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Here at ACK, we want to make your shopping experience the best it can be whether online or in one of our five store locations. To make your trip as easy and fluid as possible, we asked our Austin Store Manager, Ryan Schaper (read more about him here), to put together a list of questions and answers every ACK shopper should come prepared with. Read more below then stop by one of our stores and give it a shot!

When new customers come into the shop for the first time, more often than not they are overwhelmed because most people do not realize the selection that is available for kayaks. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some can be much better for a certain task than others. Part of the selection process is personal preference and we highly suggest paddling a few boats if you can because everyone is different.  If you plan to fish, it is very rare for any two kayak anglers to have their boats rigged identical to one another because everyone fishes a little differently! That’s where our wonderful Demo Days come into play! We only do these awesome events twice a year, but each one of our retail locations also rents out our most popular selling models!

There are a few questions that you can ask yourself before coming into the shop to be a little more prepared:

1. Am I looking to use the kayak mostly for recreation or for fishing?

Many kayaks are now specialized for specific fishing endeavors so it’s important for us to know what you want to use it mainly for. Many customers also express that they will mostly be paddling for recreation but may occasionally bring a fishing rod or two.

2. Where am I going to be using this kayak primarily? (lake, river, or at the coast)

Again, many kayaks are now quite specialized. The main reason we ask this question is to try to gauge what length of kayak you may be looking at! For example, in some of our smaller streams and rivers it is difficult to maneuver a 16 foot long kayak!

3. Do I want the option to stand up in the kayak?

For many people, they are all about comfort and having a great seat on the kayak. Most of the “stand up” models have very comfortable chairs and are typically much more stable. For many anglers these stable boats give the ability to stand up. Whether sight casting to bedded bass, or trying to spot a pod of tailing red fish, for many kayak anglers having the ability to stand up is a HUGE advantage.

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4. How am I going to be transporting/storing my kayak and what items do I need to do this with?

Many vehicles do not come standard with roof racks. To properly transport these kayaks you need a roof rack of some kind and we will gladly outfit your vehicle. After having a base roof rack you can carry kayaks, bikes, snow gear, luggage carriers and much more! Knowing your limitations on transportation and storage will help us recommend kayaks better suited for you!

5. What items do I need/want to get on the water today with this kayak?

All you need to get on the water with any kayak is your boat, paddle, a whistle, and of course a PFD (personal flotation device). If you plan on night paddling (30 mins after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise and any time in between there) you will need a raised 360 light that is visible up to a mile. Meaning the light needs to visible from a 360 degree radius around your kayak. In addition, based on the prior questions, we will offer some addition recommendations on accessories you may need based on your interests.

These are just a few questions that will definitely help get you started! Also don’t forget that anytime you buy a kayak/SUP/canoe from us , you will get additional discounts* on several items we carry in the store (ask me more about this when you come in)!

-Happy Shopping, Ryan Schaper @ ACK

*Excludes Hobie Products. Other exclusions may apply. Click here for details.