Videos Target New Paddlers through Manufacturerâ€™s Connections
Orlando, FL — June 8, 2016: The nonprofit Water Sports Foundation (WSF) announced today the release of aÂ series of highly specialized paddle sports safety videos targeting new paddlers, an area of concern for theÂ U.S. Coast Guard. For the past five years, paddle sports popularity has grown steadily and so have boatingÂ deaths related to paddle sports. In 2015, according to a U.S. Coast Guard report*, 143 paddlers lost theirÂ lives while participating in paddle sports. The trend of increased paddle sports deaths is causing concernÂ amongst the Coast Guardâ€™s Boating Safety Division and paddle sports safety organizations. This newsÂ comes during a period that deaths from traditional power boating actually declined.
In 2015, the Water Sports Foundation, a recipient of U.S. Coast Guard non-profit organization grant fundingÂ directed its outreach projectâ€™s focus to include more effort towards making paddle sports safer. For moreÂ than 24 months, advertisements in paddle sports media have been encouraging paddlers to wear a lifeÂ jacket while paddling. Not wearing life jacket is a leading cause for the increase in deaths. To reachÂ paddle sports newcomers, however, WSF created a new strategy imploring paddle sports boatÂ manufacturers to help with safety message distribution.
During the 2015 Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah, WSF assembled a meeting with the largestÂ producers of beginner style paddle craft, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, the American CanoeÂ Association and representatives from Canoe & Kayak magazine to discuss the best ways to reach newÂ paddlers with safety messages. Jim Emmons, WSFâ€™s Director of Non-Profit Grants said, â€œNew paddlers, byÂ and large, have not yet subscribed to traditional paddle sports media, therefore we had to seekÂ alternative ways to reach them and in my experience manufacturers with warranty card registration lists, e-newsletterÂ lists, social media and website channels are best suited for this challenge, so we asked them toÂ help and they all agreed!â€ During the meeting, it was determined that a series of eight videos eachÂ focusing on a specific safety concern should be produced and distributed through manufacturerâ€™sÂ channels during the next paddling season. Additional distribution will come from the worldâ€™s largest andÂ most well known boating media providers.
As of today, the paddle sports safety videos are completed and ready for release. A schedule that callsÂ for the release of one video each week throughout summer 2016 is set to begin on June 8. The first video inÂ the series can be viewed here:
In addition to the eight part video series this summer, The Water Sports Foundation in cooperation with theÂ U.S. Coast Guardâ€™s Boating Safety Division is also producing more than six million ten-panel safetyÂ pamphlets that the worldâ€™s largest canoe and kayak manufacturers have all agreed to insert into their newÂ product offerings for point of purchase display. The idea is support the video series with a specific panel forÂ each topic highlighting important paddle sports safety messages in retail showrooms that by-and-large doÂ not have adequate or well-trained staff in this area. The pamphlets will be distributed to manufacturers thisÂ summer and should start arriving in stores by fall 2016.
Headquartered in Orlando, FL, the Water Sports Foundation is the non-profit educational arm of the WaterÂ Sports Industry Association (WSIA.net) and since 2011, WSF has received boating safety outreach grantÂ funding from the U.S. Coast Guard for the outreach project called Increasing the Awareness of SafeÂ Boating Practices. â€œYour Boating Dollars At Work.â€ The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust FundÂ administered through Congressional action provides funding for the U.S. Coast Guardâ€™s recreationalÂ boating safety initiatives.
* According to the U.S. Coast Guardâ€™s 2015 Boating Accident Report Data.
Contact: Jim Emmons
Water SportsÂ Foundation, Inc.
Division of WSIA