DemoFest - June 23 - 25, 2017

DemoFest at Zoar Outdoor

For paddlers who want to brush up on their skills and have some fun, Zoar Outdoor’s DemoFest is the place to be this June! Sign up for the free clinics that most appeal to your skill level and interests or demo a boat on the Deerfield River. Then stop by The Outfitters Shop to save on the gear you’ll need to outfit your new boat for future adventures! We’re offering 15-20% off selected gear brands, including Astral Buoyancy, Stohlquist, Immersion Research, and more.

  • Great for experienced kayakers who want an energizing and thrilling experience in Class IV water, or are looking to brush up on skills in class II and III water.
  • Save 15-20% on high-quality boat gear and accessories from top names.
  • With DemoFest, our goal is to promote and support the whitewater kayaking community while making it easier for budding kayakers to learn more about the sport.
  • At Zoar, our staff makes the difference when it comes to your whitewater kayaking experience. Our friendly, accommodating team is here to answer any questions you might have, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!
  • All kayaking mini-clinics are subject to change. Please check in at registration each day to fill out a waiver and receive information.

New For 2017!

Zoar Outdoor is teaming up with American Whitewater once again to turn the Deerfield River Festival Weekend into an amazing three day event. We have a combined goal to get more people into the sport of kayaking and promote and support the whitewater kayaking community nationally.

Free instruction with Zoar Outdoor clinic teasers and from top paddlers, demos of the hottest whitewater boats/equipment on the market, a special event speaker (Friday evening at Zoar Outdoor) and live music at the Charlemont Fairgrounds (Saturday evening). It’s all at the 14th annual DemoFest at Zoar Outdoor held in June on the Deerfield River in Massachusetts!

Boats from Dagger, Jackson Kayak, and Pyranha will be available for demo as well as paddles from Werner Paddles and AT.

It is best to pre-register for this event so we know you are interested in one of the scheduled free clinics. Walk in space will be available for the afternoons and limited in the mornings.

The DemoFest free mini clinics are designed for experienced paddlers looking to paddle the hottest new whitewater kayaks.

All boat demos are first-come-first-served. Boats will be available at the Zoar Gap picnic area.  We regret that we are not able to take reservations for specific boats. You can demo a boat for up to 2 hours of personal use or for one mini-clinic. We have a limited number of boats available for demo so please be considerate.

If you've never paddled before or have never been in a true whitewater kayak you can sign up for our 2-day novice kayak courses to try out the sport or any of our other essential skills clinics hosted on various dates throughout the summer.

DemoFest Sale June 19th-28th

20% off these select products:

  • Astral Bouyancy
  • Stohlquist
  • Kokatat
  • Immersion Research
  • Level Six
  • Shred Ready
  • Snap Dragon Design
  • Sweet Protection
  • Werner
  • ...and 15% off Adventure Technology
Event Overview

Each morning will begin at Zoar Outdoor, where you'll enjoy a free continental breakfast, fill out necessary paperwork, purchase lunch (if applicable), and - if necessary - borrow a wetsuit, booties and splash jacket before heading to the DemoFest site. These items are only available at Zoar Outdoor, not at the DemoFest site, and no cash will be taken at the site.

The DemoFest site is located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area. Once there, you can pick out any needed equipment: PFDs, paddles, sprayskirts, helmets.

At the DemoFest site, you can also register for morning and afternoon mini-clinics if you haven't already done so. All clinics are first-come-first-served, and morning clinics will be available for registration ahead of time. You can pre-register for one mini-clinic per morning by calling Zoar Outdoor at 1-800-532-7483. Morning clinic walk-ins are welcome, but availability may be limited. Afternoon clinics are walk-ins only each day. All mini-clinics are subject to change. Please check in at registration each day to fill out a waiver and receive updated information on your mini-clinics.

Friday

Friday has two sessions of free mini-clinic teasers, free boat demos and an evening presenter back at Zoar Outdoor with a BBQ. We will be bringing all the Zoar Outdoor kayaks to the take out area below Zoar Gap Rapid plus boats from our manufacturers for the mini-clinics and boat demos. You can bring your own lunch, or purchase it in advance $8.50 plus tax, and we'll have it available at the Zoar Gap picnic area site. On Friday evening, join us for a barbecue and film presentation (TBD). Barbecue tickets are on sale for $11.50 per person, plus tax. BBQ will start at 5:00 PM followed by the the film showing at 6:00 PM.

