Mayor Ralph Becker just released a statement saying “The biannual Outdoor Retailer events hosted by Salt Lake City are not only a much-appreciated economic boon for our community, but a great reflection on what makes our region, and the rest of the state, truly unique.” We love the trade shows for those reasons too (they bring more than $23 million in direct delegate spending to Utah), but we also love trying all the new gear from top brands.

That’s what we did at the Open Air Demo, held at Pineview Reservoir, on July 30. The lake was filled with testers using stand-up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks. We’d like to report on more cool stuff we saw, but we’re going to limit this post to the stuff that really caught our eye.

Key Log Rolling

Key Log is bringing a sport over a century old to the family campout. Their man-made logs weighs 64 pounds each, but when filled with water, they are 450 pounds (like the western red cedar they're modeled after). For Key Log President Abby Hoeschler (on the right in the pic above), it’s been a three-year endeavor from concept to final product. The first log was shipped in April. They go for $2,150.

Oru Kayak

The best way to describe the Oru Kayak is through photos. So, here you go:

The kayak is made from one piece of fully-recyclable plastic, and it will last you about 20,000 fold cycles. Roberto Gutierrez, CCO and the guy folding the kayak above, says the company is planning on other designs, but for now they just have this one. It weights 26 pounds, and when it’s all folded up, it can be worn like a shoulder bag. San Francisco-based Oru Kayak is asking $1,095 for the kayak starting Aug. 1.


Minelab is based in Australia, Ireland and Chicago, but you can get their stuff at Cabela’s. If you lost something precious (like that ring that turns you invisible), you can tell this metal detector to look for it. Search for anything from a beer can to gold. The CTX 3030 is the flagship machine, and it has a GPS that keeps track of where you tracked, so you can go back to them hills of gold every year. When Consumer Marketing Manager Ruth Fuller (in the pic above), helped us use it, we found 10 whole cents.

Gooper Dry Bags

Not only can you put your phone in this bag, totally submerge it in water, and it will stay dry, you can use the touch screen and talk on it while it’s in the bag. A Northern Israel team developed the Gooper bags, which go for $25 to $40 depending on size. They launched in Europe last year and are launching in the United States this year. But right now, the bags are only available to Utahns on their website.


Paddleboards are the rage, but jet-propelled paddleboards might be next. Wavejet technology is equipped for surf boards and boogie boards, too. The Santa Ana-based company’s jets are powered with a wrist controller and offer 20 pounds of thrust. “It’s great for when the wind changes direction,” says Global Director Kelly Virgulto. Her favorite board equipped with Wavejet technology—the Pou Hana Big EZ paddleboard (above).