Rapid founder and publisher Scott MacGregor moderated a panel at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah, on how the paddlesports industry can better work together.
Held on stage at The Camp, the panel included:
Keeton Eoff, strategic development at Hobie
Andrew Stern, marketing at Branches, LLC.
Christopher Stec, chief operating officer at ACA
Joe Pulliam, industry veteran and director of operations at Jackson Kayak
Simon Coward, owner at Aquabatics Calgary
Steve Scherrer, instructor, athlete, designer and brand ambassador
Fielding questions about how the industry can band together to thrive, questions ranged from how to foster adventure to bridging the gap between a beginner lesson and becoming a paddling enthusiast.
MacGregor also asked the panel if the paddlesports industry is becoming watered down at all in terms of making it open to all kinds of people, potentially to the point that the adventure appeal is being lost.
“Scott, I agree we need to nurture it, but I don’t agree we’ve taken that out of it,” replied Pulliam. “I think the idea of a cottage canoe has been around much longer than any of us.”
Another question focused on whether media has a role in producing content that promotes a sense of adventure. Scherrer said that he believes there needs to be more of an awareness that adventure can be anything from an overnight to a mutli-day outing. “I live on the Columbia River and you can take off and paddle two days or four days or seven days on that river and you’re still cellphone accessible and you can walk up to the town and get a meal in a restaurant,” he said. “That adventure can be small or it can be huge.”