Well, here we are. At the end of 2016, and the dawn of 2017. And what a strange year it has been. In the world of SUP, SUP has generally grown from strength to strength yet again, with an explosion in the number of races, brands, competitors and kit.
There have been some rumours of oversupply within SUP circles, but it seems that only the really poor quality brands are discounting heavily in the close season due to oversupply, with some really low quality kit available at around £250 instead of the RRP of £550 – 600.
But, these problems seem to be few and far between. The market has generally pushed on, and most acceptable quality brands have improved their offering in 2016, with further marginal improvements in 2017.
So what’s new in 2017?
Hydrofoil is the next big thing. Or the Emperors new clothes. We’re not sure there’s a place for SUP foiling in recreational, non elite paddlesports, Others disagree. Which is fine, diversity is the mother of invention! There will be an increasing number of brands jumping on this bandwagon and making SUP foiling more widely available. McConks will not be one of them in 2017, however. We will be focussing on traditional SUP.
Whitewater SUP. Whitewater paddle boarding is really finding it’s feet this year, and will continue to develop and grow next year. McConks has seen significant interest from the more traditional paddlesports community and from instructors. Matt Stephenson, the rising star of WWSUP is helping McConks develop the perfect WWSUP board, which should be available in time for the Autumn rush.
Outside of these areas, 2017 seems to be about consolidation and refreshing the lineup. Not much else has changed in the world of SUP other than marketing. Technology has improved marginally, slightly stiffer, slightly lighter, slightly better fittings. But the improvements are marginal. Which don’t really reflect well on the typical % increase in prices in 2017.
Which is generally good news for you guys. You don’t need to spend a bucketload of money keeping up with the latest trends. And with no significant changes / improvements in technology expected, you can invest now without worrying about your kits becoming outdated within months.
And if you want THE BEST kit at THE BEST prices, you know where to go: www.mcconks.com.
So enjoy 2017, paddle more and enjoy new adventures.
As one of our friends said, lets hope that the next trip round the sun brings us all closer together.