Page 1 of 3

Asking for help

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:35 pm
by 2opnboat1
For the last few years I have been holding demo days, and I am not real happy. I would like suggestions, Where should we hold some demo days let me hear it.

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:39 pm
by Sir Adam
ALF and the North Branch of the Potomac Armada come to mind - you'll have a bunch of folks who are already boaters in one place.

Moosefest MIGHT be another good one, though given the temps and water usually paddled I'm not so sure. Admittedly I tend to avoid Moosefest, as there are other releases to paddle that stretch without the zoom, so I don't know exactly what it is like these days.

Lastly check with the folks putting together the scaled-down "Palmerfest".

I don't know where you've demoed in the past (haven't been to many fests with a little one in the house), but I recommend going to the ones that focus on the paddling and not on the party:)

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:39 pm
by sbroam
What are the specific things you've been unhappy about? Venue? Attendance?

For your flat water boats, have you considered the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Symposium in Charleston, SC? I don't know the date off the top of my head, but I think it's in April at James Island County Park. I haven't been... Yet... But, I hear it's well attended and you get a crowd of fairly serious paddlers, though probably heavy on the sea kayak crowd. I regularly see flatwater freestyle on the course/presentation selection.

Whitewater canoes, of course, present a challenge... The "armada" as Adam noted is a pretty good sized collection of folks who are already canoeists. For a demo venue, the NBP isn't bad - you could set up a run between the put in and the lunch stop.

In the SE, years ago, I would have said the NOC GAF - probably similar numbers of canoeists and a suitable venue, though not ideal timing as it is (was?) at the end of the season. But... I'm sure you know how it is these days.

French Broad River Festival? That might be heavier on the party than the paddling.

The Saluda in Columbia, SC is supposed to start having scheduled releases including some to accomodate a rodeo and a whitewater festival. If we get a good out of town crowd, that could be worthwhile. We've got a good one-stop spot to paddle/demo.

The USNWC in Charlotte? Not an ideal canoe venue, especially for beginner types, but there is a convenient pool in which to collect pieces.

ASCI in MD would be a better venue.

The Lower Green?

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:40 pm
by Mr.DeadLegs
GAF, ALF, any of the other races or festivals. Then find the most consistantly run water in the major markets and set up a day for a warm summer holiday weekend, contact the local Boy Scouts, Universities with paddling cubs, paddling clubs. Bring up some hot dogs and maybe a couple of small give aways depending on how big of a group you are expecting.

Mohawk Demo

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:47 pm
by greybear
Russell Fork releases on weekends in October. The put-in for the upper has plently of room. Advertise heavy before hand, and try it one of the early weekends. Alot on open boaters run that section of river each year.

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:43 pm
by Smurfwarrior
2011 ACA Open Canoe Nationals & North American Championships – Golden Whitewater Park, Golden, Colorado, July 8-10, 2011.

You need to travel out west! :)

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:40 pm
by 2opnboat1
Sad thing is even if we sold a canoe to every openboater wect of the Miss. we would not pay for gas

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:45 pm
by Mr.DeadLegs
It is merely an untapped market. McGNARLZZZZZZ WESTERN WHITEWATER TOUR 2010. Send him out west with an order pad and a few boats to spread the word and bring in the masses !!!!


Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:58 pm
by Bill M
Early in the year there are slalam races on the Locust Fork and Mulberry fork as well as NAWfest.
TSRA out of Nashville has their whitewater Rendevous in April on the plateau. It is a 4 day event. They also have canoe schools during the year held at Gee Creek on the Hiwassee.
Other clubs : Huntsville Canoe club, Birmingham Canoe club, TVCC etc. Probably all have schools on flat and WW that might work.
Boy Scouts, check with the Lost Tribe about schools.
Hope this is of help,

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:43 pm
by kslund
Sad thing is even if we sold a canoe to every openboater wect of the Miss. we would not pay for gas
It is merely an untapped market.
There's a thought, grow your overall whitewater market by marketing to non-canoeists!

In the 8 or so years I've been boating in Colorado (OC for all them) - I have never seen a canoe company presence at any river festival (except Jeremy Laucks and his Blackfly at Lyons Outdoor Games).

Here's just a few of the bigger events in CO:
- Fibark
- CKS Paddlefest
- Lyons Outdoor Games
- Poudre Riverfest
- Teva games

I bet you could get kayakers to try open boating at these festivals. They may not buy a boat right away, but at least it might plant a seed.

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:06 pm
by Smurfwarrior
It would be great to see an American canoe company make such a step to demo and promote nationwide.

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:18 pm
by kslund
Also in Colorado, there are two clubs consisting of flatwater and whitewater canoeists you could market to.

Poudre Paddlers (
Rocky Mountain Canoe Club (

Both clubs hold training events. Also, the RMCC used to hold an annual rendesvouz in July, not sure if that event still happens.

[Edited to add]
One last thing, I am in the market for a new canoe. I have never even seen a Viper 12 or 11 or Maxim in real life (two boats that I would be interested in demoing :D ).

Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:37 pm
by yarnellboat
If you're going to support McGnarlz, might as well support his theories - take your ww open boats to hardcore kayaking events.

Mohawk's have been pretty popular out West here, maybe in part because Western makes the composite versions. Without retailers and demos, or better Royalex or other materials, the Mohawks out here will probably fade and be replaced by Esquifs. Too bad you don't think that's enough boats to matter.


Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:36 am
by Wiggins
I would say to hit more events in general. Maybe take a page from Coran Addison's play book with the whole "Riot Bus" idea (getting a couple of team members to run around with one or two boats apiece and be seen everywhere).

Everytime I paddle my canoes I run into people who came from the east and used to canoe but moved on to kayaking when they moved out here because there was no canoeing community, and at least one person who did not even know that there is such a thing as a whitewater canoe. If someone shows up at some of the big events around the Northwest they will find there is a untapped market here.

The biggest one to hit up here is the Professor Paddle Ball. This event has a national draw, and takes place on the Wenatchee River right when it and all the creeks that feed it are at prime levels. You have a bunch of kayakers, rafters, riverboards, people on floating trampolines, etc. It has also developed a reputation as a place to go to try something new (like the trampoline!).

There is the Chiliwack River Festival, and the Thompson River Festival in BC.

There are a handful of races around here, and few festivals to the south.

I know there are others, but I don't follow the festivals very closely.


Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:33 pm
by cadster
Kraig, what happened to your Prelude? You could meet Dale for the Taos Box or on the Ark to try out his Viper.

As far as demos, there's CO Larryfest:


It draws as many CO canoers as those from east of the Mississippi.