Jericho MEC Paddlefest

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by AM, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Vancouver
    I was out for my regular Saturday jaunt to Wreck Beach, and when I returned I saw the signs and tents up for this year's MEC Paddlefest. I only perused the tents for a few minutes because, frankly, Paddlefest is much less exciting than it used to be. Time was when you'd have reps from a bunch of different companies (Valley, P&H etc.) on hand, and even an owner (Sterling) or two, plus oodles of boats and cool instructors giving clinics.

    This year's affair was much humbler: most of the tents were from MEC, as were all the kayaks. The only non-MEC vendor I could see was Kahuna paddleboards. Contrast that with this thread from 2011, in which a few of us gave our impressions of a that year's much larger event.

    I take the diminished size as an indication of the changing industry, with fewer people buying expedition kayaks and the absorption of innovative companies by larger, more staid entities. I'm not complaining at all - change is necessary and inevitable after all - but I am very grateful I was there when kayaking was on the upswing and there was nothing but energy and excitement about the possibilities of new designs.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I was there all day manning the BC Marine Trails booth [next to the Sea Kayaker Assoc of BC and the Pacific International Kayak Assoc booths] and have the same take-away. I wasn't really involved from that end in conversations with the organizers, but have the subjective impression that it could have been planned and organized a whole lot better. Whether that would have had an impact with a greater vendor turnout, I don't know . . . but even the intinerant visitors and passers by seemed lower - so something else was going on as well to minimize interaction.
    Anyway, I got to proselytize to a few interesting and possibly interested people, so it wasn't a complete loss.
     
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I take back the uncertainty: there was minimal planning for this event which seriously impacted what it was in other years.
    Heck, there weren't even any food vendors! What more do you need to keep/attract people than the irresistable wafting of spectacular odours throughout a whole desperate populous?
    Probably the main attractant to the MEC events was their large closeout sale tent which often had spectacular deals - heck one year I picked up a carbon wing paddle for $40! That sure brought me back for other years [not true as I would been manning a marine trail booth anyway, heh heh].

    So it might be worth writing a letter to MEC and telling them to wake up a bit . . . there's interest and people out there to be exploited.