MUNICH SUP’s “Boot” Review (Water Sport and Boating Expo, Dusseldorf)
The “Boot“ in Dusseldorf is one of the biggest water sport Expos in the world, and had almost 1800 companies represented in 17 halls. Exhibitions ranged from Stand Up Paddling, windsurfing, wakeboarding, jet skis, motorboats, yachts and super yachts, to function clothing, navigational devices, and every imaginable water sport and boating accessorie available on the market.
Every year hundreds of thousands of visitors rush the Expo, to see the latest and greatest in water sports. Whether it is walking around the deck and viewing the inside of the 64 foot Hallberg Rassy yacht being premiered, or joining the other amused visitors staring at the latest inventions. From the “practical”, Frontloop-Trainer, and the flashy, Seabob, to the curios, a.k.a. the Jetlev-Flyer, slogan: “Stop Dreaming! Start Flying!”, or the recreational, BBQ-Donut, a barbeque in a donut!
The “Beach World” where the SUP stands were found, and where the action could be watched in a 1 000 m² pool, served as hangout for many Stand Up Paddlers. Daily SUP races for beginners took place each day, with the winner taking home a camera, and having the opportunity to participate in the final. The kids, and young at heart, tried out SUP during the “open water action” sessions, racing against, and in some cases, over each other… reminding us that SUP is fun, has a broad popularity and a great future.
The well known SUP brands such as Starboard, Naish and BIC were once again represented. They consulted the public, displayed boards, provided boards for the competitions, and they did “What is SUP” sessions. Certainly they reached the general public, and the SUP industry has to thank them for that. Some diversity wouldn’t have harmed though, and there were just too few SUP brands taking advantage of the literally hundreds of thousands of Expo visitors.
The seasoned SUP campaigner would have missed the diversity in brands, new ways of presenting the sport, and the missing SUP accessories market, but they may well have to wait until the sport has gained broader popularity. Until then the “Boot” has more than enough ells to offer, and the best aspect of attending the “Boot”, may well have been meeting with other SUP fanatics and friends, and discussing Stand Up Paddling’s future over a few beers!
Thanks to Etienne Stander – Munich SUP for this report!
His observations of the “Boot” are quite similar to mine from the London Boat Show. While the watersports action pool brought the SUP sport alive to a novice audience in a fun and action-packed way, there was not much to impress the seasoned Stand Up Paddler, just 2 booths (Naish and Starboard/red distribution) with no big news or new ways of presenting the sport.
But I did stumble across some interesting products in the boat halls….the Turboflame water and windproof “can burn a hole in a can” lighter, some cool waterproof bags from Overboard. My favorite discovery were the waterproof Sealskinz socks – perfect to wear under your booties for those cold winter paddles. I did however feel sorry for the lady demonstrating them, who had her feet in a bathtub with cold water all day…..
Aside from that, I found the brush surfing really hillarious….but who knows what I’d be doing if I wasn’t living next to a river wave which can be surfed 24/7?
The Boat Show ended Sunday 6PM with starving me and Annabel (still in her race gear and with her paddle) strolling through the halls of the outdoor and bike show, sampling all kinds of energy bars and drink pretending to be testing all the different flavors and forms…dinner problem solved.
Here are some impressions from Düsseldorf and London: