Tag Archives: kayak fishing hand paddles

Australian Fishing Network Review Of Assault Hand Paddles

 

Australian Fishing Network

 Whether you’re angling for freshwater species or sport fishing for saltwater fish; we’ve got the best fishing reports, fishing spots and a great online fishing shop. We demonstrate various fishing techniques – from game fishing to fly fishing; where to get a fishing license and showcase all of the latest fishing tackle. AFN is your one stop destination for fishing in Australia.

Orange Assault Hand Paddle

FEATURES

Backwater Paddle Company’s Assault hand paddle screams “Don’t mess with me, I’ve got your number”. Its scary fish skeleton and teeth motif are a theme carried into the paddle blades physical design, which includes a hook as well as the paddles second set of dentures.

The blade hook assists kayak anglers grab onto an overhanging tree branch or jetty and draw a kayak in. The teeth allow the reverse kayak motion by providing some traction to push away from structure.

With a design evolved from a World War II US Air Force jungle survival tool by company head Ed Halm, the paddle is constructed of 10% fiberglass and infused polypropylene plastic. The Assaults construction ingredients allow it to float should it try an escape. Absconding is hindered by a foam grip and lanyard.

Assault Hand Paddle

ON WATER TESTING

In practice, the best endorsement of the Assault’s utility is that the tournament guys use them to gain an edge. “They help set up a silent cast at a snag. When a kayak is disoriented by wind or current, or drifting in too quick, reaching for a full length paddle can create noise and spook fish”, says tournament kayak angler and Hobie guru Scott Lovig. “A quick forward or reverse re-orientating paddle stroke with the Assault can be done with one hand, while a rod is ready for a cast in the other. Alternately, the hook can allow attachment to a branch upstream of a target snag”.

In verification mode I tested the Assault in amongst the timber on Lake Fyans, a Victorian trout and redfin water. Paddling a Dagger Drifter II, a kayak more workhorse than a nimble fox, the Assault achieved all expectations. When mooching from tree to tree, only one or two paddle strokes were required to aim a kayak bow, and then fire a cast. With wind assisted kayak motion drifting onto a tree, the Assault blade is effectively an oversized rudder guiding you in.

The hook and teeth aided snag traction, and I was also impressed that it allowed me to navigate under branches more easily than a full paddle length would. In shallow water over rocks, an Assault hand paddle could also save more expensive paddle blade damage. To test the Assault’s strength, I thumped it around during testing and it was unbreakable, no kayak fishing gear is, but there’d have to be a whole lot of force and a good fisherman’s tale behind snapping an Assault. If you’re an in tight and snaggy kayak angler, the Assault is a worthy multi-tasking paddle buddy.

Contact www.mlte.com.au for stockists

                                                                         www.freshwaterfishing.com.au

Assault Hand Paddle review by Aaron Stiger

By Aaron Stiger

Aaron Stiger is a force in the kayak angling community.  He is a member for the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, Crew for Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear and Pro Staff for Manley Rods. 

Backwater Paddle Company most appreciates your time and consideration in providing us with this awesome review Aaron!

How many times have you found yourself floating down a river, or holding a spot on flat water when the current or wind takes you past the area you intended to fish. You are now out of position, and handling your paddle is noisy, clunky and will more than likely scare away any fish in the area.
In situations like this, especially in the fall when the water is very clear, it is important to have a stealth approach to handling and maneuvering your kayak. Today, I am going to review a product that I feel can make a huge impact on your fishing by being a positive fish factor in your kayak. This product is the Assault Hand Paddle by Edward Halm’s Backwater Paddle Company.

