2023 Paddling Magazine Industry Awards: Winners Announced

January 11, 2023

Over 25,000 votes were cast across 9 categories. Congratulations to the best boats, boards and gear of the year!

/OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – The paddlers have spoken, and today we are excited to announce the winners of the fourth annual Paddling Magazine Industry Awards presented by the Safer Paddling Campaign. These awards recognize significant and innovative achievements in the development of products introduced to the paddlesports market this year.

This year, more than 25,000 votes from retail buyers, consumers and media were cast across nine categories at paddlingawards.com.

The categories of the Paddling Magazine Industry Awards are representative of every aspect of the sport from recreational touring and fishing to whitewater and standup paddleboarding. The awards present brands with the outstanding opportunity to introduce new products to the largest audience of both paddling enthusiasts and the industry.

Here are the winners of the fourth annual Paddling Magazine Industry Awards:

1. Best Touring/Recreational Kayak

Tampico 130 by Hurricane Kayaks

The Hurricane Tampico 130 is an all-new performance rec kayak with a retro name. Like the Tampico of yore, this 13-foot version paddles fast and straight, but this modern take also boasts a 26-inch beam for stability and superior cockpit comfort. At 36 inches long and 19 inches wide, the cockpit coaming works great with or without a sprayskirt. Hurricane’s newly designed Airstream Strongside Seat offers solid deck reinforcement you are sure to swoon over. The Tampico weighs in at 45 pounds.

2. Best Whitewater Boat

Gnarvana by Jackson Kayak

Jackson Kayak’s Gnarvana takes the favorite features of the top-selling Nirvana and adds a whole new level of performance. The high-rockered bow, significant stern rocker and wider center point ensure that you feel high, dry and stable. The float and rocker profile make this creek boat incredibly easy to maneuver. Whether you are looking to run the hardest whitewater or make it down your backyard run with ease, the Gnarvana is going to rock your run. Now available in three sizes.

3. Best Fishing Boat And Board

Knarr FD by Jackson Kayak

Jackson Kayak will help you conquer the water with a new fishing platform, the Knarr FD. This kayak is 100 percent dialed in on the challenges presented by oceans and large lakes. Bring on the surf, current, wind, tide and the elements—these are the focus of the boat’s design. The Knarr is crafted for speed and stability and can handle surf and tracking in any weather or water conditions. This incredible kayak, combined with the new Mark IV Flex Drive, is Jackson’s most efficient pedal kayak.

4. Best SUP


The award-winning 11’6 Switch is an ultralight, super stable and incredibly versatile hybrid inflatable paddleboard and kayak complete package. With a hull weighing 19 pounds, ISLE says it’s the lightest weight hybrid kayak and paddleboard on the market. A full coverage deck pad opens the entire deck for yoga, pets, kids and lounging. The patent pending ISLE-LINK connect system runs the length of both rails for installing the included kayak seat, foot rest and accessories right where you need them.

5. Best Paddle

Sting Ray Carbon by Aqua Bound

Weighing 28.75 ounces, Aqua Bound says the Sting Ray Carbon is the lightest flatwater injected molded kayak paddle available at its price point. The lightweight 100 percent carbon shaft provides low swing weight and slight shaft flex, promoting a comfortable experience in the cockpit. The carbon-reinforced nylon blades are smooth in the water and offer enhanced stiffness and strength. The wide, asymmetric dihedral blade face is optimized for low-angle paddling and produces a smooth stroke with minimal flutter.

6. Best Safety & Rescue

Descent by Stohlquist

One of Stohlquist’s most popular vests among whitewater boaters, the Descent is built to keep you moving, no matter how long the adventure. This rescue life jacket provides top-quality security without impeding your freedom of movement. Featuring a QR Rescue Belt, updated pockets and a knife holder, this PFD can help you face anything on the water. You’ll find a comfortable, snug fit in the Descent life jacket. Revere the power of the water with a jacket suit to fit any journey.

7. Best Clothing/Apparel

Jakl GORE-TEX PRO Dry Suit by NRS

The NRS Jakl Dry Suit is a beefed-up drysuit for extreme whitewater expedition kayakers. Combining GORE-TEX PRO construction with Cordura reinforcements throughout, the Jakl provides superior warmth and waterproofness while handling the most committed hike-ins, sketchy portages and dodgy scrambles. Thoughtfully designed details keep paddlers drier in high-volume waters, from the volcano-style overcuffs to the five-inch neoprene waist overskirt, GORE-TEX PRO socks and reinforced ankle design.

8. Best Transport/Storage/Launching

Catch-All Universal Airless Cart by Suspenz

The Catch-All Universal Airless Cart by Suspenz is bi-directional and allows for boats to be loaded lengthwise or crosswise for wide loads with a kick-stand for easy loading. The Mag-Lite Airless Wheels provide easy maneuvering. Four-point cam buckle straps are woven into the Bunker Bars to secure boats and prevent load shifting. The Padded Bunker Bars are covered with replaceable canvas sleeves to protect your watercraft and cart for the long haul.

Patent Pending

9. Best Paddling Accessory

BlackPak Pro by YakAttack

The original hard-sided kayak crate just got better. A lot better. Introducing the BlackPak Pro. The result of more than a year of research and design, the BlackPak Pro is fully riggable and boasts a hinged lid, 25 percent weight reduction and best-in-class functionality. Enhancements include many things you might have expected, as well as some true-to-the-brand features that no one saw coming. Available in three sizes, YakAttack’s new BlackPak Pro will fit in a wide variety of fishing and recreational kayaks.

Congratulations to all 2023 Paddling Magazine Industry Award Winners!


About Rapid Media

Paddling Magazine is the flagship title of Rapid Media, the world’s largest paddlesports media company. Rapid Media’s mission is to inspire and empower paddlers by leading as the sport’s definitive advocate and resource. Rapid Media celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023. Alongside Paddling Magazine, the brand produces Kayak Angler, Paddling Business, the Paddling Industry Awards and the Paddling Film Festival.

Rapid Media Contact: Cristin Plaice cristin@rapidmedia.com