Paddlesports are seeing a worldwide revival, due to increasingly lightweight material innovations, new boat designs, better water-friendly fabrics, and more access to waterways. An improving economy is also driving innovation as manufacturers are able to invest more back into R & D. Nowhere is this revival more apparent than in the Southeast. With the Freestyle World Championships taking place on the Nantahala last year, things are really on a roll – pun intended. Here’s a look at few Blue Ridge Outdoors picks for your summer paddling adventures.

Gerber River Shorty

Improving on a classic is tough to do, but Gerber took the chance with the re-introduction of their traditional stub-nose waterman’s blade, the River Shorty, built specifically for paddlers, sailors and divers. This blunt-tip river knife features a serrated 3-inch, polished 420HC stainless steel blade wrapped in a durable, slip-resistant nylon handle. The hard plastic sheath attaches easily to belt, boot or PFD and will accept the blade edge right or left. Made in Gerber’s Portland, Oregon, factory, the River Shorty carries the brand’s lifetime warranty and is now available in high visibility green (shown) as well as classic black. (MSRP $33) gerbergear.com

Nemo Helio Pressure Shower

Rinsing off out of the back of your Subaru after a day on the river is one of the small pleasures in life, and Nemo has provided an extremely convenient and effective way to get this backcountry cleanse. The Helio Pressure Shower comes in a tidy nested kit and provides up to seven minutes of steady water pressure. Unlike gravity-fed, hanging shower systems, the Helio sits on the ground and uses an 11-liter welded-fabric water container, pressurized by a foot durable pump. Let the water tank warm in the sun while you are out paddling. It can also be used to rinse off doggie paws, bike tires, or to wash dishes. (MSRP $99.95) nemoequipment.com

Astral Ronny Fisher Kayak Fishing PFD

Southeastern favorite Astral has a number of new offerings for Spring, not the least among them the Ronny Fisher – Astral’s first kayak-fishing specific PFD, created with feedback from the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association. The technical vest features Astral’s Thin-Vent proprietary foam-vent technology, a 500d Cordura wrap, and is decked out with a plethora of storage solutions all the way down to a beverage holder and cell phone pocket. Reflective hits and a stowable hood complete the picture in this departure piece for Astral. (MSRP $159.95) astraldesigns.com

Bluesmiths Kanaha

Using some of the most advanced technical fabrics in the world from Switzerland –NanoSphere – the Bluesmiths Kanaha LS Ocean Shirt is a hydrophobic must-have for stand-up paddlers and other watersports enthusiasts. As you might expect, it’s got 40 UPF sun protection as well, and it’s quickly gaining notoriety for breathability, quick-dry and lightweight comfort. Bluesmiths manufactures in Canada with an eye for style, an environmental sensibility and real life paddlers and seamen developing product. (MSRP $90) bluesmiths.com

Nikwax Sandal Wash and Footwear Cleaning Gel

Your favorite Chacos, Tevas and Cudas can quickly become stinkified after many days on the river and around the campfire over the course of a season. But you love those sandals. Consider the environment and your pocketbook and treat them with Nikwax Sandal Wash or Footwear Cleaning Gel to give them new life. Sandal Wash works to clean synthetics, leather and fabrics and removes bacteria (typically responsible for rot and stink); while Footwear Cleaning Gel not only cleans but also revives water repellency and can revitalize breathability. Nikwax products are typically gentle on your goods and on the environment (VOC/FC-free, water based and biodegradable). The company’s apparel cleaning products work great too. Consider it a small investment in your gear. ($7.25 sandal wash / $8.50 cleaning gel) nikwax.com

Julbo Wave

Mountaineers among you will quickly recognize this iconic French sunglass brand for their fit, protection and quality. Now paddlers have access to the company’s photochromic, polarized (eliminates glare), and hydrophobic (won’t streak when wet) lenses as well – and they float too. A removable frame skirt helps keep spray out of the eyes while air flows around to prevent fogging. A supple rubber adheres to the nose. Available in Black/Yellow, White/Black, Black/Sky Blue, and Blue/Black; the photochromic Octopus gets darker and lighter with light intensity and is the pricier of two lens options. (MSRP $120 Polarized 3+/$190 Octopus) julbousa.com

Kokatat

Whitewater and off-shore hardcores will be interested to know that Kokatat’s new Icon Gore-Tex (in both 3-layer Pro Shell and Cordura) rear-entry dry suit (previously only available in the Jackson Collection) is now out in two new colors for men and women. It features full latex gaskets, integrated Gore-Tex socks, dual-adjustable overskirt, and, for men, front relief zipper. Ahhhhh. And when you’re not shredding waves, check out the new Kokatat Destination line, featuring caps, paddling pants and shirts, and other pieces that crossover well for lifestyle and travel. (MSRP $1090) kokatat.com

Goal Zero Lighthouse250 Lantern and Power Hub

The GZ Lighthouse 250 is a great tool to keep in your shuttle vehicle – it provides light for when you take-out after dusk and it can recharge your other devices. You can adjust brightness levels and direction to save on power for a 48-hour max run time. It’s rechargeable from Goal Zero solar panels, from any USB port, and it features a hand-crank for emergency charges. It can recharge a smartphone twice or give a 40-percent boost to a tablet. (MSRP $79.99) goalzero.com

Thule SUP Shuttle

To make use of your current Thule rack system with the new stand-up paddleboard you got for Christmas, consider spending the rest of your extra bread on some sweet rack attachments. The SUP Shuttle (MSRP $149.95) features telescoping-width (fits boards up to 34″ wide) with built-in board protection and universal FlipFit Bracket rack compatibility. Dual loading design and weather resistant base padding allows for safe transport of two boards. Adjustable wrap-around padding on straps protects boards from strap abrasion. Of course, if single-blade is your thing, there’s always the new Portage Canoe Carrier (MSRP $119.95), now Thule’s easiest loading canoe carrier with universal roof rack compatibility. Durable gunwales with ramped sides and cushioned base pads protect the canoe during transit to the put-in. thule.com