Outdoor Retailer Show Opens with the Open Air Demo

My feet cried uncle, the backs of my legs are fried and my eyes are can barely focus. Yep. The Outdoor Retailer Show 2011 is on. The morning at Jordanelle Reservoir started off sunny both in weather and dispositions. Despite the clouds that bubbled in the distance the vendors at this year’s show couldn’t be more excited to meet and great retail store buyers and media.

Nearly 200 companies set up tents around the Hailstone section of the Park with the boating and stand up padding guys rimming the shoreline. Before we even hit the water Eton’s iPod speaker cases stopped me in my tracks. They’re solar powered, splash resistant and pretty decent sounding.

Next door we spotted these pretty “Sweaty Bands” – hair head bands created to stay put even during your workouts. I don’t know if it’ll hold up to one of Abi’s Sports Conditioning classes but it felt secure. The inner lining is velvet that grips your hair.

There were a few toy distributers present because of course no day on the water is complete without Frisbees, Smashballs, and ring tosses like The Original Ring Stix Game..As Seen On TV (the packaging says).

I haven’t had a chance to wear the Agion Active shirt but the built-in, “next generation odor elimination technology” sounds intriguing. Another top I can’t wait to wear is a body hugging KoreDry Bounceless Bra sport top from Victory. The girl at the booth demonstrated how a C-cup didn’t move while you wore it. Sorry, Guys. Plus, the quick dry Koredry fabric repels water but also breathes. It’s meant for water sports but I’m thinking it’s perfect for skiing.

The eco thing is alive and well it should be at OR. I got a tour through the Sustainable Living Roadshow bus with its solar top, bamboo interior and biodiesel engine. It still looked like a hippy band’s dormitory. We tossed trash into baskets and threw beanbags at targets painted with oil rigs and smoke stacks.

After a round of geocaching with Magellan’s little geocache specific, handhelds we went down to the water to talk boats. Everyone was out paddling. SUPs ruled the water with canoes a distant second. A decade ago whitewater kayaks were topdog. Now, only a handful of companies represent at OR- Prijon, Piranha, Liquid Solution, Wavesport. Paddleboards are just so simple on the water. You need a board and a paddle. You don’t even need a PFD apparently. In addition, many companies are busting out new lighter-weight designs.

My favorite sight was the “Mormon” kayak. Have another kid, add another cockpit. J

By the time on my new waterproof Flexx digital watch that looks kind of like one of those Lance Armstrong cancer wristbands, things were winding down for the day. I wish I had it on my trip to Montana. At $15 it’s exactly what you want when you’re doing class IIIs and swimming.

I headed home, changed and hit the road again for the Verde PR Media Suite at the Hotel Monaco. I’d tell you all about it but that will have to wait for tomorrow. I’m desperate for sleep and have to head to SLC at 6:30 a.m.

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