ACK Launches Redesigned Mobile Shopping Site

ACK (Austin Canoe and Kayak) provides customers with redesigned mobile friendly website

Austin, Texas (November 18th, 2013) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC,  announced today the latest release of its mobile optimized website.

The new release utilizes the latest technologies and is ‘responsive’ to the users screen size. The website  seamlessly adjusts the display to accommodate the screen size when a customer visits the site from a mobile device. Customers will see the same information found while browsing with a full computer screen, but laid out appropriately for the size and orientation of the mobile device.

In addition to the ‘responsive’ design the entire checkout process has been redesigned for a faster and more efficient checkout. By reducing over forty percent of the fields needed for checkout, and decreasing the time it takes to load a page by thirty-five percent, customers are rewarded with an enhanced and more efficient shopping experience.

“Customers were often frustrated that information found on the main site was not available on our mobile site. This new method allows us to display all the content and adjust the layout based on the device. If you like to use your iPad in landscape mode, the site will look very similar to our main site, turn it to portrait and we adjust the display to be optimized” explained Peter Messana, CEO.  “It doesn’t stop with just tablets, we handle any size device and re-arrange and resize items as it is necessary, this is the ultimate flexibility out there and fast!”

The redesign of the site was handled by ACK’s internal development team in order to allow for full customization to match the needs of the customers and the business.

To view the new responsive mobile website, visit ACK.com with any smartphone device.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within five physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

 

ACK to Host Recruiting Event in San Antonio

ACK is hiring for San Antonio Store Grand Opening

San Antonio, Texas (October 8th, 2013) – ACK, a division of MSP Holdings, LLC,  is hosting a recruiting event in San Antonio! ACK is hiring store managers, assistant store managers, and part-time & full-time sales associates to staff the NEW San Antonio store opening November 2013.

“We are anxious to meet with candidates interested in employment with an award winning outdoor retailer.  It’s a great opportunity to be part of fun work environment where kayaking, camping, and fishing are part of your job. If you enjoy the great outdoors and have a passion for retail then we want to meet you. ” said Chris Hackerd, VP Store Operations.

Interested candidates should stop by the store between 9am and 7pm on October 17th, 2013 at 12758 Cimmaron Path, Suite 126, San Antonio, TX 78249. All candidates must bring a resume, fill out a job application, and be able to conduct a 10-15 minute interview. To pre-register please email jobs@ack.com with a resume and 3 time periods that you would be available to interview.

For more information on the positions available please check the listings on ACK.com: http://www.austinkayak.com/p/employment

If you have any questions regarding this recruiting event or other employment opportunities with ACK please contact, Chris Hackerd at jobs@ack.com.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within five physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

Austin Canoe and Kayak Receives Fifth Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award

ACK hits another milestone with fifth consecutive year of receiving this outstanding customer service award

Austin, Texas (October 07, 2013) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC is excited and honored to have received the Bizrate® Circle of Excellence award for the fifth year in a row.

The Bizrate Circle of Excellence award recognizes those online retailers within the Bizrate Insights Network who have demonstrated outstanding performance, as rated by their customers, throughout a one-year period. The ratings are from direct feedback, collected at the point-of-sale and after the delivery of goods, from customers concerning seven key satisfaction indicators.

The key satisfaction indicators measured for award eligibility are immediately post purchase: Overall Satisfaction, Product Selection, and Ease of Finding, and then after order receipt: Likelihood to Buy Again, Product Met Expectations, On-Time Delivery, and Satisfaction with Customer Support.

“We have won many awards but this one is always special and for the fifth year I am excited to accept this award” said Peter Messana, MSP Holdings, LLC CEO, “it is a testament to ourselves and our customers that we provide amazing customer service and that service is, in fact, unique.  We are always trying to do better and improve our customer experience, hoping to win this award every year.”

Out of the more than 5,200 retailers in the Bizrate Network only 2.6% received the Bizrate Circle of Excellence Award in 2013. The award period for the 2013 Award was August 1, 2012 through July 31, 2013.

