SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - For the last time in Salt Lake City, outdoor enthusiasts gathered to view the latest in products and innovations in outdoor goods and gear coming to the market in 2018 at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. While much of the show was the same there were definitely a few things that are worth noting from this year’s show.
Attendance at the show, specifically in the SUP space, saw a drastic change. Attendance was at an all-time low for both SUP exhibitors and attendees alike. While this may be a direct correlation of the downsizing of the SUP industry there could also be a couple of other factors on why attendance was significantly smaller. One reason could be that there are new paddle sports shows that are debuting in August and September and brands are looking to try out something different. Another reason could be that brands are looking to steer away from trade shows altogether. Only time will tell.
With women occupying just about half of the SUP market we’re finally starting to see brands cater to this segment with their products. We’re seeing more and more brands starting to come out with lines inspired by the wonderful ladies of SUP and it’s about time! Catering to the female market is more than just slapping some pink on a product and sizing it down just a bit. It requires more thought and consideration as to what the market really wants. One particular brand that stood out on this front was Surftech with their new line. The new line partners with both Prana and Bloom and showcases an array of stunning graphics mixed with an excellent play on colors. The line is quite impressive and should be hitting stores in early 2018.
In not so much of a surprise inflatables made even more of a splash at the trade show this year. With the market showing that inflatables are gaining a ton of momentum it’s only right that the brands took notice and started adding more inflatables to their line. In fact, of the brands that were at the Outdoor Retailer show, the majority of them were inflatable-only brands. With the flexibility and portability of having an inflatable it makes complete sense that brands are beginning to create more inflatables to cater to the growing demand for them.
As with any trade show or outdoor event there were plenty of takeaways and interesting things that were attention-grabbing but the three above were those most noteworthy. If you were at the show and want to share your thoughts of what you witnessed please share in the comments below.
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