SIKA SHOW 2016 – From the perspective of an overseas visitor

Sika Show is fast becoming one of the “pilgrimage shows” that I have to attend annually in New Zealand. My wife and I will make the long journey from either North East China, or from Singapore, to attend this show every year. To catch up with friends, check out all the new stuff on display and have a great time. Taupo is one of our favourite destinations when we are driving around the North Island. 
 
This year, the show has moved to the Great Lake Centre, and it is a great location and a bigger space. There were more booths on display, some of the booths were larger than the last show and the mix of what is being offered at the show has grown significantly. I like this new location, and hope that Sika Show in the future can remain at this new venue. 
 
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The weather was wet, wet and wet. Glad that on opening day the rain held back a little, but nevertheless the continuous rain prior to the show has accumulated a lot of water under the soil and in the open spaces it was quite a mess and a nightmare for the vendors setting up. I saw many of them having to fight the water and keeping the cartons dry during set up and throughout the show. The Chinese have always believed that water means fortune, and hope it is true to all the vendors. 
 
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The usual suspects turned up at the show, the big brands, their NZ sales rep, distributors, etc brought their newest and latest to grace the event. Many good deals were offered and this year, one area that has grown very significantly must have been guided hunts. In fact, I was stopped a couple of times outside the venue, in cafes and restaurants, to chat with some of these companies about the guided hunt business from an Asian customer perspective. 
 
This is looking to grow in NZ and I believe will bring a lucrative income for those who are planning to offer such services. 
 
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Here are some photos taken at the show. 
 
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Kiwi Innovation. Vari-brake. 
 
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Starting them young. 
 
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The kids were all having a good time at the show. 
 
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Beautiful GRS stocks on display. I believe all the colours from the GRS line were available on display. 
 
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The boys from GunsNZ.com never fails to bring excitement for the AR-hunting, and Multi-gun shooting community. 
 
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For those who have yet checked out the new Tikka rifles, they had a chance to look at the rifles up close and walked through the changes and innovations behind the new Tikka line. I have always loved how Beretta booths look so clean, everything is uncluttered and the knowledge of the team at the show. Always ready to give you insights and technical background behind the firearm. 
 
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Best deals going around the show. Too much toys, too little money, they say. 
 
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Love the set up indoors. 
 
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Everyone was going around telling everyone about “The Moose! They have a moose at the show!” way before I arrived in Taupo. Wow, and what a magnificent beast it is, to be up close and looking at the size of it. 
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Glad to see the guys from one of my favourite publications at the show. They were so busy, and I did not had the chance to have a good chat with them. Well, maybe at the next show. 
 
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NZAR15.com brought on some really exciting toys to the show. 
The day before the show, Ken posted a 50cal rifle on Facebook and had everyone talking about it. 
I was looking forward to seeing the new A-Cat stock they have finally released (it was announced at last year’s Sika Show) and it was good to see the stock finally making it to production. It is an entry level stock going for NZ$165. AR hunters looking for a budget stock should give this a try. 
NEA are highlight at this show, with so many flavours offered, but nothing stole the limelight from BAD “Boba Fett” AR build which was displayed in a glass cabinet (too reflective to get a good photo). 
 
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The other exciting booth for me was Stager’s. The outdoor apparel display was packed and I was wondering how sore Joel’s back has got to be at the end of the day. Meindl makes some really good stuff, and we waited for more than 30 minutes to try on a pair of boots. Unfortunately they ran out of sizes and we will be ordering them online. 
 
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Blaser never fails to make one’s heart beat a little faster, and on display this year alongside their wonderful shotguns was the R8 rifle in a GRS stock. This is a precision shooting system, that delivers the good and surprisingly not extremely pricey (depends on how you look at pricey). The ergonomics are spot on thanks to the engineering behind the GRS stock, and the rifle is one of the best that I have ever shot. Think of it as an “off the shelf custom rifle”. It performs like a custom rifle which would cost a lot more money to buy. 
 
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Also on display were the Mauser rifles which has been getting some really good field tests and reviews from US gun sites. Over the last few years Mauser has been improving on their processes and the recent tests in the field proved that Mauser is still a name to be associated with a good shooting and very accurate rifle for its money. 
 
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Sales sales sales and deals deals deals everywhere at the show. 
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The new Hilux are stunning. 
 
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You own this machine and you bet your popularity amongst your mates will go up. 
 
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Although this would likely get the highest ratings. 
 
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The coffee was exceptionally good. I think I ended up on a caffeine overdose/high on day one and had to remind myself to hold back the next day. 
 
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Unlike last year, this year featured three booths selling locally made knives. And in total my wife and I bought three knives from the show. They were beautifully made and nicely priced. What else can one ask for? 
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The electronic range has always been a hit with the kids, and judging from what I see, there are some champions in the making. Some of them kids were really good shots. 
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Overall it has been a great show this year, with lots to see (and buy). Hope the weather will be kinder to the vendors next year. 

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