It’s no secret that the Pacific Northwest has some of the best creek boating and stoutest waterfalls available. There’s a reason that a community of the best pro paddlers in the world call this home (at least during creekin’ season). It’s also no secret that the western US had one of the most epic winters on record, providing record setting snowpack and run-off to our rivers. What better time and what better place to test some of this year’s creek boats? So, what are the top three pics of the local crew?
This the boat demo we can’t get away from our staff. Fast, friendly with forgiving edges – the 9R has been going out the door as fast as it’s been coming in this year.
Once in awhile there is a boat where people don’t wait to hear the reviews – we have people buying the Machno before the boats hit the floor. Tons of rocker and boof-ability, this boat hammers through the stoutest of the stout.
If you have purchased a new 2017 Hobie Kayak from us or anyone else you will want to read this. This addresses any kayaks shipped to dealers before November 1 2016. So even if you end up buying a Hobie Kayak in July, this could impact your kayak. In a nutshell, if your drive is feeling slugish or is just not working as well as expected this applies to you. Please read:
Hobie Cat Dealer Bulletin Proper Fin Adjustment For Hobie® MirageDrive® 180 We have discovered that our factory has over-tightened the fin adjuster knobs on MirageDrive 180s delivered in the past few weeks.
In this condition the fins are not able to properly “travel” from side to side. The performance and feel of the drives will be sluggish as well. While we try to allow users to fine tune the drives as a feature… over tensioning the fins is problematic. This can also lead to damage of the traveler slot in the “boom” fitting.
We will be building drives in the loosest setting from now forward. We request that dealers and users do the same adjustments by following the instructions on page 12, item 2 of the manual to “loosen” the fins as highlighted below. The fins must be able to travel easily from side to side.
To properly adjust the MD180 fin tension, turn the adjuster knob until the stainless lock nut nearly touches the embedded brass nut. That would be the loosest fin setting.
Mirage Kayak Manual – MD-180
MirageDrive Mast Bend / Proper Straightening When a MirageDrive mast contacts the bottom or other obstruction it is possible to bend the mast. Proper technique for straightening the mast will avoid further damage to the drive.
Once a mast is bent, you can straighten it again, in most cases. To straighten a mast, first remove the fin. This is a MUST, due to possible damage to the fin and/or outhaul block fittings. If you over-bend the mast forward, you can place significant load on the aft attachment point of the fin and damage can be caused.
To remove a MD180 fin, use a pair of pliers to hold the stainless nut located at the bottom end of the adjuster screw. Turn the adjuster knob as shown in the diagram below. Once the nut is removed you can continue to turn the knob until the entire screw is released from the fin.
For older version MirageDrive fins, remove the clevis pin and ring.
Once the fin is removed, one option is to bend it forward while the drive is installed in the MirageDrive well. Position the hull on its side or upside-down. This will hold the drive securely while you leverage the mast back into proper position.
Another option and easier… if you have a vise… is to clamp the bent mast into the vise and by pulling on the drive for leverage, bend it back into position.
Day 2 at the show and we’ve got some great stuff for you! Grab your beverage – here we go!
All of Field Candy’s products are all made in England, so it’s not the cheapest stuff we saw at the show but it is definitely some of the most fun!
The Hang About
Even the name sounds British! These awesome hanging chairs for the kids have an inflatable floor so they retain their shape when sat in. Made of a very high quality waterproof nylon, you could hang this outside all summer and bring it into the kid’s room for winter. Priced in the mid $100s, we think Santa will be delivering a lot of these this Christmas!
While we don’t see them replacing your 4 season expedition tent anytime soon, Field Candy’s tents are legit and more than just a pop-up play thing for your kids. With a fun twist on graphics, some even customizable!, we can’t wait to see these crop up during summer camping season.
Now for our favorite item at the Field Candy booth: The Snoos Pillos! These pillows are a home run with super fun graphics that have British flair, are relevant and fun! A perfect stocking stuffer for the kids and the young at heart this Christmas!
