All photos: Aaron Black-Schmidt

Utah gets hot this time of year. Like, fry-an-egg-on-a-manhole-cover hot…or close to it at least. So, when our edit staff arrived at Utah’s Pineview Reservoir Tuesday morning for the Open Air Demo of the 2016 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, we were ready to get on the water, and subsequently fall in a few times.

Of the seven-plus hours we spent at the demo, a solid six were spent offshore, demoing everything from Starboard’s 15-person Starship inflatable to new race and touring designs from top brands like Hobie, NSP, Pau Hana, NRS, Naish, Boardworks and more. We paddled, we pivoted, we played and even pedaled (see Hobie Mirage Eclipse). One of us raced champion SUP star Travis Grant, and lost hopelessly. All-in-all, we geeked out on new boards and gear until our notebooks and memory cards were riddled with scribbles and shots of our favorite new products, which we will be be sharing with you here on all week. It’s a rough job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it.

Coverage from last year’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market