When you first see the paddle, you will see it comes it one of two colors: “Orange” or “OD-Green.” Each spring, Backwater Paddle Company also solicits votes from paddle outdoorsmen for new colors, so be on the lookout and vote for your favorite color. This is a great feature and shows that the company is truly in-touch with the kayak anglers and other outdoorsmen it serves.
After picking up the paddle, you will notice it’s almost a full pound. Weighing in at 12 ounces, this brute paddle is made for daily use. It is 22 inches long and the blade is over ¼ inch wide. This sturdy plastic is made for taking punishment on the water. Also featured on the blade is a hook, which is used for pulling, and teeth, which are used for pushing. I will detail these aspects in more detail later in the review. The handle is also covered in foam which aids in the paddle’s buoyancy and comfort. A rope lanyard is also attached, which allows it to stay on your wrist or tethered to you kayak.

On the water, I found myself finding various uses for this paddle. The first place I found it especially helpful was to approach a partially-submerged brush pile. When fishing shallow or clear water, dipping a paddle and knocking it off of branches underwater puts fish from a predatory to prey mentality. Your chances of catching a fish decrease significantly. Approaching the brush pile, I simply used the hook feature to grab onto a branch. I continued to grab another time to get even closer, and I then tethered off onto one of the branches. I tethered by clipping a small carabineer onto the rope and then securing it to my kayak. This worked brilliantly.

Another significant use I immediately found for the hook was after I got my lure caught in the submerged limbs. Normally, I test the strength of my knot, line and rod tip as I pull and tug, trying to free the lure. With the Assault Hand Paddle, it was a much more simplified process. I took the hook of the paddle, and grabbed the small branch, pulled the branch up, and freed the lure with my hand.

After fishing around the wood pile, it was time to push off. I untethered the orange Assault paddle and used the teeth side of the paddle to dig into a log and push my kayak a sufficient distance away from the brush pile so I could begin my normal paddle stroke.

It was not long when I realized another opportunity arose for the Assault Hand Paddle. Normally on a river, fishing headwater is extremely difficult in a kayak. Most of the time, a kayaker will simply blow through the headwater, riffles, and only fish the back end of a pool. I have tried to fish headwater in the past, but it always required me to drop my anchor in and let it drag, undoubtedly scaring any resident fish I was targeting. Today, I was able to locate a stray tree caught on a rock right at the push water before the riffle. The process I took was to tether the Assault Hand Paddle to the side of my kayak, secure the hook to the exposed limb, and begin fishing. This paddle surprised me at how well it held up in the push water. Even though the water was trying to push my kayak downstream with all its might, the paddle held, and I was able to stand and cast until I was satisfied I had fished the area thoroughly. When I was done, I unhooked the paddle, and pushed off as I was taken quickly downstream through the riffle.

Throughout the day, I tend to target my casts more and more precisely on an ordinary fishing trip. This means I am pinpointing specific targets, often around heavy cover. As I continued this ritual, I found myself hooked up in a tree about 8 feet in a branch. I was unable to reach it by hand, but immediately had an idea. I saw a low-hanging branch and tethered my OD-Green Assault Paddle to it. I then let out line, and took my Orange Assault Paddle and hooked onto the small limb, bringing the lure into reach, and freeing it. In this scenario I was rocking the boat back and forth, and even was able to jump up to reach the limb. The OD-Green Assault Paddle never let off its grip. What a great application of two paddles that scenario proved to be.

One of the most well-known uses of the Assault Hand Paddle is for maneuverability and positioning of your kayak. Today, I did this countless times and the subtle ease of movement around structure or to maintain a position on a slow-moving section of river was invaluable. Not having to occupy both hands with a paddle, and just quickly using a hand stroke to maintain my spot allowed me to fire-off more casts, and catch more fish.