Sweet Protection Sweet always brings something fresh and new to OR and this year is no different! All new merino wool tops and bottoms will be available in men’s and women’s, fit under your paddling gear perfectly and sport some mad steeze with the Sweet logo. At $99 for the top and $89 for the bottom, they aren’t cheap but this is the kind of investment that will not only be around forever but will make you much more popular with your paddling homies than if you were rocking a set of stinky polys. To top it all off, they come in cool black and white Star Wars like packing. Those Sweet designers – they think of everything!
In addition to the underwear, the Generator jacket will be available in a heavier weight wool. Be on the look out for these – the pics don’t do the colors justice!
We had to throw in this cool ENO blanket with flashing led lights on the edge. We’re not sure what this is for but it seems cool. Maybe for those occasions when you need a night time UFO landing pad?
Astral If the new Astral Layla reminds you of the Lotus Lola from years past, there is good reason! With a new spin on an old frame, this is going to make a lot of ladies that have been waiting for the Lola’s return very happy (and comfy)! $139 in the 2 colors (purple and red) shown!
If you’re looking to get a solid vest at a great price, the YTV is definitely one to check out! Great colors, lots of features and a mere $119!
You know it, you love it! The ever popular, expedition worthy Greenjacket has been freshly updated and comes in black, Cherry Creek Red and Deep Water Blue.
If you’re thinking of buying water shoes from any company other then Astral, stop. Go find you some Astrals and try them on. There isn’t a shoe on this wall that we don’t think is great. It took a couple years of tweaking to get it perfect, but Astral shoes have arrived and we think you’re gonna love them!
Another year, another exciting Outdoor Retailer show with a ton of fresh goodies from current and potential vendors! Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and let us show you around what’ll be available from your favorite brands in the coming season. Have any questions? Requests? Let us know and we’ll do our best to get the answers and the beta you’re looking for!
First up, Hobie Kayaks! We caught these guys before we’d finished our coffee and weren’t quite awake enough to take notes – so we thought we’d just let them speak for themselves.
Gear Aid Gear Aid makes repair tattoos which are cut outs of everything from a swatch to a foot print. Designed to replace that roll of duct tape you keep handy for gear repairs and make your kids jackets all fresh and steezy for the new year. They also make reflective tenacious tape for those of you that like to get your workout on at twilight. Safety first, folks!
NRS We love the NRS crew! Not only are they extremely nice Idaho folk, they consistently kick out high quality, award winning gear. This year is no exception! We’re digging the new tri-color shorts (on fleek, son!) but the super star in this year’s line up is the all new Sidewinder Bibs. If you’re a kayak fisherperson, these fishing wader/dry bibs should go on your Christmas list right now! At $449 you’ll need to stay on Santa’s good side, but these will be worth the effort!
Also targeted towards the kayak fisherperson, the Guide shorts are super versatile, made of 4 way stretch and have 5 pockets with plenty of go-anywhere-do-anything in them.
Thule These folks are determined to become the brand you think of when you want to carry anything. Skis? Check. Bikes? Check. Boats? Check. Tent? Check. Schoolbooks? Check. Cellphones? Check. No, seriously! Cell phones! Thule is coming out with a whole line up of backpacks and cell phone carriers to make sure there are there for anything that needs to be carted/towed/picked up.
5.10 The Eddy is a sick river shoe and, at $99, should be competitive in the market. That said, we’re wondering where 5.10 will fit in the mix of brands that have been doing water shoes for years (NRS, Merrell, Columbia, Astral). Your thoughts? Is there room in the market for another shoe brand? Time will tell friends, time will tell.
Immersion Research Ahhh, our Southeast brethen. The water, so warm. The drawls, so charming. The gear, so awesome. IR has always produced excellent women’s gear. No “shrink it and pink it” when one of your founders is not only female but a whitewater pioneer as well – the new IR Shawty is actually purple. It’s also made of 7 figure drysuit material and includes a front pee zip for $899, making it a bargain for a top of the line drysuit!
