From the Floor: Outdoor Retailer 2015
Amongst the glittering lights, sore feet, shiny new products, familiar faces and new ones, there are always standouts on the show floor of the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. In this report, we focus on a handful of boards that caught our eyes this year. Look for more to come.
Surftech Bark Vapor
The Surftech Bark Vapor is a marriage from the depths of legendary shaper Joe Bark’s paddling mind: why not put a prone paddling nose from the famous Bark Commander prone board on a SUP? The result is the Vapor, available in both 12’6″ and 14″ (both 26″ wide). According to Bark, this is an extremely versatile shape, most at home in the rugged open ocean but also fast on flat water as well. This board has the potential to become your everyday distance sled for riding bumps to surf races.
BIC SUP Performer
BIC makes some of the most durable and functional boards on the market, all at reasonable price points. For 2016 they’ve added a 9’2″ to their Performer series for paddlers looking to drop down a board size while still getting all of the longevity from their Ace-Tec construction. At 31″ wide, this board will be plenty stable but a pulled in tail and nose will add maneuverability. Another crowd pleaser from BIC SUP.
Starboard All Star
Starboard has taken its winning formula with the Connor Baxter/Zane Schweitzer/Fiona Wylde-approved All Star race board and taken it to another level. Most notably, Starboard innovators Mathieu Rauzier and Svein Rasmussen added a triple concave through the back of the board for better glide and more maneuverability in and out through the surf. At 12’6″ X 24″, the All Star is narrow but still promises to be relatively stable thanks to 8.6″ rails and the 16.6″ tail. Expect to see this already successful shape send more Starboard riders to the podium in the next year.
Shaper Corey Cooper at BOTE adds another versatile shape to the brand’s unique stable with the Traveler, designed with speed and agility in mind but also offering some nice touring touches. We love their Paddle Sheath, which allows you to store your blade in the nose of the board while you take a break, toss out a line or snap a picture. Plugs in the front and rear give you plenty of options for tying down gear while the 28″ width will still give plenty of glide. A great board for covering some serious distance with a your necessary adventure gear.