What you missed on the first day of Outdoor Retailer

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As Outdoor Retailer Summer 2022’s opening day draws to a close, it seems bittersweet for those who have come to love the show’s home in downtown Denver. This is the last iteration (for now) in Colorado before the show returns to its former Salt Lake City site. OR will call Utah home until at least the end of 2025 – a move that was met with surprise and dismay by those troubled by Utah’s disregard for policies that protect public lands.

As Denver’s five-year contract was mired in pandemic challenges, some might also call it a period of transformation for the very essence of Outdoor Retailer. Take this summer’s programming: nearly 30% of the list is made up of new exhibitors. One more sign of inclusiveness and expanding reach in the outdoor industry? Most likely. An indicator that the show has become more of a startup incubator than a facilitator for high-impact outdoor ventures? The jury is out. Anyway, the positive comments poured in in the early hours. Here is a snapshot.

Notable New Exhibitors

Surf tricks and art maps: Need a gadget for your surfing life? It is the place. From wetsuit dryers and waterproof seat covers to bike racks for your board and car door handle lock boxes to store your keys when the waves call, United States had an enthusiastic presence in its early days in the operating room. Current Ricky Judalena Toyota USA Surfing Longboard Champion, is all as owner of 7 Seas, Inc., the parent company of Surflogic USA (and sister brand Awesome Maps – hand-illustrated framed art maps of the world with themes such that ‘bucket list’ and ‘fishing’). “It took 47 years of experience to start this at a late age,” he says. Age aside, anyone who needs a few extras for their surf kit should start here.

Surflogic USA made its OR debut today

Where to take a wild ride: In an incredibly simple yet dazzling display, Fliteboard brings the charge of eFoil (electric hydrofoil) to OR. For the uninitiated, eFoil is a hydrosport practiced on a board propelled by electric marine energy. In other words, surfboard-like equipment that is powered by a motor rather than a sail. According to the team at Fliteboard, this adrenaline-fueled sport is pretty easy to master in 20 minutes (despite the $13,000 price tag). “A lot of people like this idea of ​​surfing, but they think they don’t have the time or it’s too hard,” says Jimmy Trask, Fliteboard’s West Coast Sales Representative. “Really, it’s quite friendly.” Ben Miller, Customer Experience Team Lead, agrees, “If you’re going out alone, it’s very accessible. You don’t need another person to drive the boat or a large vehicle to tow it. They are great. Weighing between 60 and 70 pounds each, the eFoils can be disassembled into four components, complete with bags and cases, for transport. With a two-hour charge time, you get 90 minutes of boating time on the water, whether it’s an ocean, lake or bay – any body of water will do. Now, about that sticker shock…

Fliteboards on display

For the sun worshipers among us: We know, we know, sunscreen isn’t the jazziest item on the floor, but it’s probably one of the most important. Oars + Alps The skincare line made its first appearance at OR at the perfect time to talk about its need for epic days on the water or on the trails. The sunscreen range is “designed to address all the pain points that prevent men from wearing sunscreen,” says brand manager Annie Gianakos. In other words, the white tint that sits on facial stubble, the oily finish, and the anti-travel size cannot be found in these products. Choose from the crowd-favorite ultra-portable spray, lotion and Go Stick Clear ($6-$22). No excuses.

Oars + Alps promises better sun protection

Cool new products

Tent camping for one person: The latest addition to the Maxfield series of ultralight tents from Klymit is a solo hiker’s dream. Weighing 2.5 pounds, the Maxfield 1 ($320) has unique ultra-short tent poles that make it a dream to fold and pack, even with the built-in vestibule. The roomy overall footprint and 42-inch height provide comfortable, totally seated respite for taller people. “This is our most comfortable style of tent in terms of keeping your gear secure and usability of the interior space,” says product developer Kyle Hill. Solo backcountry getaway to come.

The Klymit Maxfield 1 is a spacious and thoughtfully designed ultralight tent

The most comfortable hammock ever: It’s like your plush sleeping bag and super cool hammock had a baby. Great Trunkit is Evolution 20 Down Hammock ($299), made with RDS-certified down, might be the next go-to for car camping. “There are a few issues with normal hammocks,” says Paul Asay, Marketing Director of Grand Trunk. “One: you are cold. Two: There are too many extra quilts if you do, and they won’t stay put. We are solving a problem that has existed for years. Tip: The Siesta hammock pillow from Grand Trunk is a clutch accessory: when you adjust the hammock, it does not slip down because it hooks into the carabiner of the hammock. Great.

Grand Trunk has perfected the hammock

USB rechargeable batteries that never die: If you’ve ever camped or hiked with a flashing headlamp in the middle of the dark, you know the pain of batteries that don’t hold up to sustained use of the device. Who wants to carry extra bags of…anything? Especially alkaline batteries which are being thrown into landfills at an alarming rate. Walk in: Pale blue earthit is USB rechargeable smart batteries, newly reimagined in an artist series that makes stacks, well, pretty. More importantly, the partnership helps artists – or anyone Pale Blue Earth partners with in the future – to pursue their own sustainability goals as part of an “ecosystem of companies trying to do what it takes,” says Pale Blue Earth CEO Tom Bishop. “And from a marketing perspective, it’s a way to help move the needle forward.” At $30 for a four-pack of AAs, versus $5 for four Duracells, the ROI is outstanding, considering six uses pay them off and it would take 1,000 full uses before they burn to 80% the original capacity.

Pale Blue Earth’s rechargeable batteries that define the categories

Show Hot Takes

Amazed by the selection: “It’s amazing to see all the different outdoor products and necessities. You have some outdoor activities, but when you walk around here at the expo, it’s like, wow, I never thought I’d need it or it could support my activities and endeavors. I think it’s a very good presentation. Traffic has been very good. It was fluid. Especially in the morning. » —Barry Jackson, Adidas Eyewear

“It’s different in a good way. Just walking around, I see things that you never thought you needed or didn’t know existed, and you’re like, wow, I need this. I walked to a stand and it was sleeping bag ponchos. I thought that was so cool. There’s a plethora of things from A to Z that I feel like I have to bring back to New York. —Ryan Medina, Adidas Eyewear

Barry Jackson (left) and Ryan Medina

A turnkey one-stop shop: “We call Oregon the Silicon Valley of the outdoor industry. This show is really important for our small and medium-sized businesses. Oregon and Idaho combine to have this booth, the Northwest Pavilion. We pay somehow [the cost] in advance with a federal fund. We help businesses get grants, cover travel, food, set-up, everything, with 75% reimbursement of their costs. We try to do this every year. I’m so glad to be some kind of sponsor for these companies because they really need it. And we want to help them. Many people were impressed because it [Northwest Pavilion] is a sort of one-stop-shop. We have no duplicates. —Sharon Kim, Oregon Business

“I really like the welcome we get from everyone who passes by. Sometimes you see these big pavilions and people don’t go in…and they are! I’m so glad we kept a gap in the middle [of the layout]. Often the bigger sellers – who aren’t really at the show this year – have their booths very closed and it’s like that kind of secret entrance. You walk by those and it’s like, can I get into these? So I was a little worried about our storyline here, but the traffic really seems to be flowing. Many buyers appreciate the fact that we have 22 companies, especially if they are looking for a wide variety of products. Making turnkey pavilions was new; we had to do some customizations. Thank goodness they worked with me! I think we have created a great product. —Tina Salisbury, Idaho Commerce

Sharon Kim (left) and Tina Salisbury

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