If you’re one of the Wells brothers, or you just really wanna be like them (who doesn’t??), the new IR Devil’s Club is for you! Designed for the explorer who is bush whacking into the next First D, the Devil’s Club is ultra durable and ready for anything.
The boat company that is “for paddlers, by paddlers” keeps churning out the rad boats, complete with some new designs and accessories for the fish folks and those looking for something that’ll do everything.The Karma Traverse replaces the Rogue series. It’s a little more whitewater focus and has a direct line of site on Dagger’s Katana. It’ll be coming in two lenths, 10′ and 11′ and will include a drop skeg.
Also new is this cool small yellow cooler. Significantly smaller than it’s big brother, it’s retains Jackson’s Orions bomber quality and gear tracks. $99 retail should be a much better pricepoint for some folks than the Orion.
Alright all you mini-anglers! You’re finally getting your own boat! No packing around with mom and dad, now you getta go where you wanna go & fish what you wanna fish! The Skipper is Jackson’s new, ultra stable 9′ fishing kayak with a 50-125lb weight range. Leave it to Jackson, one of the pioneers in kid’s boats, to keep all of the bells and whistles in the mini version: fish grippers, 2 rod holders and gear tracks included. They also looked a safety and cut a front hatch that all but renders the boat unsinkable in the event of a flip. Nice work watching out for our little people, guys! At $999 we’re thinking this will be a kid that is definitely on Santa’s good side or maybe working the family past time.
See this? Sure, it looks like a non-descript black thing-a-ma-bob (feel free to whip out your technical term dictionaries on that one) BUT what it really is is a line cutter that will be on all Jackson fishing kayaks and, if you don’t want it, no problem – it comes right off.
And moving on to the adult fishing kayaks (1/2 of you have fast forwarded to this point – that’s cool, we get it):The Kraken 15.5 is actually 15’7″ – as many of you know, that came out this year… Next they are adding a 13.5 (actually 13’3″) to the line up. There will be three different levels of outfitting: standard, elite and pro. The 15.5 will come in all three outfitting options, the 13.5 will lose the pro option and will be available in standard and elite only.
The 14′ 6″ Tandem Kilroy is a solid tandem kayak with some serious outfitting potential. The metal cross bars are removable and the gear tracks that are end to end on this thing make it easy to add whatever rod holder floats you & your partner’s boat (get it! hah!).
Just a few quick shots of the Cuda LT. Sure, it came out last year, but it still looks gooooood!
The Kilroy LT is now available in real tree camo.
The Coosa HD Pro outfitting version is no lightweight, weighing in at a solid 92lbs, but you get a lot of bling for the weight: pads, power pole wireless anchoring system, Nocqua battery power system, Buck knife splizzors (oh yeah, that’s spelled right – we checked) and a low j krate.
Check out the NEW Nomad! So, so pretty. Pictured is a large and medium – a small will be added to the line up. It looks to us like the excellent designers at Dagger took some notes from the stern of Pyranha’s 9R and mixed it up with the tried and true Nomad, threw in a dose and love and BOOM! New classic creeker! Thank you much, Confluence, for holding on to Dagger.
How has it taken this long for a kayak manufacturer to come out with a fishing boat called Pescador?? These fish, at 10′ and 12′, are going to be the perfect sit-on-top solution for the aspiring kayak angler who is looking at getting their feet wet. No gear tracks but with a nice seat and attractive price point, we this this boat will be a big hit.
And let us not forget the SUPs! Ya’ gotta have ’em and these beauts look good!
Anchor Wizard Interesting.
Kanu Lock Seriously? Can’t they repackage it or rename it for the us. Kan-they? A webbing strap with cables inside you can lock so now you can lose your keys to your kayak, sup, and what ever else you can call a Kanu. Seriously Kanu?