For more information about the 2013 Bizrate® Circle of Excellence award visit: http://www.bizrate.com/boutique/2013circleofexcellence.html

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within five physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please contact Malcolm Holmes at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

ACK to Open Paddlesports Store in San Antonio, TX

Award Winning Outdoor Retailer Continues Expansion with Fifth Store

Austin, Texas (August 22, 2013) - Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings LLC, announced today plans to open a 5th location in northwest San Antonio, Texas.  ACK San Antonio will be conveniently located at 12758 Cimarron Path, Suite 126, just off I-10, south of 1604. The 5,000 square-foot store will provide outdoor enthusiasts with one-stop-shopping for top name brands such as Hobie, Wilderness Systems, and Yeti Coolers. In addition to a broad selection of kayaks, stand up paddle boards, camping and other outdoor gear, ACK San Antonio will offer kayak and SUP rentals as well as installation and repair services.

San Antonio, here we come!
San Antonio, here we come!

Since its initial store opening over 20 years ago, ACK has been devoted to providing its customers with an unmatched experience through excellent service, high quality products and knowledgeable staff.

“Our San Marcos location has been a success thanks to the support of many of our loyal customers from the San Antonio and southeast coastal regions,” explains Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations. “We are excited to finally open a store that is a little closer to home for them while also expanding our reach farther south, closer to the coastal cities.”

With stores currently operating in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas, ACK is slated to officially open its doors in San Antonio in early November 2013. Similar to its sister stores, ACK San Antonio will also house the “Store-in-a-Store” concept with dedicated floor space for Rack Boys, providing a full assortment of vehicle racks, trailers and accessories and installation services.

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please contact Kelly Leff at 512-687-3010, or email pr@austinkayak.com.

 

Unwrapping New Kayak Colors from Native Watercraft and Liquid Logic

The New Kayak Colors Are Here!

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the new kayak colors from Native Watercraft and Liquid Logic ever since they announced their wacky new names like Lizard Lick, Gator Bait and Road Cone, along with the more normal names like Blue Lagoon, Hidden Oak and Copperhead. Boats featuring the new colors finally arrived at the ACK warehouse today and we were like kids on Christmas morning. We couldn’t wait to get them unwrapped and show off these great new colors! Enjoy the photos.  The new colors are available on the Native Ultimate 12, Manta Ray 12 & 14, Liquid Logic Versa Board, Coupe and Deuce Coupe.

Native Watercraft

Ultimate Kayaks

 

 

Liquid Logic

Versa Boards

 

 

Lighten the Load with the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender From Darby

Truck Bed Extender

Extend -A- Truck Bed Extender

Darby solved an age-old question for the paddlesports fan – How can I make hauling my gear down to the water even easier? The Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender has long been one of our more popular products and there are several reasons why:

  • It is easy to use.
  • It is relatively inexpensive.
  • It makes hauling boats a lot easier.
  • And gets you down to the water faster!

With a setup that takes only a few minutes, you’ll be sliding your boats into the bed of your pickup or on the roof (with the appropriate rack and/or pad setup) and be out adventuring in no time.

In the upright position, the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender will adjust to a roof level from 55-60 inches. As the bed extender, it will reach 50 inches out from the hitch and adjusts from 13-20 inches above the hitch. The crossbar is 48 inches wide and has two metal loops on either end, welded on to serve as tie-down points. The Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender can hold two boats at a time and fits any two inch receiver.

While we can sing its praises all we want, our customers have the final say and according to our site, the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender is a big hit. Based on 83 reviews at the time of this post, the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender has a 4.8 out of 5-star rating. Here’s one review that speaks to its great problem-solving skills:

This is what I should have purchased in the first place. We have 2 large kayaks, 89 lbs. @ 15 ft each which are very hard to place on the rack above the truck bed/cab, the rack I originally purchased. I would put off fishing trips because of the hardship and hassle of loading and tying down the kayak. Now with the Darby extender I simply pick up the kayak to waist height and slide it in. Then just a couple of easily attached ratchet straps and I’m done. Just as easy to unload. On top of that I can then take the extender off quickly and easily and put the 2 pieces in the truck cab for safe keeping. It goes on and off quickly and very easily. – David F.

We took it upon ourselves to make a video to show you just how easy the installation of the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender is. Check it out!

