The annual Scottish canoe exhibition took place last weekend in Perth – well attended both by the usual traders from all over the UK and some notable new additions.
Scotland was well represented – with 4 companies from Argyll and a good sprinkling from across the rest of the country.
The event always has a friendly and warm atmosphere to it with a good mix of exhibiters,traders and informative lectures and talks.
In the lecture hall this year the event welcomed with pride our London 2012 slalom and sprint Olympic medallists, Tim Baillie and Jon Schofield. They gave talks to a packed hall on both days – and each time the rest of the event was almost empty while they delivered their lectures.
Other talks were as diverse as sea kayaking and inspirational photography from Douglas Wilcox to amazing expedition adventures in Nepal and Siberia.
Out of the 27 or so traders four of the main players were from Argyll, this shows just how much paddle sport and especially sea kayaking has taken off here on the west coast of Scotland in the last few years. Canoe clubs, in fact, are seeing record numbers and interest to the extent that they are finding it hard to cope.
Kayak Bute is based, as the name tells you, on the island of Bute. They offer one of the newest sea kayaks to be sold in Britain, the Tiderace series. Roddy McDowell, above left, had Crayston, right, on the stand with him.
As you can sea from the photo above, Tiderace are very colourful sea kayaks and they are born from a British designer, Aled Williams. Kayak Bute also runs expeditions and courses and play host to an all women’s sea kayak symposium every year.
Sea Kayak Oban [photo above] is again based where its name suggests. At the show the they had the record for the highest advertisement banner lofted 30ft above the hall.
They offer sea kayaks from the world and a good range of clothing and accessories.
Art and Sea – are an innovative company based in Taynuilt, 20 miles from Oban. They design custom kayak graphics and artwork to suit every paddler’s artistic dreams. Just check out the photo. Fab stuff.
Sea Kayaking Scotland [above], based in Benderloch, is the main Scottish dealer for Nigel Dennis sea kayaks, one of the worlds leading designs and manufacturers. These sea kayaks are made in Holyhead in North Wales and have been for 20 years. They are exported to 23 countries around the world, a great British manufacturing success story.
At the show Sea Kayaking Scotland were displaying a good range of NDK sea kayaks and attracting lots of interest to the extensive program of expeditions and courses run on the west coast of Scotland.
It was a great shame that Lomo watersports from Glasgow pulled out at the last minute. They would have been a great asset and boost to the show.
They put a full page advertisement in the Scottish canoe associations magazine giving their reasons: ‘The Bells’ Sports Centre used for the show has very poor mobile reception making it difficult to take secure card payments for goods’.
This is the sort of issue the organisers of any commercial event today need to be wise to. Let’s hope it can be rectified for next year.
Note: The top photograph was taken in British Columbia, by EC and is in the public domain.