Tell us a little about yourself.

I love to spend time outdoors and be active in a number of hobbies, including cooking, homebrewing, traveling, and making craft cocktails. I hold three nationalities and have traveled all over the US, Europe, Canada, and some of Central America. I live in Austin, Texas (technically, Leander) with my wife, our dog Brewski, and we have a baby boy on the way.

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I hold a business degree from UT Austin (go Horns!). I have worked at ACK for over six years, including as a part-time seasonal associate, store manager, store operations, fleet accounts, buying/merchandising, KATS program manager, and now as the director of store operations.

I aspire to one day own one or more small businesses and spend my free time traveling and outdoors finding new places. You can usually find me in a lake during the summer or in front of a campfire in the winter.

What are you most excited about with your new role directing the ACK stores?

I started in the stores and have come full circle with knowledge from many other departments. I am most excited about being a part of improving our store presence and making them even more customer friendly. There is a ton of opportunity for ACK to offer the best kayak retail experience in the industry. Outside of that, I really enjoy the team I work with and tackling new challenges every day.

Can you tell us a little about your involvement with the Kayak Angler’s Tournament Series (KATS)?

Kristian and our Store District Manager Ryan Schaper
Kristian and our Store District Manager Ryan Schaper

I took on KATS soon after joining ACK in 2011. ACK had just acquired the series and it was brand new to me, as well as ACK in general, so we had no clue what to do. With a little help from the veteran participants, we grew it from a group of about 30 anglers to over 250 in the last few years. This year alone we hit over 900 registrants throughout the series and secured over $100,000 in sponsorships! KATS is a lot of work and it is a team effort; several folks, including ACK staff, the KATS Governing Body members, and local volunteers make this series possible. Itโ€™s a growing sport and it is certainly heading in the direction of being a full time professional sport similar to power boat circuits. Even as I get more and more help to run the series I feel a sense of ownership and pride in the work we have done and it is hard for me to step away from it.

“This year alone we hit over 900 registrants throughout the series and secured over $100,000 in sponsorships!”Kristian Kolflat

What would your ideal outdoor adventure be?

I took a 6-month camping road trip across the western part of the USA a few years ago. I hope to one day be able to take my family on a similar trip. Good food, a good tent, long hikes, a robust campfire, and some whiskey is all I need for a happy camp-out.

What are your top 3 must-have products for a weekend outdoors?

A quality pocket knife. I currently use a Sog Kiku.
A quality cooler. YETIs are great.
A cast iron pan. You can cook anything in those.

What is your favorite fish dish?

This is a really tough one as I love fish prepared in all kinds of ways but a rare or seared tuna steak would probably be it. Tip: Go to Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar and order the Sushi Grade Tuna Burger for a delicious meal.

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What’s next? In life and at ACK?

A baby. Coming March 2017 I will have a little boy to share these adventures with. As for ACK, look for some sweeping changes in presentation, merchandising, and customer service within the stores.