Ever wonder what it’s like to visit an ACK store in person? Well now you can see one for yourself! ACK Austin is the first of our stores to have it’s very own Google Virtual Tour, which allows you to navigate through the store just as you would navigate through Google Maps using Street View. Check it out!
We asked our Facebook fans, “What’s the strangest thing you’ve found while out on the water?” As you might imagine, there were some interesting responses. Here were 10 of our favorites on the water finds:
1. A canoe which had been lost in a tornado and floated 30 miles down river. (It was returned to the rightful owner) — Found by James H.
2. A baby deer! It had fallen off an island in a large lake we were paddling. Several live on it and swim across to forage. It must have been born on the island. It’s mom got our attention by grunting at us and kind of lead us to it while we paddled – until we heard it cry. It was probably a few days old. We aren’t sure how long it had been paddling. Hubby got out – (water was only a few feet deep at the shore) picked it up with one hand and put it on the land. It curled up and fell asleep immediately. We’ve seen it since – growing and doing well. — Found by Jan G.
3. Chupacabra — Found by Gabe G.
4. I found an old Nazi belt buckle while fly fishing in Germany. Also a bowling ball in the same stream! — Found by Kevin I.
5. Bongos, oh yeah and a tongue in a jar! — Found by owners of Diablo Paddlesports
6. I was on a date after a big rain and there was a long-stemmed rose floating in the debris. Too bad my date couldn’t take credit! — Found by Stacey B.
7. Myself — Found by Dave E.
8. A waterproof Digital camera that I still use today. — Found by John N.
9. 5 baby alligators — Found by Bob M.
10. Brand new Bending Branches paddle. No 1 claimed it. — Found by Rodney M. (he’s a lucky guy!)
So what have you found out on the water during your paddles? Let us know by commenting below! The entire collection of responses can be found here.
We asked our Facebook fans, “What’s the craziest thing people ask you about your outdoor hobby?” The answers were incredible! Here’s 10 of our favorites:
1. Where do you pee? — Asked to Tim C.
2. You go out into the ocean in THAT?! — Asked to Christopher H.
3. Don’t you have enough kayaks? — Asked to Kenneth W.
4. What if a shark tips you over? — Asked to Don W.
5. You kayak in the winter? — Asked to Martha B.
6. Aren’t you afraid of tipping over? — Asked to Diana J.
7. You have sonar on that thing? — Asked to Allen M.
8. How does it float with holes in it? — Asked to Howard P.
9. What do you do once you hook a fish? — Asked to David T.
10. What happens if it sinks? — Asked to Brent D.
So have you ever been asked any of these things? Have your own crazy question to add? Let us know by commenting below!
The entire collection of questions can be found here.
Wondering why you should invest in SuperNova LED Lights for your kayak?
The super bright LED strips from SuperNova offer the kayaker many advantages. Here’s 6 reasons to get your kayak lit with SuperNova:
1. Safety First: Increased visibility of SuperNova LED Lights gives you peace of mind that everyone else on the water knows you’re there. These things are extremely bright!
2. Long Lasting Durability: Not only will they get you seen, but SuperNova LED Light Kits they are durable, submersible and salt water ready.
3. Color Options: Blue strips…or green? Blue SuperNova LED lights are bright enough to light structures for casting at a distance and their UV qualities work well with fluorescent line. Green are a bit brighter and attract bait by the net full.
4. Light Up Your Work Space: Position them in the kayak’s cockpit or seating area as task or indirect lighting to help with tying line or bait selection. Blue is easier on your night vision but green is brighter and renders color best.
5. Storage Space Lighting: Place them in your rear tankwell or inside a hatch to make it easy to locate your tackle, rod or favorite frosty beverage. No more fumbling around in the dark!
6. Custom Solutions Available: If the kits at ACK.com aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-828-3828 and we’ll arrange a quote for your idea or specific need.
For you, coffee is not merely black; it is not simply a beverage to be had with cream and sugar, no, coffee is a ritual, an affirmation of life, a warm embrace in the morning and a meditation on the flavor of the day to be savored with dessert. For you, only the finest beans, the most aromatic roast and the fullest flavor will do. Coffee is a world tour, a rich journey from Kona to Columbia and from Ethiopia to Java awakening you to new experiences and new ideas. For you, GSI Outdoors has created the coffee products needed to wake up to coffee now matter where you find yourself.
Every winter, manufacturers begin releasing new products for the new year in time for spring and every year the selection at ACK.com gets a little bigger.
In 2014, we added quite a few new models for kayak fishing like the Striker, Big Game II, Lure, Slayer Propel and Ride 115X. Ya, that’s a lot! But it wasn’t all fishing kayaks that were released for 2014, and we’ve got some other exciting models slated to land near the end of the month. Here’s more of what’s new for 2014!
Advanced Elements PackLite
Pack it up, and pack it up small with Advanced Element’s newest inflatable kayak, the PackLite. This ultra-light kayak weighs less than 4 lbs and packs down to an unbelievable 11″ x 11″ x 5″. It’s not going to be the highest performing inflatable kayak around but it doesn’t have a price tag that you’d expect for one either. At just $299.99, the PackLite is a great option for paddlers looking to take on a remote lake or stream or for those who have limited storage space in their travel bag or at home.
Perception Sport Striker
Perception Sport has done it again with this new entry level model designed for the kayak angler at a great price. The Striker has a simple design and, thanks to its Tri-Hull design, is quick, stable and has a weight capacity of 500 lbs. One notable feature its its two tiered seating area so paddlers can choose between a high vantage point or low paddling position. For anglers looking to get started kayak fishing, the Striker is a great place to look.
Ocean Kayak Big Game II
Ocean Kayak updated the Big Game kayak for 2014 with a slew of new features geared toward kayak fishing. They’ve integrated a number of features found in the Predator (from their sister company Old Town) including the high/low Element Seating System and mounting brackets. As you might’ve guessed by it’s name, or even just by looking at it, this is a ‘yak that’s stable as all get out and meant to hold your gear. As much as you can pile on. Kayak anglers who value comfort and stability should give the Big Game II a look.
The latest kayak fishing model to land at ACK comes from Feelfree and is called the Lure. This thing is made for fishing, especially if you like standing and casting. Like many of today’s fishing models, the Lure comes equipped with an adjustable seating system, called the Gravity Seat. Its also got a padded standing platform with a standing assist strap and a cool ridged rod keeper area near the bow to make it easy to lay down your rods while you paddle. Definitely one to look into for anglers who prefer the fly.
Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel
Earlier this year, Native combined their very popular Slayer kayak with their Propel Drive and the Slayer 13 Propel was born. This has quickly become one of the most popular pedal-powered fishing kayaks around. It’s stable, quick on the water with the drive and even with a paddle, turns easy with the rudder system and it’s First Class seating system makes it very comfortable. Give it a look!
Wilderness Systems Ride 115X
This year, Wilderness Systems updated their popular Ride 115 to make it more kayak fishing friendly. One of the major features of the Ride 115X is the new removable console which revels a large pass through the hull with a battery storage area that allows for quick and easy installation of a transducer, battery and head unit. Wildy has done a great job tweaking this model with small changes only an angler would notice, like the addition of scuppers in the standing area and increased bulkhead width.
Wilderness Systems Focus
Wilderness Systems’ completely new model for 2014 is the Focus. Intended to blend the stability and predictability of the Tsunami with the speed and efficiency of the Tempest, the Focus caters to the more assertive intermediate level paddler that’s looking to take their paddling to the next level. The Focus comes sized at either 14.5 feet or 15.5 feet and has an optional rudder kit.
While there are sure to be many more models in 2014, we already have four on our radar slated to arrive in the next couple months. Stay tuned for more details on each!
Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Series – Arriving March
The Ultimate FX is loaded with features for the kayak angler like Native’s High/Low seating system, newly improved standing areas, built in anchor trolley’s and much more. We’ll be covering this series in greater depth when they arrive later this month.
Pyranha Nano – Arriving April
The Nano is a short river running boat that’s super maneuverable and compact. It’s a great balance of a play, creek and down river whitewater kayak that will push advanced paddlers to explore parts of the river that a bigger boat can’t reach.
Pyranha Fusion Sit On Top – Arriving April
The brand new Fusion SOT will open river paddling to a whole new group of people. With this crossover whitewater / recreational kayak, just about anyone can jump in and have a blast right away.
Pyranha Burn III – Arriving April
Used by intermediate and world class whitewater paddlers alike, the Burn III is finally making it’s ACK debut later this month. This is the benchmark in precision river running and creek kayaking for 2014.
So which model are you most excited about? Let us know by commenting below!
