In Focus: SUP Suction

I have come to the realization there is a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to rigging and accessorizing your stand-up paddleboard (SUP). The main thing people will notice with almost any traditional SUP is the lack of cargo space. The good news, is that we offer several  options to fit this need. Here is one option I thought was worth looking at, especially if you are the type of person that prefers not to drill a hole in your SUP.

SUPThings makes suction cup rigging for the top of your SUP so you can keep things at hand a bit easier than without. The advantage of the suction cups is that you don’t have to do any drilling so there’s no chance of messing up that expensive board and you don’t have to live with something when you don’t want it there. Also, if you’re a renter, these are a great option because you can keep your gear with you while out on the water but when you return the board, the rigging is yours to keep and use again next time you rent. We offer three varieties: Light Suction Deck Rigging, Super Suction Deck Rigging, and the Super Suction Cargo Net, all pictured below. Surely one of these options will help fill your needs. We also offer a variety of other options so I invite you to check out our full line of SUP accessories here.

Trent @ACK

Kayak Crabbing in California

The sport of kayak fishing is growing so much that off-shoots like kayak crabbing are starting to gain a foot hold as well. We came across a news article spotlighting a California kayak club called the Lost Coast Kayak Anglers who had put on an all-out kayak crabbing tournament. The tournament, called Crabbing for a Cause, sounds as fun as it is unique and had 15 crabbers paddling through the surf, each using their own style to haul in the biggest catch. Read the full story here.

Of course, kayak crabbing isn’t anything new to us. We carry a full line of crab traps and other products related to crabbing from Promar. Still, it is great to see an organized event revolving around this niche sport. Maybe we’ll have to look into putting on our own someday down at the Texas coast. Until then, tight lines and sturdy traps!

The Gift of Cast Iron

When it comes to gift-giving, I tend to error on the side of practicality. I don’t want to give you another piece of junk to clutter up your precious, limited space so I try to get something that will see a lot of use and hopefully become something worth treasuring. With that in mind, I got my mom (and furthermore my hungry family) the Lodge Logic Double Play Grill and Griddle and the Lodge Logic Grill Press for Christmas. My parents do a lot of home cooking and I knew this would come in handy in so many situations.

The Double Play is great because you can use it for more than you’d probably think at first glance. With a flat griddle surface on one side and a ridged grill on the other, you’ll find a lot of excuses to use this. Its primary use in my parents house will be over two burners on their gas stove, but it can also be used on electric or glass stoves, in the oven to make biscuits, on the BBQ with meat and veggies, or any heat source except the microwave! The morning after Christmas we decided to make pancakes and they came out perfectly cooked and with the exception of the first couple, none of them stuck to the griddle though. One of the great things about Lodge is that their products come pre-seasoned and will get better and better the more you use them. I have no doubt these products will last a lifetime if properly maintained and well-loved, so these might end up coming back around to me one day.

The Grill Press can be used with the Double Play and worked wonders on the Canadian bacon we cooked alongside the pancakes. It browned the meat more evenly and pressed out unwanted fats but still retained flavor. I think I may have to buy one for myself because this reformed vegetarian eats a lot of bacon these days and I’m absolutely positive this would help make it exceptional. It would also work wonders on the grill side with sandwiches to get those nice grill marks on the bread and distribute heat evenly on both sides. Like all Lodge cook wear, it’s pre-seasoned but the more you use it, the better it gets. I cannot speak highly enough of these products and you can trust this Southern gent because if its good enough for mom, its good enough for you too.

– Trent @ ACK

Set Sail for the 2013 Winter Boat Shows

The holidays are over, but for many that means it’s soon to be the best time of the year. That’s right, it’s nearly time for the 2013 Winter Boat Shows! Each year several Texas cities host these events and display the widest variety of boats on the market. For the most part the shows revolve around powerboats but we at ACK have taken it upon ourselves to remind event goers that you don’t have to break the bank just to have fun on the water. Our booth always offers an amazing display of kayaks to see, touch and learn about from our expert staff as well as the manufacturer representatives themselves who will also be on hand.

Below you can find the full 2013 Winter Boat Show Schedule. We hope to see you there and just like last year we’ll have some great offers!

Houston Boat Show: Jan. 4th – 13th at the Reliant Center
Info: http://houstonboatshows.com

Austin Boat Show: Jan. 17th – 20th at the Austin Convention Center
Info: http://www.austinboatshow.com

San Antonio Boat Show: Jan. 24th – 27th at the Alamodome
Info: http://www.sanantonioboatshow.com

 

Blog Spotlight: TrailCooking.com

Source: TrailCooking.com

Part of the camping experience is the food you eat while you’re in the outdoors. Maybe you’re a minimalist and only interested in bringing a few meal bars, or maybe you bring your Lodge Logic Dutch Ovens and cook a hearty meal around the fire. Whatever the case, we wanted to share a very in depth and well put together blog that I will be looking to next time I need to plan a camp outing.

The motto at TrailCooking.com is “do not take what you do not like to eat,” and you should have no difficulty following that with their long list of different meal ideas. What makes their blog so unique is that recipes include directions for at home and in camp with different methods of camp cooking included in each. Not all of their posts are in-depth recipe ideas either – they also include tips for healthy eats and recommend products and gear for your adventures. Check them out!

