With some 8 million people in the UK participating in watersports last year what better place to visit than the Watersports Zone at this year’s Southampton International Boat Show. It will be buzzing with activity as companies from all over the world display a range of watersports products, clothing, and equipment.
At more than double the size of the 2021 zone, and with all the amazing products on offer, visitors to the Watersports Zone can get a taste of life on and under the water, with the chance to try diving in the dive tank provided by Andark or stand up paddleboarding in the show’s new shallow pool.
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the easiest ways to get out on the water. This year sees a full range of SUPs available at the show including a Wave Board with internal clear viewing panel, enabling users to see what’s below them, and the ZUP One Board, a versatile board for all the family and friends to use whether standing up, sitting, kneeling, or towed behind a powerboat as a wakeboard. For everything relating to wakeboarding, waterskiing and kneeboarding, and accessories such as wetsuits, impact vests and buoyancy aids, then a visit to Craig Cahoon Watersports is a must.
Exciting power craft on display includes the stylish and sleek aerodynamic Fliteboard e-foil, the new Kymera electric jet body boards from Camping World, the Belassi Personal Water Craft from UK dealer Jet Ski UK and the original Seascooter.
There’s no need to spend time searching for the perfect surf with the launch of the Mako Slingshot jet surf board. Surf’s up all the time, as the Slingshot’s petrol powered ST100 engine creates the perfect carve whatever the conditions. This lightweight carbon fibre surf board operates at speeds up to 55 mph and can be easily launched from the back of a boat or from the beach.
Getting away from the crowds to find quiet and peaceful locations for watersports has resulted in an increase in portable, inflatable craft. Hobie’s range of inflatable ITrek inflatable kayaks are designed for single, double or four-person use. Pedal-powered by GT Mirage Drive, the new design of rudder and steering system makes them quick and easy to manoeuvre, making them stable enough to act as a fishing platform and effortless for long distance expeditions on the water.
Paqualife will be showing the range of compact MRS packrafts and accessories on their stand. These ultra-light durable inflatable boats, designed for single or two-person use, fit neatly into a backpack. Made of thermoplastic polyurethane coated nylon (TPU), MRS packrafts have heat welded seams, are salt water and UV resistant, and can withstand repeated use and rolling making them perfect for touring, bike-rafting, hiking expeditions, fishing, or taking abroad in hand luggage. Paqualife accessories include quick dry polo shirts, carry straps and ultralight drybags in a variety of sizes. During the show, Paqualife users will visiting the stand to talk about how they use their products in wild camping adventures, hiking expeditions and exciting charity challenges.
Making sure you stay safe when on the water is essential, and whilst many carry mobile phones in waterproof pouches, first time exhibitor Zoleo will be showing how users can stay safe when beyond the reach of the mobile phone network. Using a free phone app, the Zoleo device connects via Bluetooth to the Iridium satellite network, enabling worldwide instant communication. It features built-in Check-In and SOS alerting, enabling Zoleo’s 24/7 professional emergency response to locate users via GPS co-ordinates. Compact, lightweight and with 200 hours of battery life, Zoleo is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from -4°F to 131°F, is shock, dust and water resistant.
Two-Inna-Row intrepid rowers, Darryl Thole and Sean Geiser, are taking on the challenge of rowing across the Atlantic. Raising awareness for children’s cancer, their LB4 Expedition class ocean rowing boat, on show for the first time, has been decorated with the handprints of children who have been impacted by cancer.
On their expedition, the pair are likely to come across a large quantity of marine litter at sea. So-called ‘ghost nets’ are those which have been lost overboard or discarded, and Decathlon will be displaying a new bodyboard made entirely from recycled fishing nets on their stand. This durable and long-lasting bodyboard can be recycled back into its raw materials to make a new product, part of Decathlon’s move to a circular economy. Decathlon’s new OFFSHORE 900 clothing collection is made using 19% less environmental impact than previous ranges, and features a new component to ensure the highest level of waterproofing, whilst still comfortable to wear even in the worst weather conditions. A range of inflatable boats, windsurfs, SUPS and kayaks available for sale and rental, will also be on show at the Decathlon stand.
Nestaway has been exhibiting at Southampton International Boat Show for over 15 years and this year sees a focus on electric outboards and pod motors alongside ORU Kayak’s folding kayaks and Aquaglide inflatable kayaks. Visitors to the stand can see for the first time the new 100kW inboard engine, and an eye-opening demonstration on the stand shows the environmental impact of a petrol outboard versus an electric engine.
Zego Marine will be showing, for the first time in the UK, the Pro-Catch 540C Twin deck. This versatile and affordable boat is ideal for all the family, whether out at sea fishing, or pottering along an inland waterway. Owning a boat which requires little maintenance and can be 100% recycled is the promise from Whaly boats. Made from polyethylene, this range of 14 designs of roto-moulded Whaly Boats from Holland come in a choice of 12 UV stable colours and outboards sizes from small electric engines through to 80hp outboards. Starting at under £700, the new top of the range 500PRO sells at £8,299.
For those looking for some personal style and glamour, there’s the Indian ocean island inspired range of swimwear, cover-ups and accessories from Venus Seychelles Beachwear. Made in the UK, these stunning prints and upcycled fabrics reflect the ultimate in style and luxury, so looking gorgeous on the boat and at the beach is now easily achievable whatever your body size or shape.