An impression of the Kanumesse 2010 from a sea kayaking perspective.
I visited the Kanumesse in Nürnberg - the world’s largest paddle-sport trade show, where manufacturers show their new products for all canoeing and kayaking disciplines to retailers. The show is so large that impossible to look into everthing in depth: the focus during the two days of my visit (the full show is three days) was on touring- and seakayaking.
It was a unique occasion to talk with the people behind the products (the designers, production- and marketing managers, etc.) about the ideas behind their products. I enjoyed meeting people working with passion for the sport. The two days on the show passed by in a flash. A brief photo impression of my encounters on the show is featured in this Playak Photo Album.
Still overwhelmed by 2 days full of impressions it’s difficult to say what struck me as the biggest news of the show. Choosing one: the Martini of Point65 is a very innovative product. Last year Fluid and Point65 both introduced a modular snap-on concept with (relatively simple) sit-on-tops which can be extended from a single into a double, triple, or even more, craft. The Martini takes this concept to the next level on a closed cockpit-kayak. The Martini is fully equipped with front and rear stowing compartments with watertight hatches, an ergonomically designed seat, seat pad, cup holders, paddle park, built-in carrying handles and a great integrated rudder controlled by foot pedals. Extending the Martini from a single to a double or triple kayak works amazingly simple and effective; the proof of a well thought-out design!
The trends I noticed regarding sea kayaking are perhaps a bit arbitrary, but let me share some of them with you:
- An increasing availability of sea kayaks in multiple sizes (to fit a wide range of paddlers). After the introduction of low-, medium- and high volume versions in the (more expensive elite) series of composite kayaks in recent years, this multiple size idea is now also getting kind of standard with the (mass produced and more affordable) rotomolded PE sea kayaks.
- After a slow start, the list of thermoformed sea kayaks is now rapidly growing: providing a product similar to fiberglass in quality, appearance and performance, but at a lower cost and even more robust.
- A sudden upswing of composite Greenland-style kayaks – 5 or 6 manufacturers presented a new kayak on the show with Greenland-inspired lines, hard-chined, narrow, low profile, small volume, long.
- While a lot of brands are out-placing a big deal of the production of composite seakayaks to China, many European builders are focusing on the high end of the market and are discriminating themselves by using exclusive lay-ups and individually customizing their products.