Simultaneously cook food and charge electronics with the BioLite Camp Stove
As much as we want to escape electronics when we adventure outside, bringing along a mobile device can be a convenience as well as a safety measure. The question then becomes, how do I keep it charged? Enter the BioLite Camp Stove.
This new portable wood burning camp stove is unique in that it serves two purposes: cooking and charging electronics. Note that it will charge anything that hooks into a USB port, not just your mobile device. This means if you had say, a rechargeable USB headlamp, it’d do just fine with that. Here’s how it works:
Neat idea right? If you’re like me, you probably think it sounds too good to be true and there’s a good chance that your first impression of it probably is. This stove won’t turn a few twigs into a fully charged battery for your iPhone. However, it WILL provide a truly on-demand source of emergency power when you need it and, oh yeah, it makes a very effective cooking stove too.
Ditch the solar charger and liquid fuel
One of the biggest benefits of the BioLite Camp Stove is that it replaces two pieces of gear rather than just one, your fossil fuel powered camp stove and solar charger. Three, if you count the fuel and fuel canisters that you’re required to bring to power your typical camp stove. To me, this makes it’s price tag of $129.95, which is on par with a number of other fossil fuel powered stoves like the Jetboil Sol and MSR Dragonfly, very appealing.
It also excuses the weight of the BioLite. My first impression when I saw that it weighed a little over 2 lbs was that this thing is just too heavy for a stove! But this extra weight easily cancels out when you leave behind your liquid fuel, fuel canister and solar charging gear.
There are already some great accessories available for the BioLite Camp Stove including a portable grill and combination kettle/pot. Check them out and let me know what you think about the new BioLite Camp Stove by commenting below!
Backcountry Bed Presents New Sleeping Option for Campers
Sierra Designs has steered away from the timeless sleeping bag design to create a completely new way for campers to tackle backcountry sleeping with their Backcounrty Bed. Unlike the mummy style sleeping bags, the Backcountry Bed is intended to perform like a traditional bed at home. It has a simple design with a very large opening in the middle section to enter with an attached comforter can be pulled around the user which seals the opening once inside.
What makes this new sleeping option so great is that it offers a wide range of sleeping positions compared to a normal bag. Prefer to sleep on your side? Not a problem! Starting to get too warm? Just fling the blanket off a little to cool down. It also has a foot vent that allows you to slip your feet out of the bottom of the bag on those warm nights.
The reason Sierra Designs has named it the Backcountry Bed (in addition to the built in comforter functioning just like the comforter on your real bed) is that it has an sleeping pad sleeve on the bottom. This allows you to secure your sleeping pad to the bag to give you the experience of a fully integrated bed.
Watch the video below to see more about it:
So what do you think of the Backcountry Bed? Let us know by commenting below!
For those who follow along with our social media (or even just our blog), you’ve probably heard about our latest store to open up in San Antonio, Texas. You maybe even saw pictures of it in progress. What you might not know is that the store was handed over to us from the construction company 8 days before our Grand Opening. That left us with a LOT of work to do in not a lot of time.
Well, each morning for those 8 days, one of our ACK San Antonio team members snapped a picture from the entrance way and each morning’s photo showed big changes from the previous one. I thought it would be neat to put them all together in a GIF so you can watch the 8-days worth of progress in under 10 seconds. Of course, you can come see the ACK San Antonio store for yourself during regular store hours since we opened the first weekend of February!
You can see the individual pictures in the gallery below too:
The Feelfree Lure is here!
Our first shipment of the new Feelfree Lure has landed at ACK! I grabbed one quick as I could and got it unwrapped to take an up close look. Our Houston store team had a chance to play with one during the Boat Shows, but this was the first time they had made it to the ACK Warehouse.
The Feelfree Lure is clearly made for fishing – especially if you like standing and casting. Like many fishing kayaks, it’s got a adjustable elevated seating system, called the Gravity Seat, with a padded standing platform in front of it (along with a standing assist strap). The hull uses Feelfree’s tri-hull design, which they also utilize in their Moken series. Also, like the Moken series, the Lure’s have flush mounted rod holders with rod leashes and plenty of dry storage space. One nice addition they’ve made is a ridged rod keeper area near the bow to make it easy to lay down your rods while you paddle. See it below in the pictures.
At 11.5 feet, I see this ‘yak being a great fit for anglers who use the fly as well anyone use likes to kayak fish on rivers, lakes or even saltwater bays. Give the Feelfree Lure a look, and remember these are now in stock and ready to ship!