With the recent demise of the Action Sports Retailer (ASR) trade show, the Surf Expo, in Orlando, Fla., is now arguably the country’s biggest surf and skate show. And standup has staked its claim with an entire section to itself including paddle pool and brands old and new displaying their wares. Attendees are calling it one of the best shows in years.
The SUP mag team has perused all the booths, talked shop with most of the industry leaders, and sat in on an animated (albeit informative) industry meeting hosted by SUP Business where topics ranged from techniques for increasing margins to PFD philosophy to the mission to capture the all-important, and to this point elusive, standup sales trends in hard data.
One of the most interesting products at this year’s show? The Wavejet, developed by Mike Railey and his Ventura, Calif.-based team (above). The Wavejet is essentially a carbon-fiber SUP with a 15-pound motor in it that allows wave riders to catch waves without even dipping a paddle. Traditionalists may shun this new niche but everyone can agree on the ingenuity. The 15-pound motor is controlled with a remote control system in a wristwatch and can be removed if the rider wants to go “old school.” –-Joe Carberry
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