Saturday

Saturday evening are the big festivities that we’ve come to love and know as the Deerfield River Festival in the Charlemont Fairgrounds on route 8A. With joining forces again this year we hope to bring a really fun on-water component to the festival. Saturday we will still have equipment (PFDs, paddles, sprayskirts, helmets) and manufacturer representatives at the Zoar Gap Picnic Area, but we are going to spread out the boat demos. Check out freestyle kayaks and play/river runners at the "Hurricane Hole," the first rapid on the Fifebrook Section. Creek boats are going to be located at Dunbar Brook Picnic Area and you will need a vehicle to transport demos. Stop by the Zoar Gap picnic area to see the largest selection of boats.

Saturday morning will have mini-clinic warm-ups and will be a manufacturer representative focused on-water day, where you will have the opportunity to paddle with some of the top professional paddlers nation wide and amazing locals. Sign-up for clinics in advance. Walk-ins welcome but may be limited. Lunch can also be purchased in advance for $8.50 plus tax and will be available at the Zoar Gap picnic area site.

Saturday afternoon will be challenge focused! We're bring back doughnut slalom and going to expand our themed poker run to create challenges on the way down the river. Collect playing cards by finding Zoar Outdoor Staff and Reps and complete challenges. Bring the cards back to the AW RiverFest in the Charlemont Fairgrounds and win prizes!

Saturday Evening is the big hoorah in the Charlemont Fairgrounds, the Deerfield River Festival. There will be live music, equipment auctions, food, beer, games, activities and manufacturer booths. Come support American Whitewater and the celebration of successful re-licensing on the Deerfield River which provides us with our guaranteed water releases.

Sunday

Sunday has two sessions of free mini-clinic teasers, and more free boat demos. We will once again be bringing all the Zoar Outdoor kayaks to the take out area below Zoar Gap Rapid, plus boats from our manufacturers, and will have free mini-clinics and boat demos available for experienced whitewater kayakers. Lunch can also be purchased in advance for $8.50 plus tax and will be available at the Zoar Gap picnic area site.

On the Dryway section we'll be hosting a mass start downriver race, beginning at 12:00. Racers must fill out a waiver and be experienced class III-IV paddlers.

Each Day

Unwind for one more evening with snacks back at the Zoar Outdoor Outfitter’s shop and take advantage of our great early season deals on new paddling equipment.

All weekend long, The Outfitters Shop will have sale booths set up at Zoar Outdoor, so make sure to leave time for shopping. You may even find a bargain on your favorite boat or piece of equipment.

We are excited to be able to offer the events at DemoFest free to you and encourage you to "pay it forward" by supporting the whitewater community through American Whitewater.

2017 DemoFest registration is now open! Call our office to sign up for specific clinics and pay for lunch and Friday dinner. You may sign-up for one mini-clinic on Friday and one mini-clinic on Sunday. For more information please call Zoar Outdoor at 1-800-532-7483.

