounds), can be transported easily, and doesn’t demand a lot of storage room. Indeed, these are convincing arguments to which traditional retailers are paying attention. In Germany alone, SUP board sales are forecast to be in excess of 15,000, experts have noted, albeit with caution.

Growing in popularity is also the folding and inflatable boat segment that also includes so-called hybrid boats. Good performance, light weight, ease of quick assembly, and a very low pack mass have made these boats more attractive to retailers in the sport, camping and outdoor segment who don’t have the room or desire to set up a grand hall of boats.

Trends: single and entry-level boats, rentals, fishing kayaks

Single kayaks are still in particular in demand. That is in part because more and more women want their own boat, rather than just “paddling along” in a tandem boat. Paddling as fitness is another continuing trend. More and more people are paddling after work for an hour.

In addition to the trend toward premium and more specialized touring and white water boats, German suppliers have recognized and taken on the challenge of entry-level boats. In order to better compete with cheap brands coming to market from the Far East, traditional boat builders are considering simpler, modular boat systems. An important mainstay for boat brands is as always the rental market on European lakes and rivers.

Internationally the kayak fishing market is also gaining relevance. In the United States and Canada, the concept has never been more popular. Now, more and more people in Europe’s Northern and Western countries are discovering the attraction of kayak fishing.

PADDLEexpo: Business, partnerships grow

The 12th annual PADDLEexpo clearly showed that this international trade fair not only is the leading marketplace for the industry, but also clearly demonstrated that it remains THE meeting place for the global paddle community. Helping that popularity is its timing at the end of the paddling season as well as its central position in Europe making it easily accessible.

PADDLEexpo is also the platform for the German Canoe Retailers Forum founded in 2013. Participants in the forum communicate during the year via a membership-only Facebook page, while they have the opportunity at the trade fair for personal meetings and information exchanges. Interested retailers should register on the Facebook page, “Deutscher Kanufachhandel” (German Canoe Retailers).

Members of the National German Canoe Association (“BV Kanu”) have a “village” of neighboring booths. They want to show their mutual strength and high standards for service and quality, as well as to underscore their reliability in dealing with retailers. In addition, BV Kanu also used the trade show to recruit new members in the industry. As a BV Kanu spokesperson said, they all share the same concerns; thus, if they work together “a rising tide floats all boats.”

Mark your calendars now: In 2015, PADDLEexpo will take place Sept. 17-19, again at the Nuremberg Exhibition Center in Germany.

About PADDLEexpo: Begun in 2003, PADDLEexpo ( is now the leading paddlesports trade fair globally. The international platform for the paddlesports industry presents all of the newest products and trends, from kayaks and canoes, stand-up paddle, and folding and inflatable boats, to apparel and outdoor, and accessories and gear. A driving force behind the industry, the fair has also become a global marketplace, as well as a meet up and networking event for buyers, manufacturers, importers, retailers, media and associations. PADDLEexpo also functions as a major point of information distribution regarding rentals, event management, customer retention and watersports tourism. PADDLEexpo takes place annually in Nuremberg, Germany, in partnership with the German Canoe Federation.

For more information:

PADDLEexpo Bommas-PR

Horst Fürsattel Rainer Bommas

Tel. +49 9151 86 22 04 Tel. +49 731 175 8770

High-resolution photos suitable for printing are available now for download in the press area of the