DATELINE ORLANDO: It’s been rainy and gray in Nashville, but Liz snuck out to Orlando to go to SurfExpo, one of our industry trade shows.
“If I were going to sum up my experience in a few words, it seemed like a SUP family reunion. I spent the better half of my day getting to know the people we work with on a regular basis, yet most of them I had never met face-to-face,” she says.
“Kristin is just as friendly and helpful in person as she is on our monthly SUPIA video conference calls (these are how we get ideas about what everyone else is up to).
“Peter and Jimmy of Hala Gear are so easy to talk to and are full of ideas the new boathouse.
“I instantly recognized my Glide friends, Stoked Yogi Amelia (photo left) and Ken, thanks to social media and their Team Yogi program. I probably could have stayed there all day talking about SUP yoga, but eventually moved on with a greater understanding and respect for the Glide brand we represent.
“It’s always fun to see old friends too, like NPC’s former Sawyer Paddles and Oars rep John Carter who now has a fun, growing team around him at Pulse Boards.”
Here are a few vendor highlights on what she saw on the show floor:
Geckobrand: New waterproof phone case that floats and both your touch screen and camera will work (goodbye foam backing that usually blocks your camera lens!).
Kala Ukulele: In addition to all their fun colors you snapped up last year, they now have glow in the dark waterproof ukuleles! Yes, we’ll have them in time for the first Full Moon Paddle of 2016.
Hala Gear: The 2016 line is bright and colorful! (see photo) Hala was also demoing a brand new tougher inflatable material (coming soon) and their retractable fin box (available now). So, I had a lot of fun jumping up and down on their Nass while in running shoes and then kicking a fin on their Atcha display.
SurfStow: Attention Full Moon paddlers 2.0! In addition to those glow-in-the-dark ukuleles, this group has some pretty neat LED tube lights that attach to the bottom of your board and illuminate the water around you for night paddling.
Hamboards & Hammerhead: Hammerhead has land paddles with a removable and replaceable rubber ball base! Stay tuned for more news on NPC’s land paddle.