Media scores confirm arrival in mainstream of standup paddling

The New York Times and World Business have focused features on the newest hot board sport; Seattle Times quotes REI Chief Executive counting standup among top new, gee-whiz products helping consumers keep minds off dreary economy.
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Major media wins in recent weeks point toward the growing acceptance of standup paddling in the mainstream.

Just yesterday, Seattle Times business writer Amy Martinez reported that standup paddleboards were among the “new, gee-whiz products” REI introduced to customers to help take people's minds off the recession and, along the way, help the outdoor retailer maintain profitability as it treads choppy waters amid widespread economic uncertainty. Stocking standup paddleboards was part of REI's strategy to "find things that would excite people and get them into the outdoors.”

An article appearing in the March 5 edition of the New York Times provided a brief history lesson, state of the craze, and first-hand description of the joys of standup paddling as experienced by staff writer Bonnie Tsui. Third in circulation in the USA behind only the Wall Street Journal and USA today, Times weekday circulation is just under one million readers.

One week earlier, World Business aired a five-minute-plus piece entitled, The New Wave that also took a look at the history of the sport but focused more on the people being attracted the sport and their reasons, fitness and fun topping the list. While exploring the state of the industry, World Business interviewed C4 Waterman co-founder Todd Bradley who talked about healthy growth trends and the sport's more recent march inland.

Freshwater – rivers, lakes and streams – has created explosive growth in the marketplace, Bradley explained, adding he expects standup paddle racing to become a major attraction for the sport that could one day become an Olympic event.

Since its inception in 2006, C4 Waterman has doubled sales every year, Similarly, according to World Business, The Rainbow Sandals Gerry Lopez's Battle of the Paddle, a weekend that combines competition with a gear expo, attracted more than 2,000 participants in its debut two years ago, a number that more than doubled to 5,000 last year.

“I think these feature stories in two major media outlets authenticates the fact that this new industry is for real and it's going to stick,” Bradley said. “Making products specifically for this market has been our mission since our inception. We were the first to start preaching it and this kind of exposure lifts the tide for the sport and the industry and we're glad to see it.”

Information on its website indicates World Business is a half-hour weekly show tracking the trends that are, and will be, changing the global business landscape. World Business reaches 300 million homes via 14 broadcasters around the globe including CNBC across Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States, PBS across the US, Al Arabiya across the Middle East, networks in eastern Europe, South America, South Africa and more than 40 of the world's leading airlines.

About C4 Waterman
C4 Waterman has been pioneering and leading the evolution of the waterman lifestyle, bringing more than 100 years of research and development to deliver unmatched design and technology specifically for standup paddling from the ultimate waves of Tahiti to the whitewater of the Colorado River and calmer freshwater lakes and streams. The company's values are based on the four core principles of the waterman lifestyle – balance, endurance, strength and discipline. To see the complete line of C4 products including epoxy and inflatable boards, paddles, rash guards and accessories, visit their website.

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