PADDLE BOARD EXPO Interview with the new organizer

We had a few questions about the new PADDLE BOARD EXPO. Many thanks to Stefan Bretthauer who has now taken on the task.

Aloha Stefan, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I must admit, I had no idea that the founder of paddleEXPO, Horst Führsattel, would retire from the business after his Corona-related cancellation this year. Can you give us some background information on how the new edition of the trade show came about?

I was always present at Paddleexpo with my other company (Prowave) as an exhibitor for Focus SUP`s. This year Paddleexpo unfortunately fell victim to Corona. Then I got the information that Horst did not want to continue the show for private reasons. So I had to realize from my own experience that the canoe & SUP scene lacks a platform to showcase new products and get feedback from the customers. Since I am an official ICF (International Canoe Federation) partner for more than 20 years and successfully take care of event logistics in the Olympic canoe sport, the idea to continue the fair was obvious.

Instead of continuing the exhibition in Nuremberg under the same name, you have chosen a new name and location. What were the reasons for this?

Firstly, Horst did not want to revive Paddleexpo under the same name. On the other hand, we wanted to offer an attractive location in the middle of Germany, and we can offer exhibitors at the Kassel Exhibition Center more attractive prices than in Nuremberg.

Your new name “PADDLE-BOARD-EXPO Trade Fair for Canoeing, SUP and Foilsport” contains some new information. The paddleEXPO started as a pure canoe trade show and SUP was added as a paddle sport. But now the title is “PADDLE-BOARD-EXPO” – doesn’t the canoeing industry feel a bit left behind ? What was the decisive factor for the new name?

The canoe industry should not feel abandoned at all. On the contrary, we try to unite all well-known manufacturers from the canoe/kayak and sup sector at the PADDLE-BOARD-EXPO. The name Paddleexpo implies all sports that are performed with a paddle. The reason we included the word “board” was, among other things, to meet the needs of the fast growing foil scene, but also here the canoe world is not excluded, because of course there are also foil kayaks which are very popular at the moment.

The term “trade visitor fair” here leaves the door open in both directions. What is your philosophy when it comes to dealer fairs?

The term “trade fair for trade visitors” implies that it will not be a public fair. Only a trade fair for dealers allows you to talk about the products in peace and quiet among experts. In the end the numbers count for the canoe & SUP industry. Only a trade show in a well organized environment can guarantee a professional basis.

The SUP Sport is currently being expanded with Foiling. Foilsports also includes Wingfoiling. Will we also see wingmakers at the show who traditionally come from the kite industry?

There are certainly intersections between kiting and (wind)surfing. We will not exclude any exhibitors with these products, even if there should be a reference to SUP and/or kayaking.

Which of course brings the question to the table, if one is already so far diversified with the fair, why not simply make a “water trend sport” or “beach sport” fair? A kind of beachworld like at the boot just 3 days and only for dealers?

I don’t want to use paddle-board-expo as a competing event to the boot in Düsseldorf, for example. The canoe and SUP sector has its own clientele. In the rental/school as well as in the classic retail business, the dealers want to promote and ultimately sell products tailored to this area. Even if there will of course be intersection products, the canoe and SUP scene is to be considered independently. In a “Beachsport” fair the variety of products would be much higher. We want to avoid this possible loss of quality.

Another innovation at the PADDLE-BOARD-EXPO will be the workshops.

Among other things, useful topics such as marketing, insurance, digitalisation, environment, sales, etc. will be presented and discussed there by experts from the respective industries.

Thank you Stefan for your time. We are of course behind the fair with the Stand Up Magazine as we have been for the last 10 years. In the event calendar the date is already entered.

More Infos:

The trade show will take place in Kassel 23.9 – 25.9.2021:

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