Hood River, Oregon USA: 8 – 11 September 2021
The industry’s biggest trade show is taking place on the banks of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in Hood River this week. Here are the highlights from day one
Words and photos: Sensi Graves / Kiteworld
There’s a reason Hood River was chosen as the site for the annual trade show of the Association of Wind and Water Sports Industry. The Event Site features a rolling lawn down to the waterfront, making for an epic rigging location to house the plethora of gear that the trade shows hosts. Starting at 8am, the waterfront was littered with foils, wings, kites, surfboards, and twin tips from the 20+ brands that exhibited.
2021 marks a strong return for AWSI and the industry was out in full force–the who’s who of Kiteboarding and Wingfoiling were present with legends such as Robby Naish, Titouan Galea and Jesse Richman milling about. Brands, retailers, distributors and athletes were eager to talk shop, stoke one another out and see familiar faces.
Day one featured brand demonstrations from Naish, Slingshot, Ride Engine, F-One, Manera, AK Durable Supply, Airush Kiteboarding, Freewing, and Starboard Wingsurf and SUP. Some brands went in-depth with their product lines and offered up full line presentations while others kept it concise and focused on their values, mission and future goals. Gear demos were available throughout the day and a light, steady westerly breeze meant lots of water time for retailers, brands and athletes alike.
In the evening, the AWSI party awarded Male and Female Kiteboader and Wingfoiler of the year as well as Kiteboarding and Winging brand of the year.
Of the 5 nominations in each category, the winners were:
Male Kiteboarder of the Year: Fred Hope
Female Kiteboarder of the Year: Daniela Moroz
Female Winger of the Year: Olivia Jenkins
Male Winger of the Year: Kai Lenny
Kiteboarding Brand of the Year: Naish
Wing brand of the Year: F-one
We’re stoked to be back in action!