The winners of Canoe & Kayak magazine’s 2010 “Industry Awards” were announced at a reception during the Outdoor Retailer show on August 3. The anticipation was heavy as paddlesports professionals shared a beer, some finger food and thoughts about the marketplace.

Two hundred and fifty Canoe & Kayak magazine specialty shop retailers vote on Boat Brand and Accessory Brand of the Year. Each product casts receives one vote for Retailer of the Year. This year, each winner was a repeat from the past. The honors have been awarded since in 1986.

Wilderness Systems repeated from last year to take home “Boat Brand of the Year.” CEO Sue Rechner was on hand to accept the award and thank her dealers and the industry. In her two years at Confluence she has been able to take home the trophy both times.

NRS was selected as winner by the retailers as “Accessory Brand of the Year.” They last won in 2007. Werner Paddles had won the previous 2 years. Founder Bill Parks, 77, graciously accepted the trophy. “We are naturally pleased with recognition of our products, but, even more gratifying is that this award really is a validation of our extreme dedication to our customers.”

Retailer of the Year is the most competitive and coveted award every year. This year’s contest had some drama. Last year’s winner Austin Canoe & Kayak from Austin, TX tied with eight-time winner Rutabaga Paddlesports from Madison, WI. Both retailers took the stage together and warmly accepted the award. “I’m proud to be honored,” says Rutabaga’s Darren Bush. “And sharing this award with ACK is also an honor. They’re a great shop.”

As for the 25th Canoe & Kayak Industry Awards, voting will begin next summer and winners will be announced at The Canoe & Kayak/NRS party in Salt Lake again. We hope to see you there!