This month, Sea to Summit is exhibiting at a couple of boat shows in different US States. I was fortunate enough to go along to one of them – it’s really interesting to have the opportunity to speak with boaters / kayakers / canoeists and learn from their perceptions and experiences. Here (in no particular order) are some themes which came up repeatedly:
– Dry Sacks don’t have to be made of heavy, rubbery material. We’ve long known this (our Lightweight Dry Sacks have been best sellers for years), but to some people it’s a revelation that a dry sack can be soft and compressible and still very strong. It’s equally amazing that the Big River Dry Bags are even tougher than the old-fashioned Vinyl bags, yet only 30% heavier than our Lightweight Dry Sacks.
– More people are taking more electronic devices out on the water. GPS units, cameras and phones – just a couple of years ago, it was rare for devices like these to be exposed to boating/marine environments; now it’s commonplace. And – whereas a phone used to store maybe 20 phone numbers, they now have music, videos, even applications which run entire businesses on them. All good reasons to invest in TPU Accessory Cases (but check our FAQ for tips on keeping devices dry in these pouches…)
– As boats have become more expensive, they’re more susceptible to theft and damage. I’m sorry to say I heard several stories of boats stolen from roof racks – even in cases where the car was left for just a few minutes. SPT Lockable Tie Downs are an excellent way to combat the ‘thief of opportunity’ and keep your boat in your possession.
– People appreciate technology if it’s explained correctly, and they want to buy quality gear that lasts. Catalogs, websites and magazines have shied away from publishing technical details, believing that the consumer would not understand them. My experience at the show was exactly the opposite: consumers are open to knowing how waterproof an item of gear is, how the construction of a Folding Bucket makes it so light and so strong, or how air can be squeezed out of an eVent Compression Dry Sack. I’ll be adding some technical explanations to this blog in future postings. Boating is a great way for entire families to get out together. This has been common knowledge for years, but it’s still great to see parents with children of all ages (toddlers right up to teens) checking out boats and equipment together. My own experience with my daughter is typical: introduce a small child to the outdoors, and they’ll grow up with an appreciation of the natural world and a sense of adventure to go and explore it. Sea to Summit makes gear that will make the experience just that little bit drier, easier and more convenient, but it’s still the experience that counts.