Checking out kayaks at Outdoor Retailer 2012
Attendees checkout kayaks at the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Expo

You could hear a pin drop today in the main ACK office. The offices are about half empty as team ACK heads to the airport  to be whisked away to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer (OR). For those not familiar with OR, it is outdoor sports show of its kind. Catering to manufacturers, retailers & enthusiasts, the show provides a first look at new technical innovations, outdoor sports apparel and educational conferences. Team ACK will be using this opportunity to familiarize themselves with gear they want to add to

Representing ACK at the event will be company owners Steve, Peter & Chris as well as Merchandising Team members Jerron & Jenny.
Being first-timers, I took a moment to talk with Jerron & Jenny about their expectations for this event:

Have you ever been to Outdoor Retailer before and what type of expectations do you have for this year?

Jerron: In my 3+ years of working for ACK, I have been to many different types of shows. Boat Shows, RV Shows, Fishing Shows, you name it! However, I have never been to Outdoor Retailer. This is a show that pretty much every serious outdoor retail shop attends to get a sneak peak at the new product available for the next season from over a thousand different companies. Being the avid kayak angler that I am, one could say that I am drooling over the opportunity to visit the various booths that display some of the new fishing equipment in search for that next hot product.

Jenny: Just like Jerron, this is going to be my first time attending the event and I am very excited – actually my first trade show for the outdoor market at all. I’ve heard things can get pretty wild on the show floor from Peter & Steve so I’m doing my best to prepare. There’s going to be a lot going on and I have a pretty long list of booths I want to visit with new paddle-sports gear.

Outdoor Retailer Crowds from 2012
Crowds of people at the Outdoor Retailer Expo in 2012.

What kinds of things have you done to get ready?

Jerron:  For the past couple weeks, vendors and manufactures that will have booths at the show have been sending updates about stuff they’ll have at the show. There’s been a lot of stuff to look over product wise, especially on the kayak fishing side of things.

Jenny: Plus, there’s a lot of work to get done around the office before we go since we’re going to be gone for almost a full week so we’ve all had to put in some extra time to make sure everything will run smooth while we’re out. For the show itself, I’ve packed my most comfortable walking shoes, a water bottle (empty, thank you very much TSA), a box of granola bars, and downloaded the OR floor map to my iphone; I don’t want to miss a thing!

Any products you’re particularly excited about?

Jerron: I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about kayak fishing stuff ever since the big ICast fishing show happened about a month ago. We weren’t able to attend that one so I’m looking forward at getting close up time with some of those products. Some of the more anticipated products that I am looking forward to getting my hands on are the Raymarine Dragonfly (a new fishfinder), the Power Pole Micro Anchor, and of course all the new kayaks coming out.

Jenny: Ya, there are a TON of new kayaks that we’ve been hearing about and we’re waiting to take a look at them at the show before deciding whether or not to pick them up for There’s the new Slayer Propel, the Diablo Amigo, the Ride 115X, Ocean Kayak’s new Big Game 2 and I’m sure there are more that’ll be there. Who knows, maybe we’ll pick up a whole new kayak brand to add to the site! Ok, probably not, but hey – it could happen! I’ll personally be keeping an eye out for SUP gear too – I’ve been hearing good things about the new Astral Porters.

It sounds like you both have plenty to think about on the plane ride over, anything else you want to add?

Jerron: It’s definitely a good thing that these guys aren’t selling product at this show because I would be needing multiple suitcases to bring back some goodies. I’ll cover all the awesome kayak fishing gear I find out there, so stay tuned for my Outdoor Retailer recap once our team gets back!

Jenny: You’ll see plenty of updates from us at the show too- we’ll be doing our best to take pictures of new gear with our phones for the ACK Social Pages and maybe even leaving an ACK sticker on a booth or two. It’s going to be a blast and I can’t wait! Keep an eye out for my event recap when it’s all over as well.