-Trent @ ACK

ACK Ignites Outdoor Adventure in the Community through Paddlesport Exploration

Austin Canoe & Kayak Holds Its 6th Annual Fall Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition

Austin, Texas – August 13th, 2013Outdoor retailer Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC., announces its 6th Annual Fall Kayak Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition.  Each of ACK’s physical store locations will host its own event with Austin and North Houston (Spring) on September 14th and 15th, and Houston and San Marcos on September 21st and 22nd. In addition to providing over 90 kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards to test-paddle, this expo will also offer informative and educational clinics for attendees.

Catering to outdoor enthusiasts ranging from the seasoned angler to the novice paddler, ACK Demo Days creates a platform for anyone interested in paddlesports to ask questions, receive product guidance, try out different models and expand their knowledge about the sport. Educational clinics will be held throughout the day by knowledgeable ACK staff members and select industry manufacturers covering topics such as “How to Paddle”, “Fly Fishing from a Kayak”, “Paddling Safety” and “Basecamp Basics.”

“There is no such thing as an all-around, perfect boat so it is hard to know which will be your perfect fit.  Each has its own strengths and downfalls depending on where and how you plan to paddle,” explains ACK Marketing Director, Kelly Leff. “The key is getting it on the water so you can get a true feel for how it paddles and what your comfort level is. Demo Days gives people the convenience of doing that with a variety of makes and models all at one time.”

Come try out over 90+ kayaks at the ACK Demo Days!
Come try out over 90+ kayaks at the ACK Demo Days!

ACK’s Kayak Demo Days & Outdoor Exposition is held bi-annually in the Spring and Fall seasons. Running for its 6th consecutive year, this event is open to the general public. Additional information and maps to each location can be found at www.ack.com/demo.

Dates & Locations

Austin

Hyde Park Quarry

Sept. 14th & 15th

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

N. Houston (Spring)

Conroe, Texas

Sept. 14th & 15th

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

Houston

Independence Park

Sept. 21st & 22nd

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

San Marcos

Texas Ski Ranch

Sept. 21st & 22nd

Sat. 10 – 4

Sun. 12 – 4

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within four physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring and Houston, Texas.

 

For more information about Austin Canoe and Kayak, contact:

Kelly Leff
Marketing Director
Tel: 512-687-3010
pr@austinkayak.com

 

 

Seals Wins Sea Kayaker Magazine’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Award

Award
Seals product manager Christina Laird and company president Joe Galea receive Sea Kayaker Magazine’s 2013 Readers Choice Award in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Congrats to Our Friends at Seals!

Sea Kayaker Magazine asked readers to vote for their favorite paddlesports gear and accessories this year and our friends at Seals won “Best Spraydeck” for the Extreme Tour Sprayskirt! The award was presented to Seals at this year’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah. While we are very happy for the crew over at Seals, we are not the least bit surprised. Our customers, as well as our employees, have been singing the praises of Seals skirts for a long time now. Not one of their skirts has less than a four out of five-star rating from customers on our website.

Here’s what one of our customers had to say about his Seals Extreme Tour Sprayskirt:

Well, if you like a product that will last for years, this is it. If you like a product that is made with the best care possible, this is it. If you like to roll your yak a lot, and want to stay dry… you guessed it! This is it! If you would like a skirt that was easy to put on, this is it. If you would like a piece of Chinese junk, this is certainly not it. P.S. 1.7 fits my Necky Manitou 14 perfectly!!! So be sure to buy which ever size Seals tells you to buy, and not some self proclaimed professional on a review page like this one. God bless and keep ‘yakin’!!!  – Cody F.

Keep up the great work Seals!

 

-Trent @ ACK

Top 5 Kayaking Lessons I’ve Learned in 2013

ACK Web Developer Jeremy Arntz is one of the company’s most frequent paddlers who is typically found on the water at Austin’s Lake Travis once or twice a week. In this article, he shares the top 5 kayaking lessons he has learned this year. See what he has to say:

I’ve been kayaking on and off for seven or eight years now and I am on track to paddle more this year than all the previous ones combined. Every time I paddle I feel like I learn a LOT of new things and there are a few big hitters I would like to share with you.

Top 5 Kayaking Lessons

Top 5 Kayaking Lessons - Take Care of Gear
Jeremy has plenty of gear to take care of.

1. Take Care Of Your Gear And It Will Take Care Of You

This old adage isn’t just for professionals and explorers but holds especially true for us weekend warriors. Take the time to clean and organize your gear after each trip. It’s the perfect opportunity to look everything over. It’s better to find an issue on land and be able to fix it before it puts a damper on precious on-the-water time. Plus, if your gear is organized and in its place, it makes getting on the water a much smoother process.

