This past January, a group of 42 paddlesports industry leaders gathered in Bentonville, Arkansas, and created the new Paddlesports Trade Coalition (PTC). The organization was formed with the goal of growing paddlesports in North America. Its next step is gathering a broad member base to move forward with collaborative and inclusive efforts for the industry, which is why the PTC has launched its first membership drive.

Currently, the coalition has more than 20 members, including an interim board and executive director. The PTC is looking to attract a member base that includes paddlesports manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, retailers and media. The PTC lists the value of joining the organization as driving trade show development, creating a collective strategy around commerce challenges like shipping costs, sharing best practices and resources, and building a voice for paddlesports at the legislative level, among other items. Dues for the PTC begin at $250 USD dependant on which sector members represent. For the PTC to be successful in these initiatives and as a unifying organization, it needs individuals across the industry to join.

“Since the unanimous decision to form the Paddlesports Trade Coalition was made, a team of passionate leaders in our industry has been focused on the formation of the PTC as a 501C6 non-profit organization,”  PTC interim executive director Jeff Turner shared in a statement.

“With the soft launch of our website this past July, and the financial commitment from a solid group of founding members, we have been preparing for the paddlesports industry-wide launch, including retailers, brands, sales reps and associates,” added Turner. “We are thankful for the volunteer commitment from our founding members and are excited that the membership drive has officially started.”

Forty-two paddlesports industry leaders representing 30 manufacturers met at an industry summit in Arkansas last January. This meeting led to the formation of the new Paddlesports Trade Coalition, which is now seeking new members. | Photo: Visit Bentonville

Within the next three months, the PTC will announce its first Board of Directors nomination and election process.

Trade coalitions for the paddling industry have been created before, but a unifying body has been absent for the last decade. In a recent story on forming the PTC, Paddling Business editor Jeff Moag wrote of seven previous trade organizations of varying durations. When the 42 paddlesports industry leaders gathered in Bentonville last January, the intention wasn’t to make another coalition but, hearing the needs of the industry, it’s where the summit led.

The Paddlesports Trade Coalition will host its first annual meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, from January 23 to 25, 2024. Learn more and become a member at



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