Organizers of Paddlesport Retailer have announced plans to host their next industry trade show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 2018. 

Members of the Paddlesports Trade Coalition told SNEWS at their first event, ongoing this week in Madison, Wisconsin, that Oklahoma City's new Riversport Adventure Park is a state-of-the-art world-class venue that will showcase leading brands like never before.

“It’s magnificent,” said Bill Kueper, Paddlesports Trade Coalition Chair and VP of Wenonah Canoe. “National team coaches had tried to tell me how great it was. They all under-described it."

Oklahoma City Riversport rapids

At the Riversport Adventures Park, Paddlesports Retailer attendees will be able to test kayaks and paddleboards in all types of conditions.

The Riversport Adventures Park is a new addition to the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation’s National High Performance Center. It was just completed last year and offers facilities for rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. Close to the Oklahoma River, the watersports complex is also an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training facility. With plenty of hotel rooms and dinning establishments nearby, it’s an ideal spot, Kueper said.

“This is an exciting next step for Paddlesports Retailer,” he told SNEWS. “Oklahoma City offers the premier venue for a gathering of this magnitude that will only continue to grow in years to come. And the new facilities make an ideal Demo Day setting, with on-location access to both flat water and whitewater.”

The next Paddlesports Retailer will start with an on-water demo on Monday, Aug. 27, then the trade show will run at Oklahoma City's Cox Convention Center from Aug. 28 through 30. At the on-water demo, attendees will be able to canoe, kayak, raft and paddleboard down Class II-IV rapids while testing all the latest flat water boats on the USOC sprint kayak course.

“We are thrilled to welcome Paddlesports Retailer to Oklahoma City,” says Sue Hollenbeck, director of sports business at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our community lives and breathes paddlesports and I think attendees will be blown away by what we have to offer.”

Oklahoma City is also breaking ground on a new downtown convention center. The facility will feature a 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 45,000-square-foot meeting space and 30,000-square-foot ballroom. With more than twice the display area of Madison’s Alliant Energy Center, the complex at OKC may offer the Paddlesports Retailer Show an even better venue when it opens 2019.

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