Joseph @ACK

Happy Holidays and a Very Merry Christmas!

ACK wishes everyone a happy holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. We hope you are amongst loved ones and for those that prefer to not be with loved ones, that you are at least one with nature. :-) Sure, Thanksgiving is about being thankful but we can’t help but feel thankful today as well for all that our customers, partners, vendors and employees have done to help make ACK such a success. Enjoy the rest of the year and we look forward to 2013!

– The ACK Family

Comparing Hobie’s Tandem and Adventure Islands by Daniel Pham

I had the pleasure of testing out the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island (TI) during the ACK demo days back in September. While I was testing the TI out on the lake, I could not help but compare it to the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island (AI) which I had paddled/sailed before. I have to say that operating the TI on the water was very similar to the AI. The TI sail mast area is 90 sq. ft. compared to the AI sail area, which is 57.5 sq. Continue reading Comparing Hobie’s Tandem and Adventure Islands by Daniel Pham

Paddling the Ride 115 with Some New Toys

I recently had the chance to take out my Ride 115 on the Colorado River (Little Webberville, Texas). It’s always a pleasure to take this kayak out, I truly love it. First off, at only 11.5’, it doesn’t stick out the back of my truck far enough to need a bed extender, which makes it a lot more practical for me personally. And I truly don’t find too much of a difference between paddling this and its big brother, the Ride 135. Sure, I might lose a little speed and it might not track quite as well, but it is negligible and not enough for me to take notice. It’s stable enough for me stand in easily, paddles plenty fast and tracks well, plus it can handle my 245 lbs. and any amount of gear I want to take with no problems whatsoever.

As it’s often said, the motor of the kayak is the paddle. Some people choose to skimp in regards to this item, but my recommendation is to spend as much as you can afford. For me, I’m very happy with the Camano FG (Fiberglass) paddle. It’s very light for times when I’m paddling long distances and has plenty of rigidity in the blades so I’m not wasting energy. I would recommend this blade to anybody!

For my recent birthday, my family got me some new toys and I got to put them the test for the first time on this outing. The first of which was the Malone Express Scupper Cart, which I have decided is a must-have! I don’t know how I made it so long without one. It’s easy to use and I can take all my gear in one trip. In the event I get another sit on top, it will adjust to fit nearly any kayak.  And most importantly, it has foam filled tires so I don’t have to worry about flats.

The next item I got that has made life a lot more comfortable is the Skwoosh Classic Kayak Cushion. At less than $50, this is money well spent if you find yourself getting sore after a short time in your kayak seat. Let’s face it, the most important part of any kayak seat is the support it provides, but a close second is some cushioning to sit on. The gel in this is great and makes for a more comfortable paddling.

Lastly, I got to use the Eco Extreme Speaker for the first time. Not only does it do a great job of keeping my cell phone dry, but puts out a decent amount of volume via Pandora or whatever player you choose to use. The fact that the unit floats is a major plus in the event that you knock it out of the boat.

This particular day was right after a cold front blew in, so the fishing was non-existent. This allowed me to fully appreciate my surroundings with its abundant wildlife and crystal clear water (at least on this day). I would always prefer to be catching fish one after another, but I’ve learned over time that nature sometimes pitches a shutout…..AND a bad day of fishing is far better than a good day of working!
Scott @ACK Austin

Moken 12.5 Review from Feel Free Pro Staffer Tony Hart

Anglers everywhere are getting excited about the new Moken 12.5 from Feel Free and Pro Staffer Tony Hart had a first crack at it. Here’s what he had to say…

The Moken 12.5 kayak is a perfect vessel for fishing. At first glance, you’ll notice that it’s a very well thought out design and the features are ideal for the kayak angler. The kayak paddles very smoothly, and tracks extremely well. The center hatch storage system offers dry storage with an easy to open latch, which opens away from you for easy access. Continue reading Moken 12.5 Review from Feel Free Pro Staffer Tony Hart

Go Play Day with the Remix and Commander

Working at an outdoor gear company does mean that I spend a lot of my time outdoors and being active. However, some days, us outdoorsy folks do enjoy a day inside and reaping the benefits of the city life. For my latest Go Play Day (a quarterly perk of working at ACK) I decided to meet in the middle.

I brought my dad along with me and started the day at Elevation Burger (a nice burger made from organic grass fed beef, and homestyle fries) and then headed for the ACK Austin store. At this point, we hadn’t decided what we would be paddling but ultimately we loaded a Wilderness Systems Commander 140, and a Liquid Logic Remix XP 10. Both of these boats are available for rental at the shop.

A couple of hours of paddling on Ladybird Lake in downtown Austin on a warm ‘winter’ day was really enjoyable. We swapped boats halfway through to get a feel for the differences. The commander is a very comfortable and stable boat, so much so that you can stand in it – a cool feature when paddling down a crystal clear creek. The Remix, is more of a creek boat. I had fun toying around with the small rapids at the bottom of Barton Springs Pool. Do not be fooled, the Remix can track very well on flat water with its built in drop down skeg! To cap it all off, we stopped in at North by Northwest for happy hour (a good one to remember), and had some in-house crafted beers and appetizers. Slightly different than my usual adventure days, this was a nice relaxing day with a little bit of adventure.

How do you incorporate a day of paddling into your daily routine?

Kristian @ACK