Paddling Magazine New Product & Industry Awards Winners Announced | Adventure Kayak Magazine | Rapid Media

Rapid Media presents awards for the best boats, paddles, gear, accessories and apparel at the 2018 Paddlesport Retailer Show

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, August 30, 2018  // Paddlesports Retailer’s official media partner Rapid Media presented the inaugural Paddling Magazine New Product & Industry Awards last night at the second annual Paddlesports Retailer Show and Paddlesports Industry Dinner. 

The Paddling Magazine Product & Industry Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of new products introduced to the paddlesports market at the 2018 Paddlesports Retailer Show attended by more than 120 exhibiting brands, 200 retail shops and 600 buyers.

“The Paddling Magazine Product & Industry Awards embodies the paddlesport industry’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit,” said emcee and Rapid Media founder and publisher Scott MacGregor. The awards recognize the best new products in 11 ‘Best of' categories. 

The winners were voted on from the 93 products featured in the New Products Showcase by Paddling Magazine. This is a new show feature providing Paddlesports Retailer exhibitors with an outstanding opportunity to introduce new products to onsite and offsite retail buyers and editorial media. More than 10,000 votes were cast onsite and online at by retail buyers, consumers and media. Special thanks to Suspenz for providing storage solutions in the New Products Showcase.

“Quietly, over the course of the first 20 years at Rapid Media we've seen incremental advancements. However, in recent years innovation has become dramatically more efficient. We're getting better faster than ever before,” said MacGregor, presenting the awards on stage at Oklahoma City's 100,000 square-foot Cox Convention Center. “If we didn't strive for better we'd still be peeling Grummans off river rocks, and we'd be glassing our own kayaks in unventilated garages. But we're not.”

The award winners are as follows: 

1. Best Touring/Recreational Kayak—Dagger Stratos 12.5 LG

Dagger_Stratos copy.jpg

The Stratos 12.5 accelerates easily with a considerable nod to maneuverability. Playful and sporty in the surf; equally comfortable for a day trip on the lake. Plus, it’s equipped with all the features you need and want— bow and stern bulkheads, TruTrak skeg system and, best of all, Dagger’s new touring bulkhead footbrace for added connection. Available in two sizes.

2. Best Whitewater Boat—Liquidlogic Homeslice

liquidlogic_homeslice_sunburst copy.jpg

The retro-slice revolution is in full swing. Liquidlogic brought you the Party Braaap and Mullet to start it all. Now it’s time to introduce the cartwheel, squirt, splat, surf, flow machine, the Homeslice. Liquidlogic has taken more than 25 years of slicey boat experience to not only create a boat that you can throw around to your heart’s content, but a low-volume kayak you can paddle all day, probably in shoes.

3.  Best Fishing Kayak—Hobie Fishing Mirage Outback 

hobie_mirageoutback copy.jpg

New, aggressive hull design with improved stability, glide and tracking. Wider seating with expanded deck layout. Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield. Four H-Track Deluxe gear management, Integrated retraction system, Tackle storage Bungee, Plier and knife holders, leash points. Vertical Rectangular hatch for more standing area, integrated bottle opener, internal mesh pocket. Dual Steering.

4.  Best SUP—Star Inflatables Phase 10.8 SUP

starinflatables_phase_10_8_top copy.jpg

From family fun to fitness paddling, from lakes to bays to rivers, STAR Inflatables’ fun and stable Phase SUP is the perfect all-around board for paddlers who like to mix it up. Streamlined construction for lightweight performance, it’s equally capable for touring, fitness paddling, families and light river running.

5.  Best Canoe—Wenonah Canoe Wee Lassie 10'6” 

wenonah_weelassie copy.jpg

Wenonah’s shorter, lighter Wee Lassie 10’6” draws from the easy paddling and enjoyable design of the original. Ideal for tranquil paddles on lakes and gentle rivers, this compact and lightweight Adirondack-style solo will deliver years of enjoyment. Weighing only 16 pounds, this is Wenonah’s lightest canoe. Rest assured its Kevlar construction is robust and reliable for real life use. Outfitted with a floor-mounted seat and integrated seatback to maximize comfort and minimize weight.