Why do we keep thinking of Cross Fitters when we see this rubber wedding ring? We have now tested it for 4 hrs and can safely say that, while a bit daunting in black, it is certainly comfy. Fellas get a camo alternative and ladies get the more uplifting color choices of white and pink. It certainly HAS to be the best profit margin any manufacturer is getting anywhere at $19.95 but may be the solution for some folks who really want put a ring on it on while playing.
Olukai How could we resist showing you guys this? How cool are these custom shoes Olukai had a Hawaiian artist doing for the show.
Robot Grill Cleaner We know you’ve been wondering ‘when oh WHEN will there be a roomba for my grill??’ Well folks, that time is NOW. Set it and forget it – we just highly suggest keeping it out of your kids reach!
The first couple days of Outdoor Retailer, we get to meet with all of the great vendors we partner with throughout the year to talk about what they’re working on for the following year. Our final day, we set out to scout the rest of the show for other companies that might have just the thing you’re looking for… and sometimes just to see what crazy thing people have come up with in this!
See something that interests you? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter!
Our demo center sits on a lovely little basin and we’ve seen SUP explode over the last few years. But really – sleep SUPing? Is this maybe taking it a step too far? Seriously though, we think the idea of using your inflatable SUP board as a sleeping pad is pretty creative.It saves from having to pack your sleeping pad, right?
These ice packs and compression wraps from Shock Doctor are pretty cool. They have joint specific wraps (shoulder, knee, etc) as well as more general shapes and they come self contained in packs that are easy to throw in the freezer so they’re ready to go anytime you aren’t!
This? Well… we just couldn’t resist. Funny sweatshirt for a summer trade show where the average temperature outside feels like it rivals the Sahara.
Selk bags just look fun. The new super hero versions are the perfect Christmas present for your favorite nephew (or uncle?). They come in adult and child sizes and are a lightweight sleeping bag alternative (though we’re thinking “campfire attire” might be a little more realistic). Need to use the outhouse (or nearest tree) in the middle of the night? No awkward sleeping bag wiggle, just get up and go!
We’ve seen them made out of duct tape, but this is the first time we’ve seen wallets made out of recycled sail fabric! Check out Flowfold’s site to see the options.
Every year there are a host of solar cookers. Most involve large reflective dishes – this one is different. A black glass tube, enclosed by a non-heat conductive exterior, gets extremely hot, cooking whatever is placed inside in short order. Gosun was funded with Kickstarter – they have a great video that shows you just how this small little stove cooks.
We love these inflatable lanterns from MPOWERD! They fold flat to about the size of a DVD when not in use – when you need a little light, just blow them up and turn them on. The reflective material opposite the light fills up the lantern with a surprisingly bright light. Oh – and did we mention this is all solar powered? Think river trips, swimming pools, camp tables – these little guys will be able to pack anywhere and light anywhere (that there’s sun to recharge, of course).
We had the pleasure of meeting TurboPup‘s founder, Kristina, when she came through Hood River a few weeks ago. She had a couple of her athletes (of the canine variety) that were here as part of a local expedition and we were happy to run into her again at the show. Kristina and her team have worked hard to create the ultimate meal replacement bar for your 4 legged adventure partner, saving space and weight in your (and their) packs.
Need a lightweight trailer that is the mobile Swiss Army knife for carrying gear? This might be it! No one was at the SylvanSport Go Easy booth, so we didn’t get a chance to chat with them about their latest offering, but a quick glance was enough to impress us!
Coming later this week: OneWheel! We think OneWheel, another Kickstarter funded company, is best in show for new products at this year’s Outdoor Retailer! We got to ride this amazing new toy/transporter/skateboard/whatever and it’s amazing! To add to our excitement, the good folks of OneWheel are headed our direction this week and we’re looking at getting an even closer and more detailed look at the next big thing. Stay tuned for more photos, video & info!
