The ICAST Show is the worlds largest fishing and boating trade show in the world. This year it was held in Orlando, Florida. Thousands of water sport manufacturers, distributors and vendors arrive for three days to see all the latest gear designed and available for the future.
Backwater Paddle Company has enjoyed a successful and productive year. It was 2012 when Backwater Paddle Company last went to ICAST in Las Vegas and experienced this much excitement with the introduction of the plastic injected Assault Hand Paddles.
The concept of a hand paddle with a patented “hook and teeth” blade design revolutionized stealth and mobility for the kayak angler and paddle sportsman. It was just a few years later when the paddle sports community was demanding a full size paddle with the same properties.
Spring 2017 and the licensing of Backwater Paddle Company by Yak Gear, the largest paddle sports distributor in the nation, provided a much needed injection of new blood and company direction. Bill Bragman, Yak Gear owner, promised to move Backwater Paddle Company forward under his professional tutelage.
The Assassin Kayak Paddle project had been diligently looking for funding, but trying to identify a paddle sport investor was extremely daunting. Many avenues were explored, many doors were shut, but persistence always pays off.
Bill Bragman, true to his word, accepted the challenge and took over the Assassin Kayak Paddle project. Within months, Bill had secured a manufacturer and had four Assassin Kayak Paddles available for beta testing, and on display at the ICAST Show.
At ICAST 2017, Yak Gear provided Backwater Paddle Company with a portion of their booth to display and promote the new Assassin Kayak Paddles. Yak Gear, being the largest paddle sports distributor, had continuous traffic through their booth. Bill and his crew were always engaged with prospective customers, showing, demonstrating and promoting their latest gear, equipment and accessories.
However, the buzz is, at least among paddle sportsmen, that paddle sports is actually an afterthought for the ICAST Show. It is truly not a paddle sports show. Kayaks are technically not boats, they have no motors, no registration…and since anglers fish off these platforms, let’s provide them a corner at the party. The shine has always been elsewhere at the shows.
Despite the Assassin Kayak Paddle not winning the new product award for boating accessories…new, or redesigned kayaks did make a small splash. By the way, a bucket by YETI won the boating accessories award. Yes, a bucket! The badass, patented and innovative paddle design lost to a YETI bucket! Just goes to show that ICAST has a lot of room to grow.
Now the show is over, it has been a truly rewarding experience. Bill Bragman and his Yak Gear crew, put together an awesome display. The crew was professional and very passionate about all the products they chose to represent. The attention on the Assassin Kayak Paddles was thorough and impressive. Many thanks to Yak Gear!
Next…after a few weeks of beta testing the Assassin Kayak Paddle, first run production is expected for September 2017. Once the manufacturing process has begun, orders will be received for the first new and revolutionary paddles to hit the market!
Assassin Kayak Paddle specs:
- MSRP $169
- Extremely durable ABS plastic blades, black matte finish
- Patented “hook and teeth” blade design, with raised graphics
- Hook for grabbing and pulling, teeth for pushing and shoving
- Carbon fiber shafts, adjustable in 10cm increments
- 230 – 240cm, and 250 – 260 cm lengths
- Mid to high 30 ounce weight, depending on length
Assassin Kayak Paddle…the most versatile paddle ever designed!