2017 Schedule for DemoFest

Friday
8:00 - 9:00 AM Free continental breakfast for all participants
Located at Zoar Outdoor inside The Outfitters Shop
8:00 - 8:45 AM Registration (waivers) and breakfast at The Outfitters Shop.
If you need wetsuit, booties or paddling jacket you must check-in at The Outfitters Shop
(We will not have them available at the site)
We will have PFD's, Paddles, Sprayskirts, and Helmets available on site.
Pre-orders for lunches ($8.50 each plus tax) and Friday night BBQ ($11.50 each plus tax) can be paid for at The Outfitters Shop. Sorry, we can't take payment at the DemoFest site.
8:30 - 9:30 AM Registration, waivers and check-in for mini-clinics begins at the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area.
9:15 - 9:50 AM Boat and equipment outfitting and selection
10:00 - 4:00 PM Boat demos available throughout the day on a first come, first served basis. Demos are available private use for no more than 2 hrs or one mini clinic.
10:00 - 12 Noon Check out the morning mini-clinics - pre-sign up or walk-in
Mini-clinics leave promptly from the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and socializing. Pre-orders for lunches can be made at The Outfitters Shop for $8.50 each plus tax or contact Zoar Outdoor prior to DemoFest. Sorry, we can't take payment at the site.
12:30 - 4:00 PM Mini-clinics on the Dryway - pre-sign up or walk-in
Personal vehicles may be needed for shuttle/transportation
1:00 - 3:45 PM Check out the afternoon mini-clinics - walk-ins only
Mini-clinics leave promptly from the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area
5:00 - 6:00 PM Hot dog and hamburger barbecue, $11.50/pp plus tax
Located at: Zoar Outdoor's east pavilion
6:30 - 9:00 PM Featured Film Presentation:
Located at: Zoar Outdoor's East pavilion
Saturday
8:00 - 9:00 AM Free continental breakfast for all participants
Located at Zoar Outdoor inside The Outfitters Shop
8:00 - 8:45 AM Registration (waivers) and breakfast at The Outfitters Shop.
If you need wetsuit, booties or paddling jacket you must check-in at The Outfitters Shop
(We will not have them available at the site)
We will have PFD's, Paddles, Sprayskirts, and Helmets available on site.
Pre-orders for lunches can be done at The Outfitters Shop for $8.50 each plus tax. Sorry, we can't take payment at the DemoFest site.
8:30 - 9:30 AM Registration, waivers and check-in for where to paddle with the pros begins at the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area.
9:30 - 12:00 PM Free Playboat and Play River-runner Demos at Hurricane Hole on Fifebrook section. Registration is preferred at the Main Demofest location across from the Zoar Gap Picnic area, but walk-ins will be welcome.
9:30 - 12:00 PM Free Creek Boat Demos at Dunbar Brook on the Monroe Bridge section. Personal vehicles will be needed for boat transport. Registration is preferred at the Main Demofest location across from the Zoar Gap Picnic area, but walk-ins will be welcome.
10:00 - 12:00 PM Check out the morning mini-clinics - pre-sign up or walk-in
Mini-clinics leave promptly from the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area
10:00 - 4:00 PM Get your best card hand for the Zoar Outdoor Poker Run from the pros and instructors.
Boat demos available throughout the day on a first come first serve basis at various locations.
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and socializing. Pre-orders for lunches can be made at The Outfitters Shop for $8.50 each plus tax or contact Zoar Outdoor prior to DemoFest. Sorry, we can't take payment at the site.
1:00 - 4:00 PM On-water challenges, collect your best set of playing cards and bring them to the AW RiverFest for prizes. Doughnut Slalom in Zoar Gap!
3:00 - Close American Whitewater Festival at the Charlemont Fairgrounds
Sunday
8:00 - 9:00 AM Free continental breakfast for all participants
Located at Zoar Outdoor inside The Outfitters Shop
8:00 - 8:45 AM Registration (waivers) and breakfast at The Outfitters Shop.
If you need wetsuit, booties or paddling jacket you must check-in at The Outfitters Shop (We will not have them available at the site) We will have PFD's, Paddles, Sprayskirts, and Helmets available on site.
Pre-orders for lunches can be done at The Outfitters Shop for $8.50 each plus tax. Sorry, we can't take payment at the DemoFest site.
8:30 - 9:30 AM Registration, waivers and check-in for mini-clinics begins at the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area.
9:15 - 9:50 AM Boat and equipment outfitting and selection
10:00 - 4:00 PM Boat demos available throughout the day on a first come first serve basis.
Demos are available for mini-clinics and/or private use for no more than 2 hrs.
10:00 - 12 Noon Check out the morning mini-clinics - pre-sign up or walk-in
Mini-clinics leave promptly from the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area
12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and socializing. Pre-orders for lunches can be made at The Outfitters Shop for $8.50 each plus tax or contact Zoar Outdoor prior to DemoFest. Sorry, we can't take payment at the site.
12:00 - 3:00 PM Mass Start Downriver Race on the Dryway section of the Deerfield River
1:00 - 3:45 PM Check out the afternoon mini-clinics - Walk-ins only
Mini-clinics leave promptly from the DemoFest site located across from the Zoar Gap picnic area
4:00 - 6:00 PM Socializing at Zoar Outdoor in The Outfitters Shop