Starting Day 2 off with the good folks at Confluence! Have any questions about what you see here? Contact us anytime!
What happens when you take years of performance driven R&D and put it into a sit-on-top? Check out the Roam (Rivers Ocean And Mountains – get it?)! The backbag comes off and the thigh straps attach to form a backpack for off-water adventure, the hull design is high performance and has edges that make this a great paddling sit-on-top. If you had any experience with the Torrent, think of the Roam as a high performance Torrent! With two sizes and sit-on-top flexibility, there will be a Roam to fit almost every body.
Here are some close ups but Dagger also put together a nice little “in action” video you can see below:
The new Wildy fishing kayak, the Thresher, looks like a great boat, but is sold as a very base model. Want all of the bells and whistles that come standard on a lot of the other new boats? They’re there, but you’re going to have to pay for them. See the base model in the first couple of pictures and the “pimp my ride” version in the bottom couple.
We are digging the Velocity Shoe! Super rugged and ready for scrambling and tough portages, sticky rubber outsole for a sure grip. And check out this sweet NRS packaging!
The Coosa HD Need a more stability out of your Coosa? Jackson answered the call! Introducing the Coosa HD, the longer, more stable version of the ever popular Coosa. With an open footwell for ease of movement, a padded floor, stand up paddle holder and other great details, the Coosa HD is definitely going to be worth a look!
The Cuda LT With the same deck features as the Cuda 12, the Cuda LT adds YakAttack tracks fore & aft of the seat. The LT is also lighter, more stable & is higher performance than the Cuda 12… not to mention, does a boat get much prettier?
The Kilroy Duck hunters rejoice! All the function of the Kilroy with all the stealth of camo. They’ll never see or hear ya’ coming.
The Kraken Want it all and want it now? The Kraken might be your boat! All of the goodies you see below? It comes with those stock! Designed by Jim Sammonds with top notch detail and quality (ex: all accessories are attached so a roll won’t leave you floundering, reaching for all your gear), if off shore fishing is your thing, you’re going to have a hard time topping the Kraken as the best boat for the job.
Designer and angler Jim Sammonds
shows off his latest creation.
The new 9R is Pyranha’s entry into the sub-9 ft race category. Built with some very aggressive features designed specifically for racing, this boat won’t be for everyone… but if bombing down the river at top speeds is your goal, the 9R will be a top contender.
Because who doesn’t want a water bottle that looks like a mini-growler…? The Little Buddy!
Did you miss Day 1 of the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Show?
Don’t miss our final day of the 2014 Outdoor Retailer Show!
Hobie Kayaks has updated just about every boat they’re putting out for 2015. We’ll be doing a bigger download just on Hobie once we get home and can detail all of the changes for you, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights!
Hobie Kayaks Outback
Hobie Kayaks Outfitter
Hobie Kayaks Oasis
Hobie Kayaks Seat
The Venturi drain is a new addition – when you’re cruising along, pull the cord to open the drain and the boats movement creates a vacuum to suck the water out of your boat.
And last, but certainly not least, the new Mirage drive!
The folks at Torch are coming out with some really inventive and high quality paddles. If you’re an after (or before?) work SUPer or paddlers, you’re going to love these light up paddles! SUP and kayak paddles coming out next year for roughly $250.
The fine folks at Astral put out some great shoes with the Brewer, Rassler and Porter, so they have expanded their shoe line to include everything from pure water shoes to shoes that threaten to be considered downright fashionable.
To highlight a couple of our favorites, the Aquanaut will be a rugged shoe with extra stability, maximum ventilation and high friction rubber meant for both dirt and water. If your adventures will take you to the trail and the river next spring or summer, this may be the shoe for you! MSRP $125
If you’re looking for a shoe that’s built to last but will fit in your playboat, the Loyak is the shoe for you to watch for next spring! With recessed stitching that binds the bomber Cordura upper to the razor-sipped sole this low profile, moccasin-like shoe will be with you for a long time.
