Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations and one of three ACK co-owners, is an avid mountain biker, birder, ‘yak angler and all around outdoors-man. Recently, Chris traveled east to North Carolina to celebrate his grand mother’s 80th birthday and took the opportunity to visit many of the manufacturers based out of the area including Confluence, Legacy, WernerEnoAstralFeel Free/Pyrahna. Below is part five of his trip. See part four here.

Dinver at Pyrhana is getting anxious for my arrival as I pull up to their facility.  The building they are in is an old textile factory and it is amazing.  I want to buy it and live in it.  I get lost and stumble on secret doors and hallways.  The wood floors are beautiful and unrefined with scratches and nails in no particular pattern. You can tell there used to be windows where there are now walls and the roof has a turret like an old style castle. I’ve been searching for Dinver for about 10 minutes and I finally just start yelling his name…to my delight he responds!

I get a tour of the facility which looks like a kayak had a slumber party and invited it’s closest 1,000 friends.  Kayaks are packed in high and tight everywhere, they had anticipated my excitement over the Moken 10 Lite and already had one on the floor cut out of the plastic for me to inspect.  I looked it over and then started measuring it…They asked me what I was checking for they could tell me dimensions.  I wanted to see if it would fit in the overhead compartment of the plane.  I got kayaks to sell!

It’s been a long day and it’s time to hit downtown Asheville we run into Pyrhana team paddler Crystal Gustin and I ask her about what she enjoys about being a team paddler.  Besides the discounts on gear which comes in handy as a “highly” paid educator.  The opportunity to meet people and educate women paddlers motivates her.  More people paddling and caring for the rivers is what I think a lot of us hope for.

Well the work part of my trip is over and now it’s time to get with the family.  This was an exceptional trip and a great way to put faces with names and voices.  I love the passion of our sport and see big things for the future.

Thanks for reading my series of reports, this is it for now!