January 27, 2010
To our colleagues in the paddlesports trade,
TAPS no longer has the cash or the revenue stream to run the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium (WCSKS) in 2010. We know this is very sad news, especially for the hundreds of volunteers who only for their love of paddling have given thousands of hours of their time and their hearts to run this event over the years. We deeply thank you for what you have done for kayaking.
First, TAPS has lost funding from Outdoor Retailer (OR). Last year we received $30,000. In previous years, OR generously supported TAPS with up to a $62,000 stipend. We are grateful for this past financial assistance from OR which helped make the WCSKS possible. This year that OR funding is going instead to the new Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) paddlesports group.
Second, the WCSKS last Fall lost about $15,000. In previous years the event has been modestly profitable. Last year the difference was largely our inability to secure corporate sponsorship.
Will the WCSKS continue? It will not unless another organization takes over the funding and management of the event; we are out of cash. The Symposium was started 26 years ago by bootstrap efforts, and it might continue if key supporters immediately come forward.
Will TAPS continue? TAPS will operate through 2010. We will watch developments with the new OIA paddlesports group. We will also listen to our membership as to what useful role they want us to play. We believe that above all everyone in the industry desires healthy growth in paddlesports, and we are committed to that goal.
Tim Rosenhan, Joe Matuska,
President Vice President
January 27, 2010