What’s new, amazing and a great price at under $1000 (ok, we understand that “under $1k” and “great price” don’t always go hand-in-hand, but it does here!)? The new 7Figure dry suit from IR! This thing looks good, feels good and we are laying odds that we’ll be able to add “performs great” to that list. The seams are solid, the zipper is great and the fabric has outperformed and outlasted Gore-Tex in testing. Boom!
Don’t need a full dry suit? IR has that covered too (of course!). Introducing the IR 7Figure drytop! Same great quality as the drysuit, a screamin’ deal at $389.
Here’s Wildy’s new, pimped out entry into the fishing kayak market! Shown with a lot of bells and whistles that aren’t included, you can make this boat exactly what you want it to be. We’re digging the removable fish finder console.
Wavesport is bringing us a fresh new playboat design with the Mobius. Less stern rocker makes for a faster hull than the Project series, and a shorter boat with more volume will help you pump up those loops. Comes in three sizes to fit all paddlers comfortably (well, as comfortably as any short boat is gonna be!).
Here’s a little promo video from Wavesport showing the Mobius gettin’ it done on water!
The Recon has been a HUGE hit in our neck of the woods. Local paddlers can’t get enough of it. What would make it better for 2014…? Maybe some stylie new colors?
Multi-day whitewater paddlers rejoice! Your days of compromise are over! Built especially for you by our friends at Dagger is the all new Katana. Two sizes, a hatch, all the leg room you could ever need – what more do you want? Tell your boss you need the week off and pack those MRIs (yummm) – time to go paddlin’.
Here’s Dagger’s promo video of the Katana to give you an idea of what it looks like in action:
And let’s not forget the carbon layup of the Jitsu that we got to preview in-store a few weeks ago when Dagger athlete, Rush Sturges, had a special delivery shipped to us. For more photos, check out our FB page:
Old Town Kayaks
Check out the new entry into the fishing kayak market from Old Town kayaks! This boat is almost as pretty as the fish you’ll be stringing using it! The Predator comes in two sizes (13 and MX) and is one of the best thought out offerings we’ve seen so far. All of this innovation doesn’t come cheap ($1400), but this is definitely a “you get what you pay for” situation! We can’t wait to see the Predator out on the water!
If you need to take your iDevice with you on the water, you are going to be hard pressed to find a better product than Snowlizards latest offerings for the iPhone/Pod and iPad. Waterproof and bomber with a solar panel to trickle charge your device or the back up battery, this will be a great addition to the paddling kits of those not getting out on the water to get away from it all.
Started by two brothers in the SE, we love the water shoes coming out of this company. The water shoes are reasonably priced at $50-$65 and the flips are a great value at $30. Check them out and let us know what you think!
Check out this cool landing net from YakAttack! It breaks down and fits into a milk crate (we all have those on hand, right?), has a great handle for control and it’s easy to use with one hand while landing that fish with your other!
You know you’ve always wanted a battery powered surf board (or SUP)! Who hasn’t when they’re headed “back to the barn” after a long paddle?? WaveJet is here to fulfill all our battery powered water toy fantasies with a board add on that is wrist controlled. For a cool $4000, that is (dreams don’t always come cheap!) – includes recharging station.
Miscellaneous cool stuff…
Goal Zero has provided probably 50 charging stations around Salt Palace. Thanks for keeping all of us outdoor folks connected, Goal Zero!
If you have a little person that’s wanting to hit the trails with Mom and Dad, this bike by Joovy looks like a pretty stylin’ way to start a mountain biking career!
Check out this great casting pool set up outside of Salt Palace for everyone trying out the fly fishing set ups.
For those that needed a little stretch before hitting the tradeshow floor, a little SUP yoga!
And don’t miss…
Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013 : Day 1 Outdoor Retailer Summer 2013 : Day 3