Having my Assault Hand Paddle served one final purpose on the day. The water I typically fish is extremely skinny. I often drag much of the flow or try to paddle through, digging my expensive paddle into the rocky river bottom. By using the Assault Paddle, I was able to save the wear and tear on my other paddle when I would get stuck on bottom. By using the teeth to push into the river bottom, I was able to free myself without getting into the 50 degree water. This was extremely convenient and kept me dry.
One final use I can see for the paddle that I was not able to try today was to use the paddle as an ice breaker. I fish quite often in the winter and sometimes find my kayak surrounded and stuck by skim ice. Normally, I carry a hatchet with me, but now I will simply carry an Assault Hand Paddle. With Backwater Paddle Company’s warranty of “100% Guarantee, You Break it We Replace it,” I feel comfortable placing this paddle through the wringer.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the Assault Hand Paddle’s versatility. After using it, I realize it is the Swiss Army Knife of kayak paddles, and there are none like it. For $29.95 at http://www.kayakfishinggear.com/search?q=assault+paddle&type=product it is a no-brainer as far as an accessory for the kayak. It was a great tool to have on the water, and I look forward to exploring many more uses for this paddle in the future.

 

New Hi-Vis Orange Assault Hand Paddles Debut

As the Assault Hand Paddle continues to gain traction in the paddles sports community, this spring a new color was introduced.  We solicited the advice of our Face Book community for the next color…and orange it was!

Orange Assault Hand Paddle

Orange Assault Hand Paddle debuts

As we already had a low visibility color with the OD Green Assault Hand Paddle (OD = olive drab)…don’t ask me what drab means…our customers and end users thought we needed a hi visibility color for safety.  Makes sense to us.   Green, yellow and orange were suggested colors.

Peliton Plastics from Valdosta, Georgia is the manufacturer of our hand paddles.  A quick phone call to Mike, color ideas and production runs discussed, and we were put in queue for the next available run.  We had our new Orange Assault Hand Paddles within three weeks!  How easy was that?  Made in the USA!!

Assault Hand Paddles

Assault Hand Paddles by Backwater Paddle Company

Marketing the new orange hand paddles was relatively simple.   The orange color highlights the raised graphics package more.  Our FB customers and fans wanted the paddle.  We got the paddles onto Amazon and E-bay.   Sales have been great!  We are also getting serious exposure for the paddles through various kayak angling tournaments Backwater Paddle Company sponsors around the nation.

Assault Hand Paddles

Assault Hand Paddles waiting for action!

Backwater Paddle Company dealers continue to grow.  We have just signed our first Canadian dealer in Ontario.

The Assault Hand Paddles continue to revolutionize the paddle sportsmen’s stealth and mobility!

Paddle on my friends!

 

2013 Successful Year For Backwater Paddle Company

The Assault Hand Paddle is what Backwater Paddle Company was all about in 2013!!  Our latest engineered hand paddle, with a bad-ass graphics package and made from polypropylene plastic, has caught the attention of the paddle sports world!  Wherever you go, you break out an Assault Hand Paddle, they will come check you out!

Assault Hand Paddle Photo

Assault Hand Paddle in OD Green.

With the explosion of paddle sports and kayak fishing, the last few years have seen a tremendous growth in kayaks, paddling accessories and equipment.  The Assault Hand Paddle’s debut could not have been more perfectly timed!  We have 100% of the kayak hand paddle market at our disposal!  We have no competition in that department, whatsoever.   Time to capitalize!

Since May, when we first introduced the new plastic hand paddles to the paddling public, we have seen continuous growth and sales, not only here in the states but in Australia also.  The paddles won a “Best of Show Award” at the Australian Fishing and Tackle Show earlier this year!  The English kayak angling community just received their first Assault Hand Paddle last month, and are giving them a try.

We have picked up two dozen or so new retailers for our paddles this year.  Most of the big named online paddle sport stores all carry our paddles.  Many of the larger brick and mortar paddle shops are coming on board.

We are still working on the monster outdoor retail stores, like Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, Cabelas, etc.  We have just got into fighting shape for the big dawgs!   They debuted a new Bass Pro Outpost in Palm Bay, Florida, right here in our neck of the woods!   We wrote to them asking about local manufacturing representation in their community stores.  We also threw in the “veterans” angle…now, waiting for their response.  Veteran owned…American made!!

Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

From where we were a few years back, the Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle, the original wood designed hand paddle, was simply a “proof of concept” on the hand paddle theory.   John Oates, a fellow kayak angler and paddle sportsmen from up north, provide us with the inspiration for development of the hand paddles.  It was from an article he penned for a local fishing rag, in that he mentioned using a ping pong paddle for kayak propulsion.  That set the wheels in motion!

Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Well, the Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle was born shortly thereafter, for a more utilitarian cause.  Still designed and made from wood, the patented “hook and teeth” blade design allowed the paddler or angler more functions with the hand paddle.  You could now grab onto or push off objects safely.  More function means more usage!  More usage means more money!!

However, the manufacturing process for the wood hand paddles in comparison of inflatable sups, was very time consuming.   We could not effectively reduce the handling and labor costs per paddle.  The only option was to move forward into the plastic market.  Wow…what a blessing that has been!!

Moving forward…2014 is about getting the Assault Hand Paddles into the big box outdoor retail stores.  Once we have established a large enough consumer base for the Backwater Paddle Company brand and our hand paddles, the full size kayak, canoe and SUP paddles are next on the agenda.

Backwater Paddle Company plans on becoming a full scale paddle manufacturer to rival Werner, Bending Branches, Cannon, etc.  We will not just be a “one hit wonder!!”   Our patented “hook and teeth” blade design will seamlessly flow into the full size market.  I can already see the paddle sportsmen licking their chops for the full size version of complete paddle function and design.

To a very prosperous and Happy New Year!  Paddle on my friends!!

Backwater Paddle Company Logo

Backwater Paddle Company Logo

Fresh Catch…Assault Hand Paddle

Kayak Angler Magazine, a division of Rapid Media,  provided a review of the Assault Hand Paddle by Backwater Paddle Company.  Thanks for your time and consideration…and photos!

Below is the article provided by Kayak Angler Magazine:

 

Assault Hand Paddle in action.         Alexander Gashnikov

  Fresh Catch: Assault Hand Paddle

  

       

 assault 2

The Assault Hand Paddle is a one-handed paddle that gets around. 

We’ve all been there. The fish of a lifetime darts under your kayak and then pulls you into the rocks, pilings, brush and over the falls. What do you do? Panic? Flail? Nope, just grab the Assault Hand Paddle!

One of the first questions people ask when they see a kayak fisherman is, “How do you fish and paddle at the same time?” Backwater paddle’s answer is the Assault Hand Paddle, a single-blade paddle with a short handle that’s the perfect size for tight maneuvers and easy storage. The polypropylene plastic paddle measures 22 inches long by six-inches wide and handle is covered with EVA foam. The paddle has jagged teeth on one side to grip tree limbs and pilings and a hook for removing snagged lines or latching onto a branch. There’s even a loop of parachute cord on the end of the handle to leash the paddle to your hand or clip it to your kayak with a carabineer.

On the water, the hand paddle really works. I’ve taken the Assault fishing for striped bass around bridge pilings and sight-casting for reds in a narrow creek. The paddle was a big hand while I was fighting fish.  I could work the rod with one hand and make adjustments to my position with the other. When a fish would dart under the boat, a couple back strokes with the hand paddle brought the line around to the right side of the kayak. I could also avoid obstacles while the fish dragged me at will.

The hand paddle really worked well when I was drifting, allowing me to keep the kayak pointed in the best direction for me to work my lure. When I was searching the bridge pilings for striped bass, the paddle allowed me to hold the bow into the current while keeping my rod ready to cast. When I didn’t  need the Assault, I tossed it in my tankwell where it fits between the crate and kayak.

The paddle was great for making slight adjustments or moving the kayak a few feet, but it wasn’t powerful enough to completely spin my kayak or propel me very far. I’d love to see an extendable handle that would make it easier to take strokes on the opposite side of the kayak. But the paddle worked great when it was needed most – in a fish-fighting emergency!

