2012 Summer Outdoor Retailer Recap

Salt Lake City

This past week our team headed out to Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in lovely Salt Lake City #WEOUTHERE.  The show had exhibitors varying from stand up paddleboards to illuminating night kayaks.  With just about every major brand in the outdoor retail industry, this is not one show to miss; Even if your van breaks down in the middle of a prison area on the salt flats.  Yes, that happened and we towed our van two-hundred miles to get to the show and make it just in time for set up.  Salt Lake City is nestled in the heart of the Wasatch mountain range, which makes it one of the best venues for this type of show.

Standup Paddle board

One of the things we were really on the lookout for was outdoor gadgetry.  Other portable speaker companies at the show included Outdoor Technologies and Eton.  Eton was showcasing wind up radios and solar powered boomboxes.  Outdoor Technologies had a Bluetooth speaker that resembled a hard-edged turtle shell.  We nearly had to twist their arm to get a demo of their speaker.  They claimed that they didn’t have charged units working at their booth (which is quite silly if you are showing a product at a major tradeshow).   While it delivered reasonably good sound output, we were surprised to find their design was a little bit cumbersome.  It was more poised to compete against products like the Jawbone Jambox rather than our portable speakers.

On Friday night, energy was high and our team was amped up about how the show was going.  We headed to Club Elevate for an industry party hosted by Teva.  Apparently Teva is venturing into ultra lightweight running/walking shoes.  Between taking shots of tequila and playing buffalo with liter glasses of beer, we popped Voke tabs to keep a wide-eyed buzz till as late as Utah clubs open (1AM no joke last call).  Despite Utah being known for being a dry state, there was certainly no shortage of alcoholic beverages consumed on this trip.

Hoola hooping

On Saturday night, we headed to a taco stand where they were dishing out two tacos for $1.50 and $3 for a burrito.  Do the math, but one must wonder what goes in these tacos to have any kind of margin.  Low and behold, the entire crew has been farting profusely for the last 24 hours and we literally destroyed the port-o-potty at the convention.  True story.  In any case, they tasted good while they were going down and we made some friends with some local fixed gear riders that were enroute to one of the big premiers.  This eventually inspired us to go ride around Salt Lake till 1AM and get soft serve ice cream.

roach coach

One of the lines we were particularly impressed with was Sombrio Cartel’s collection of urban and downhill bike riding gear.  They have this varsity jacket made with high tech lightweight materials.   #SWAG.  We’ll be teaming with them on their upcoming tour providing them some pro-audio to keep their party on wheels going hard.  You can really see the attention to detail in their specialized garments, and we’re going to be amped to clip some speakers onto their gear in upcoming months.

This was the first show that we showcased a very-close-to-production prototype of the REX speaker.  The feedback was really encouraging.  The addition of a passive bass radiator adds a subtle improvement in the dynamic frequency range of the sound output.  What really got people juiced about it was the feeling when they picked it up.  Not only is the REX pretty lightweight, but you can really feel the bass.  It’s like holding a live beating heart straight out of Indiana Jones.  Now we know we have to mob eleven hours back to the studio and put the finishing touches on this guy to get ready for a Q4 launch.  Lets just hope that the van doesn’t break down on the way home too. San Fran or Bust.

Anyhow, we had a great time and we are most certainly going to be back for another show next year.  You can check our album out on Facebook and hopefully we’ll see our friends at some of our upcoming shows for Surf Expo and Interbike.

Outdoor retailer