2. Cool Down By Covering Up

While it may seem counter intuitive to cool off by covering up more skin, all you have to do is take a look at how people dress in extremely hot countries. This year I’ve been wearing a wide brimmed hat, an SPF 40+  wicking long sleeve t-shirt, Buff headwear to cover my nose, lower face, neck and ears, and SPF gloves to protect the backs of my hands. I’ve been out in temperatures of 100+ and I’ve yet to feel overheated and I’ve also avoided having any bad sunburns. Covering up with the proper apparel also has the added benefit of protecting your skin from those harmful UV rays.

3. There’s No Substitute For Experience

You can lift weights to build your muscles, do yoga to improve your flexibility and balance, read or watch videos about paddling, but there’s no substitute for experience. As a paddler, you learn where your limits are and what gears works the best by spending time on the water. Knowing exactly how things feel to your touch and knowing how your boat, paddle and gear will react in different situations is essential to making the best decisions while out on the water.

Advice from Jeremy
Cover up and gets outside as much as you can.

4. Remove The Barriers

Figure out whatever it is that holds you back from paddling and work to remove those barriers. For me, it’s the effort it takes just to get to the boat ramp. If you check my car right now, I guarantee the trunk is filled with paddling gear and the cooler in the back seat is filled with ice and sports drinks. I’ve also started paddling on Friday nights and leaving the kayaks on the car all weekend so I can just get dressed, tighten the straps and take off.

5. Be Flexible

As Robert Burns once wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. You may head to the water with the idea of a nice leisurely paddle only to have a strong headwind in the direction you want to paddle. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I encourage you, as long as it’s safe, to be flexible and give it a try. Some of my best days on the water have come in conditions that, if I had known about in advance, I honestly would have just stayed home. Of course it’s important to know your limits and to know when it’s best to stay on shore.

Find Some Relaxation Under The Shade of the Kelty Noah’s Tarp

Noah's Tarp on Beach - ACK
The Noah’s Tarp 9 providing some shade.

ACK Web Developer Jeremy Arntz is one of the company’s most frequent paddlers who is typically found on the water at Austin’s Lake Travis once or twice a week. Recently, he landed a new piece of gear and wanted to share his excitement about it – the Kelty Noah’s Tarp. See what he had to say:

Take Your Time And Enjoy The Outdoors With the Protection of the Kelty Noahs Tarp

It may sound weird that one of my favorite pieces of paddling gear is the Kelty Noah’s Tarp 9. However, as much as I love paddling, it’s also nice to relax near the water and to do that you need something to shelter yourself from the sun and elements. The Noah’s tarp is compact and light weight – both important factors for kayaking. When combined with a pair of Kelty Staff Poles and a cheap rubber mallet the whole kit weighs only 4 pounds and easily fits into the front hatch of my Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160 with plenty room left over for the rest of my gear. As the sun shifts during the day, only minor adjustments of the tarp are needed to maximize shade. Adding a Nite Ize Figure 9 small line tightener to the mix makes line adjustments even easier.

It has plenty of loops and grommets to make different configurations possible. So far, I’ve found the “Flying Diamond” (pictured) to work best for my needs. However you choose to use it, the Noah’s Tarp provides a light weight and versatile way to escape the elements and comes in three sizes 9, 12, and 16 feet.

Some Elements Can’t Be Beat

The tarp is great, but it isn’t made to handle every condition. For example, setup is fairly easy for two people to get done in minutes but on a windy day – not so much. My wife and I had such a hard time one outing that we decided against setting it up all together. It makes me worried about trying to set it up on my own, although I am sure that with some practice it could be done. In addition, the tarp could be thicker to completely block the sun. I would compare it to the material of a tent in the fact that if you are laying under it and staring straight up, you can see the sun right through.

Still, the Noah’s tarp has quickly become my new favorite paddling accessory. There really isn’t anything more relaxing after a long paddle than pulling up to a sandy beach and relaxing in the shade. For all of you Austin area paddlers, keep an eye out for my wife and I laying under it around Lake Travis next time you go out. (Hint: Our favorite spot is Windy Point!)