Check out the Assault Hand Paddle at www.backwaterpaddles.com.

assault 3

The hooked tip and serrated edge of the Assault Hand Paddle holds tight to structure to get close to the fish.

Backwater Paddle Company Has New Assault Hand Paddle Mold Ready

Finally, after eleven months of tooling, Backwater Paddle Company’s newest paddle, the Assault Hand Paddle, is ready for manufacturing.  The final mold inspection was recently performed.  A couple of dozen sample paddles were made.   The mold tooling project was signed off and paid in full.

We are just waiting on some small particulars from the manufacturing end.  We expect to have paddles available in a couple of weeks.

Assault Hand Paddle Biting

The Assault Hand Paddle project was beset with problems from the beginning.  Backwater Paddle originally entertained the idea of manufacturing the paddles overseas.   The overseas contact we had abandoned the project in mid stream, leaving us stranded.  We spun our wheels for four months with nothing to show for it.   NO, there was no money invested or lost with the overseas exploration.   After very little thought, we decided the overseas venture was not the way to go.  Stay at home!!

Having explored the stateside tooling and plastic manufacturers, we opted for a company in Valdosta, Georgia.  Peliton Plastics took on the project.  However, they were extremely busy and subbed our project out to one of their affiliates up in Kentucky, for the same quoted price.

The project was more than the Kentucky company could handle.  They had to upgrade their CAD system, their memory, their tools, etc, etc.   All this created delays, massive, mind blowing delays!

To make a long story short, we finally got our mold after eleven months.  Did I tell you that the mold was supposed to take only four months to make?  With so many problems, delays…all we could do was laugh about our predicament.  All we could really do was…hurry up, and wait!!

Assault Hand Paddle Float Test

Backwater Paddle Company’s Assault Hand Paddle performing the first float test. The paddle floats extremely well!

Another main concern was flotation of the plastic Assault Hand Paddles.  We were not sure if the paddles would float on their own.  The manufacturers felt “pretty sure,” but not certain.  As soon as we got our first sample…it floated perfectly!!

Assault Hand Paddle Mold on Injection Machine

Assault Hand Paddle mold with water cooling lines connected. Waiting for pressure injection machine to close and shoot mold with polypropylene plastic.

You cannot believe how complicated the mold tooling and pressure injection systems are.   The molds are not some simple, two sided, diametrically opposed plates, clamped together and plastic poured in a hole!  Unclamp and viola, a paddle!!  Not even my friends!!

The Assault Hand Paddle mold weighs about 500 pounds, a quarter ton of steel!  It has two steel milled plates with the paddle design.  Two massive steel plates that hold all the mechanical parts and ejection pins, are all bolted together.  A forklift moves the mold from shop to machine.

Even a water cooling system is piped into the mold.  The above photo shows the water lines connected into the side of the mold.  Some 250 tons of pressure is generated to hold the mold closed while 400 degree polypropylene plastic is forced in.  Pretty impressive operation when you see it all working.

Assault Hand Paddle in sepia.

Found photo of original Assault Hand Paddle used by early explorers to paddle the waterways and defend against the natives.

We have so many potential customers commenting on the uniqueness of the paddle design.  Many say it looks like a primitive or medieval weapon!  I like that, as a former naval survival instructor!  Maybe that is where the concept lies?  Maybe some early explorers used an axe like device to bushwhack and double as a defensive weapon?

We searched old archived photos and found a file photo of just such a weapon.  Hmmmm….makes you think?

Assault Hand Paddle photo on rock

Backwater Paddle Company’s newest paddle, the Assault Hand Paddle, on display.

Nevertheless, Backwater Paddle Company hopes to get our new Assault Hand Paddle out to the paddle sports community soon.

As usual…still waiting!!  Paddle on my friends!!

 

 

 

 

World Fishing Network Writer, Peter Wagner, Blogs About Piranha Hand Paddle

Peter Wagner, writer for the World Fishing Network, blogged about the Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle.  Below is his commentary:

I recently acquired a Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle by the Backwater Paddle Company. I have found this paddle to be a valuable tool that could be useful to all kayak fisherman.

