Every Spring, Kittery Trading Post hosts the New England Paddlesports Show at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Field House, and this year is no exception. Scheduled for the weekend of March 31 to April 2, 2017, this year’s event offers a great opportunity for stand-up paddle boarders to check out the latest boards and equipment from industry leaders like SurfTech, Accent Paddle, FCS Surf, and others.
In addition to getting a chance to connect with manufacturer representatives about product questions, this show provides a great platform for paddlers of all skill level to connect, and learn how to improve their paddling techniques through instructional seminars, and on-water demonstrations which are led by paddling experts.
As a first-year instructor, and long-time attendee of this show, I thought I’d take this opportunity to outline a few tips to help you maximize your show experience. If you have any questions, I’d encourage you to email me, or stop by the “SUP Fitness, Race & Safety” seminar I’ll be hosting at the show on Saturday, April 1st at 1 pm (No April Fools’ Joke There…or is there?)
Tip #1: Buying a Paddle Board? Do Your Homework.
With so many paddle board options available at the show, the approach you’ll want to take towards buying a board is like planning a successful paddle. Prior to heading out to the show, you should first take time to set goals, conduct research and answer some key questions to ensure that you return home with the board that’s right for you.
As part of pre-show buying process, you’ll want to answer some fundamental questions about your athletic ability, skill level, and the type(s) of paddling you enjoy. To help you get started, I’ve listed some questions below you’ll should consider prior to researching different board types, specifications and brands.
• How comfortable are you on a paddle board?
• Where do you like to paddle? (Lake, Bay, River, Ocean)
• What type of paddling do you enjoy, and/or want to pursue? (Basic Recreation, SUP Surfing, Yoga, Race, Touring, River/Rapids)
• How many miles do you typically paddle on an outing?
• Do you live in a house, condo or apartment?
• How much do you want to spend on your board?
After answering these questions, you’ll be able to eliminate a long list of boards that don’t match your paddle preferences. As part of this stage, you’ll also want to get familiar with some basic paddle board anatomy, including the difference between a planing and displacement hull (outlined below).
Planing Hull: Planing Hulls are typically wider, flatter designs that are meant to ride on top of (or “plane”) the water. This hull type offers more stability and versatility and is typically used for surfing, yoga and basic “everyday” paddling.
Displacement Hull: A displacement hull can be characterized by its more-pointy nose and V-Shape bottom which is designed to slice through chop and wave. This hull style is ideal for longer paddles (i.e. touring), speed/racing and more open-ocean conditions.
Tip #2: Advance Your Knowledge & Skills by Attend Seminars & Demos
As noted earlier, the New England Paddlesports Show has a lot of great seminars and on-water demonstrations planned for this year’s show. Hosted by paddling experts from around the country, these intimate gatherings offer a great opportunity to connect, learn and advance your stand-up paddle boarding techniques and skills.
With the understanding that you probably don’t plan to spend your entire weekend at the show, I’d encourage you to review and identify the sessions you really want to attend so that you can plan your weekend accordingly.
Tip #3: Take Advantage of the BIGGEST Discounts of the Year!
This one is straight-forward. Every year, Kittery Trading Post hosts this free show to the public and offers a 10% discount off all purchases made at the show. As a pre-season deal for many, this is a great offer that you really should take advantage of!
To help Secoast Paddleboard Club members save even more, SurfTech (the official paddle board of the Seacoast Paddleboard Club) is offering all members a 15% Off Discount on all boards at the show, and 20% Off Discount on all paddle accessories with NO SALES TAX!!!
In the event you don’t see a board at the show that matches your requirements, SurfTech is going to extend these same discounts on post-show special orders, however Maine sales tax will apply.
As a side note, I’m excited to announce that Seacoast Paddleboard Club will have a booth in the lobby at this year’s New England Paddlesports Show to talk about membership benefits, social events, races and our annual Stand Up For Littles Charity paddle to the Isles of Shoals for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NH.
We look forward to meeting a lot of old friends and new faces. Until then, if you have any paddle-related questions, or would like to learn more about Seacoast Paddleboard Club, please drop me a line.