Trends in outdoor gear this next year range from focusing on lightweight or ultralight technology to increasing brand visibility to improving sustainability and recycling efforts. It seems like camping and outdoor activities are now as much about the gear and technology as they are about immersion in the wilderness.
This is a major reason why the Outdoor Retailertrade shows are massive events, with companies repping numerous countries in countless industries related to the outdoors. The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market happened in Denver this past week and 303 Magazine stopped by to check out whatsome Colorado-based companies are offering to outdoor enthusiasts in 2019.
Another company based out of Steamboat Springs, Hala Gear started making inflatable stand up paddleboards (SUP) in 2011 thanks to founder and SUP athlete Peter Hall. Shortly after they launched, they patented a new kind of paddle — the Butterknife — that can be used for both kayaking and paddleboarding. This year, Hala continues their quest for new technology in paddle sports with the evolution of their. “Instead of one big inflatable area, the board is split into two different sections that deliver more stiffness once inflated,” Jimmy Hostetler of Hala described — and they’re still accessible via one valve so the inflation process is no more complicated.
Though Hala came to popularity with whitewater SUP athletes, they are now moving into the ocean surfing territory— an avenue that might seem counterintuitive given Colorado is a landlocked state. The Playita (nine feet) is one example of an ocean surfer board, with four options for fin placement and a fishtail. They will experiment with different shapes and designs before trying to take over the “California surf market” as Hostetler explained.
Last year the Carbon series was launched and those continue this next year with new graphics. These boards are still inflatable — with a hand or powered pump — buta layer of carbon fiber material at the base allows for more rigidity, mimicking a solid board. Some other inflatable SUP boards on the market that use carbon for rigidity require putting in pieces (like rods or batons) after it’s inflated, but the Hala boards are fully integrated and can be rolled up with the rest of the board.
Article published by 303 Magazine.