I have a Hobie peddle kayak and when I would try to sneak up to the mangroves to sight fish most of the time the water is to shallow to use the peddles. I would have to undo the bungee cord from the paddle holder and use the paddle. Most of the time I end up banging the paddle on the kayak scaring the fish away. I keep the Piranha paddle behind my seat and I can quickly and quietly grab that paddle and sneak up to the fish. It is also a great tool for making adjustments to your drift when you are drift fishing.

There is and old saying in South Florida ” if your not snagging your lures in the mangroves your not casting to where the fish are”. I snag the mangroves quite often. This is where this paddle excels.You use the Piranha to paddle into the mangroves and hold onto the mangroves with the hook that’s built into the paddle while you dislodge your lure. Then you use the serrated edge of the paddle to push yourself away from the mangroves.
The Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle hardly takes up any space on your kayak and is a handy tool to have on your yak. This is one of those inventions you look at and say to yourself “why didn’t I think of that”. You can order your Piranha paddle at http://backwaterpaddles.com/ .
Tight Lines

New Assault Hand Paddle Debuts for Backwater Paddle Company

The Assault Hand Paddle by Backwater Paddle Company.  Change is always inevitable! 

What we really hope for, is that the change is for the better!  The Assault Hand Paddle reflects the latest changes Backwater Paddle Company is making to their legendary kayak fishing hand paddle collection. 

The latest designed BPC hand paddles will be made from plastic.  The Assault will replace the original, hand made, wooden Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles.  The Predator lead the kayak fishing hand paddle evolution.   With the explosion of water sports, particularly kayak angling, the boats have grown larger to accommodate their environments.  Larger boats have made the shorter Predator paddle almost obsolete.

Assault Hand Paddle

New BPC Paddle...Assault Hand Paddle

 Below is the physical differences between the Assault and Piranha Hand Paddles.  The plastic Assault Hand Paddle will be 2″ longer and 1/2″ wider than the wooden Piranha. 

Assault Hand Paddle vs Piranha Hand Paddle

 The Assault Hand Paddles will be available Spring 2012.

Backwater Paddle Company Survives 2011 Outdoor Retail Show

Ed and Kurt at the OR Show

 Backwater Paddle Company has stepped off the front porch and is now running with the big dogs!  After a trip out west to Salt Lake City, Utah August 3rd thru the 7th, this wonderful destination provided to be a pivot point of evolution and continued growth for Backwater Paddles.   We can see how and why Brigham Young brought his Mormon disciples to this area.   It is truly a place for the avid outdoorsman!!

The 2011 Outdoor Retail Summer Show is the largest and most significant trade show for any outdoor sporting company to be involved with.   This show is designed for the sports market manufacturer/exhibitor to meet up with prospective buyers and make deals.   As this was Backwater Paddle Company’s first venture into this massive show, we did not know what quite to expect.

2011 OR Show Room Floor

The size of the event is overwhelming.  You feel like a kid in a candy store as you walk through all the displays.  It is sensory overload.  Everyone has designed their booth for the maximum impact, both visually and physically.     It blows your mind as to how much money is spent by these large sporting goods manufacturers to grab your attention.  You think of any soft or hard goods sporting manufacturer, and they are here.

Fortunately our national distributor, Outdoor Specialty Innovations, was there to provide moral support for the show.  Having been to a number of ICAST Shows, OSI’s Ron and Pete, along with Kurt, Backwater Paddle Company’s vice president, provided the manpower to entertain all the potential customers of our paddles as well as the EAsy2Hook fishing products.

Pete and Kurt manning the Backwater Paddle Company booth.

Despite all the obstacles to get to this event, it has been quite the learning experience.  We have met some seasoned exhibitors and obtained some extremely useful knowledge for our future events.   Mostly we have learned…having a unique product matters!!   As far as displaying your product, size and being outrageous also matters. 

