Hobie Cat Europe celebrates 10th anniversary at EFTTEX
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Hobie Kayak Europe celebrates its tenth anniversary as an EFTTEX exhibitor this year, so the fact that the show is being staged in its home country is icing on the cake for the Netherlands company.
Based in Stellendam, Hobie is less than 50 miles from the Rai Centre venue in Amsterdam and has welcomed EFTTA’s decision to return to the cosmopolitan city in two years’ time.
“We are more than excited to see EFTTEX returning to Amsterdam,” said Fishing Marketing Manager, Gero Priebe. “It will be like a home game for Hobie.
“EFTTEX has always been a success for us. It is the perfect place to exhibit our broad range of fishing kayaks and to see our customers face to face, which is very important. We also get to connect with other players in the industry and learn more about their specific markets.”
Hobie’s network of distributors already spans the whole of Europe, but Priebe and Managing Director, Richard Barth, will be alert to possible new partnerships, especially in Eastern Europe.
One of the highlights of the Hobie booth will be two custom Xi5 wireless trolling motors for the Pro Angler 17t (tandem), one for freshwater, one for saltwater. The motor – the same one shown on bass boat commercials – is GPS enabled and can be controlled from anywhere on the boat.
Described by Priebe as a ‘must see’, the motor’s functions include route recording and playback, heading lock, cruise control and anchor.
The kayak fishing market has been among the sport’s fastest-growing sector in recent times and Priebe sees no sign of a slowdown. “It has grown exponentially in Europe in the last couple of years and sales right across the Continent have been really good.
“It will continue to grow, with social media playing an important role. With the inception of local clubs, forums and information portals, kayak anglers have become connected to share experiences and expertise and also to meet at events or to compete against each other.
“Kayak fishing has gained serious momentum among predator anglers and has the potential to become a mass sport.”
Priebe is also organiser of the annual Hobie European Fishing Championships and believes the event is another key driver behind the sector’s popularity. Now in its third year, the competition takes place in the west coast region of Sweden in September and is again supported by Lowrance and GoFree. The winner qualifies for the prestigious Hobie Fishing Worlds 2016.
“The European Championships has grown into a truly international event that connects anglers all over Europe,” says Priebe. “It is a very professional and competitive platform for anglers and we are very impressed by the number of entry requests already received.
“A lot of new names will be taking part, with participants of every age and both sexes. The event has grown significantly in three years.
“I believe the kayak market in general has benefited significantly from the European Championships. It has built awareness all across Europe and has become a blueprint for local events.”
EFTTEX BOOTH No. A30