6.  Best Paddle—Werner Paddles Hooked Adjustable 

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Available on Premium Fishing models, the LeverLock adjustable allows for up to 20 centimeters of adjustment. Offered in two ranges: 220-240 centimeters and 240-260 centimeters. Customize paddle length on the fly for high/low seat positions, standing while sight fishing or switching between multiple kayaks of varying widths. The adjustable length paddle will solve your situation.

7.  Best Safety & Rescue—Kokatat Neptune   kokatat_neptune copy.jpg

Kokatat’s new Neptune PFD is a rugged and durable technical touring life vest. The articulated Gaia PVC-free foam provides perfect fit and comfort. Featuring five fixed pockets and covered in high-tenacity rip-stop nylon, the front-entry Neptune comes with reflective accents on shoulders and back. The vest is hydration compatible and includes attachment points for knives and strobes.

8.  Best Clothing/Apparel—Kokatat Odyssey Dry Suit

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A pinnacle product for sea kayakers, Kokatat’s new Odyssey Dry Suit is constructed of Gore-Tex Pro fabric with 330 Cordura Gore-Tex reinforcement in the pant, seat and knees. It features nylon waterproof front entry and relief zippers, two sleeve pockets, thigh pocket, removable hood, removable suspenders, pile-lined collar and reflective accents. Available in two colorways for both men and women.

9.  Best Rigging & Outfitting—YakPower Eight Circuit's Digital Switching System 


The new Yak Power eight circuit digital switcher with wireless keypad takes rigging a kayak for electronics to the next level. With eight total circuits, NAV, anchor, bow, midship, stern, and accessory 1-3 button functionality, along with integrated Bluetooth and a mobile app, full control of your 12- volt power and electronics will always be at your fingertips. Spend less time rigging and more time fishing.

10. Best Transport/Storage/Launching—Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart

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Transport your kayak with strength and ease. Large 12-inch diameter airless wheels never go flat and roll over rough terrain smoothly. Can transport kayaks up to 450 pounds. Bunker bar frame with adjustable width and height prevents the kayak from twisting and slipping, and lack of scupper posts prevent damage. No kickstands required and easy to load. Two security straps included. Collapsible to stow.

11. Best Paddling Accessory—Gator Guards Gator Patch

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Gator Patch is an easy to use kayak repair patch and keel guard solution. A fiberglass reinforced polyester patch with a simple Prep-Peel-Stick application. Cures with simple UV sunlight in under an hour. Features extraordinary bonding and strength. Made to seal, repair and protect unforgiving surfaces like plastic kayaks, canoes, fiberglass and aluminum. Available in three sizes.

Best in Show Award


The Best In Show award was selected after a second round of voting on the 11 category winners listed above. The 2018 Paddling Magazine Product & Industry Awards Best In Show award went to Hobie Cat Company with the all-new Mirage Outback fishing kayak.


“Factories are building boats, molding accessories, sewing drysuits, and spinning carbon shafts, but what our specialty retailers are really selling is freedom, adventure and good memories,” said MacGregor. Congratulations to all the award winners. 


About Paddlesports Retailer

Paddlesports Retailer is a trade show, endorsed by the Paddlesports Trade Coalition, providing the premier commercial and cultural experience for exhibitors, retailers, media and industry advocates alike. Paddlesports Retailer will take place Aug. 27-30, 2018 beginning with demo day at Riversports Rapids Adventure Park followed by three days of exhibiting at Oklahoma City’s Cox Convention Center. For more information, visit or contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Rapid Media

Rapid Media is the world’s leading paddlesports media company. Rapid Media publishes Kayak Angler, Paddling Magazine and Paddling Business, including the Paddling Buyer’s Guide and Paddling Trip Guide annuals. Rapid Media also produces the Paddling Film Festival and Rapid Media TV. 

Rapid Media Contact: Cristin Plaice This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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