Although no orders were directly written, we networked with some of the industries leading retail buyers in the paddle sports market.  We obtained a number of solid contacts and will be working with them in the next few weeks.

Now that this experience is behind and we can look forward to next years OR Show with less trepidation, more imagination, and hopefully a new paddle product.  Our imaginations are at work already!

Time to get to work for the 2012 Outdoor Retail Summer Show!!  Paddle on my friends!!

ICAST 2011 Will Be Instrumental In Backwater Paddle Company’s Future Growth

2011 ICAST OSI Booth

The ICAST 2011 Showin Las Vegas last week was Backwater Paddle Company’s (BPC) first venture into the fishing sports marketing arena.  Our national distributor, Outdoor Specialty Innovations (OSI),invited me to attend as their guest.  Ron Baskett, OSI’s main man, and his crew helped soften the sensory overload by providing a booth chair  for me  to observe how the game is played.   I had to mention “chair” for the simple fact I spent a lot of time holding it to the floor, as I just blown my knee out earlier in the week.   Being in Las Vegas and confined to a chair was not the experience I had in mind for this road trip! 

Mind you, my full intentions in coming to Las Vegas was for the ICAST Trade Show experience.  I had to see and feel the atmosphere of an event of this magnitude.  Next week Backwater Paddle Company will be sponsoring our own booth (Booth MZ-163) at the Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City, Utah.  What a wake up call the trip to Las Vegas has been!

So being semi-incapicitated, I was forced to slow down, watch, learn and observe the tactics being displayed to posture your product before the respective buyers.  The atmosphere is electric.  You cannot imagine the scope of this venue.   It takes a couple of hours to saunter by and visit each booth throughout the venue.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure that I even saw every booth displaying their wares?  It was that massive.

The dollars budgeted for the displays alone by some of these well entrenched and major sporting goods companies is mind blowing.   Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to provide the most attractive, ginormous and eye catching display possible.  Think Eagle Claw, Daiwa, Shimano, Rapala, Zebco all laying it all out for their buyers.  In this business, you do not get a second chance to make a first impression!!

So coming back to Florida was a bit titillating.  Now I had to face reality and the scope of the upcoming OR Trade Show.   Suddenly it was not just new ideas on how to market our product, but realizing how small BPC really is!   Now it becomes…how do we maximize our exposure without going bankrupt…basically, getting more bang for our buck.  Again, realizing that simply stretching our 3 x 5 BPC logo banner between two stanchions is not going to cut it! 

As we prepare for the upcoming Outdoor Retail Show in Salt Lake City next week, it is Backwater Paddle Company’s time to step off the porch, get down into the yard and run with the big dogs.  With great anticipation and some trepidation, we are hoping to make our mark in the paddle sports industry. 

At the ICAST Show we met, and will be networking with, some of the more experienced sporting goods manufacturers in establishing industry contacts for Backwater Paddles future growth.  As we work on a time frame for the introduction of our new Piranha-X hand paddle, these new contacts will be instrumental in achieving our goals. 

Now I sit here blogging, patiently waiting for my $2000 pop-up display to arrive here in Florida.  After observing the “minimum standard” of displays at the ICAST Show, we had to bite the bullet and not be the odd man out for the upcoming OR Show.  This short time frame between the events is all we had to work with in providing a unique and eye catching display. 

Actually, the graphics are what we hope to be the attention grabber.  This pop-up display is 8 feet tall and 10 feet wide, and collapses down into a shipping container.  My main man, Terry Griffin at Colossal Signs in Cocoa Beach, tightened up the graphics for the display.

So again, we wait patiently for the display to be sent from Rhode Island for our inspection and trial set up prior to sending it on to Salt Lake City.  How tight is the schedule you ask…the display is supposed to arrive August 2nd and we are on the plane August 3rd.

Panicking…not yet.