This past week, we were able to go down to the 2014 summer Outdoor Retailer show to visit with some of our vendors and hear about new products. The SUP community is always well-represented at OR and this year was no exception. Lucky for me, Naish and BIC both had employees willing to chat with me a little about what we can look forward to from their SUP lines.
Charlie Burwell, a representative from Naish, gave us an overview of the changes that they have done to their popular lines of paddleboards for the 2015 season.
In the inflatable category of boards, Naish is releasing a 12' Glide board that is designed to be the perfect recreational SUP. Great for touring on flat water, it’s easy to pack, perfect for travel, and as durable as any flat water board.
In the Nalu series of boards from Naish, they’re releasing newly redesigned 9’10 short and wide board that is great for whitewater paddling—a popular new frontier in the SUP world. It has side-bite fins for added stability and maneuverability in the water. The Nalu line has also come out with a new 11’ board that has new graphic applications, a sanded putty finish, and increased durability. The easily-recognizable Naish boards have gone from solid yellow to having full color bottoms that help them pop off the rack.
In the race board category—the Javelin series—Naish has improved the high performance, elite-level group of boards that are made with the lightest available construction. The board forgoes the traditional sandwich core construction so it will be swift in the water. The Javelin series has also gotten an overall with their looks, now with bold tribal patterns down the center of the racing board.
The Odysseus board, which is meant to appeal to a wise user demographic, now has a short, 9’8 board that has unique bottom shaping that allows it to track in a straight line without any added length. It is great for anywhere from entry level to advanced paddlers. It also comes in a soft top to be compatible for those looking to participate in SUP yoga.
The Mana series has seen a cosmetic overhaul, now in full-color with the same sanded putty finish of the Nalu series. It’s shorter, wider, and is easy to paddle while still having some of the surf-friendly capabilities.
We also met and had a chat with Jimmy Blakely from BIC stand up paddleboards. As the product and marketing manager for BIC Sports, he had a lot of insight to offer on the upcoming releases from the company.
Quick side-note, we encountered some audio issues, so that’s why Jimmy doesn’t have the clear sound this video deserves. Sorry!
The big push BIC is making this year is their 11' Cross board that is a slightly modified version of the existing best-seller. It has the same keel as the other Cross model to enhance tracking in the water. Many customers dress it up as a fishing SUP (which seemed to be a trend at this year's OR show), using the lash points to attach coolers and/or a flag. It also has a leash plug adapter that makes the cross easy to accessories.
As far as Blakely’s favorite board, he likes the 8’6” Wave Pro for surfing conditions for where he’s from on the east coast. He also uses the 10’6” Ace Tech when he takes his kids out on the water. Thanks to the stabilization, his three and five-year-olds can jump on and climb back on with ease.
Thanks to the both the guys from BIC and Naish for taking the time to tell us about the upcoming releases at the 2014 summer Outdoor Retailer Show! Attending this expo is always one of the highlights of the year.