Product Review: Wilderness Ride 135

Eugene Mora III, a Wilderness Systems Ambassador and avid kayak angler, reviews his Wilderness Ride 135. Eugene Mora

Fishing from the Wilderness Systems Ride 135 has been amazing. Although there are many platforms to choose from, this is the ATV of kayaks for me. The pontoon hull design allows for maximum stability and weight capacity. This kayak weighs in at 85 pounds and has the ability to carry up to 550 pounds of gear.

I love the comfortable phase 3 seat. Continue reading Product Review: Wilderness Ride 135

Hunter Katich: Youth Kayaker

Andrew Andress, an ACK Customer Relationship Manager and avid whitewater kayaker, is a supporter of junior kayaking and is passionate about youth involvement and the growth of whitewater kayaking. He has had the pleasure of paddling with Hunter Katich, a talented youth freestyle kayaker, and shared his experience with us. Andrew sent a short introduction to the Next Big Thing and we at ACK thought we would share with all of our loyal readers. Enjoy and don’t forget to check out Hunter’s YouTube channel and subscribe!
Hunter Katich is the future of freestyle kayaking and after spending time with him on the Arkansas River during FIBArk in Salida, CO I am happy to report that the future is good hands.  I’m always excited to see the younger generation advancing the sport and as a coach it makes me especially happy to see a 17 year oldkattloop who carries himself just as professionally off the water as he does in the boat competing against some of the best kayakers in the world.
If you happen to see him on the river you’ll know it because he will paddle up and talk to you like an old friend (a true testament to his Alabama hospitality).  If you get the chance paddle with him, pack a lunch and leave your pride on the riverbank because he goes big and doesn’t stop. Continue reading Hunter Katich: Youth Kayaker

Happy Hunting with Avery Outdoors

Hunting is one of those outdoor activities you wouldn’t expect to require a lot of gear. You have your hunting rifle, a bag, and a way to travel discreetly (we prefer a kayak). However, this is not the case. Hunting effectively requires an arsenal of gear that make it not only easier to hunt but also more comfortable. This is where Avery Outdoors hunting gear comes into play. When you buy an Avery Outdoors product, you can rest assured you are purchasing a quality product that will assist in making your hunting trip the most comfortable it can be. Do you prefer to stand, crouch, and kneel the entire time? Or does a comfortable and discreet stool sound a little bit more pleasing? Do you travel to your favorite spot via kayak or canoe? These are all things to consider when gearing up for your next hunt.

To help you better navigate ACK’s selection of Avery Outdoors hunting products we have compiled a list of a few of our favorite items for you to consider. If you know what your favorites are feel free to check out our entire line here.

Avery Outdoors Folding Floating Shotgun CaseAvery outdoor floating gun case

The floating shotgun case is a necessary bag if you like to hunt on the water. The buoyant closed-cell foam walls will keep your gun afloat if it slips out of your kayak and the water resistant exterior will not budge keeping your prized possession safe. The case also comes in a variety of patterns to suit any environment you plan on hunting in. Overall, this attractive case is not only effective and protective but also discreet, compact, and affordable.

Avery Outdoors Floating Blind Bag

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Avery’s flagship bag has been a fan favorite for years. This floating bag has nine compartments to maximize organization and storage as well as a seam-sealed inner compartment to keep your important items safe. The amount of space allows you to easily carry your shells, gloves, camera, choke tubes, phone and your other favorite hunting items while the quick access port and multiple pockets lets you grab them at a moments notice. If you are looking for a smaller bag that will ensure that your items are protected from the elements look no further, the Avery Outdoors Floating Blind Bag has you covered.

Avery Outdoors Trac-Loc Push Pole

Avery outdoors push pole

The Avery Outdoors Trac-Loc Push Pole is a kayak hunters dream. This push pole is a must have for navigating waterways while hunting and fishing due to its 3 length options, rust-proof aluminum design, and DuraGrip handles. It gives you the ability to handle different depths of water with ease with its original 51″, second extension at 76″ or full extension at 115″ while being sturdy enough to seamlessly push off logs, soft ground, hard ground or any other condition you encounter while on the water. The Trac-Loc push pole is easily stored and transported and was made to work with the Avery Outdoors 3-in-1 Paddle Attachment and Avery Outdoors Marsh Foot Attachment (both sold separately). These attachments assist in navigating shallow waters and overcoming barriers with little effort. If you are a Diablo Kayak fan, the paddle attachment is great when you choose to switch to stand up paddling!

Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat

Avery Outdoors Marsh SeatThe Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat provides a comfortable perch that is easily transported while on the move. With its sink proof retractable marsh foot and adjustable height you can feel good knowing that you don’t run the risk of falling too deep in the muck or peeking too far out out of cover. Our Austin store manager, Justin Fees, is an avid hunter and swears by his marsh seat. He explains, “When I was in college kneeling down and crouching in awkward positions for hours didn’t bother me. Now, 10-15 years later, comfort is key and this marsh seat provides just that.” The seat adjusts between 27″ and 37″ in height and comes complete with a DuraMax covered padded seat for optimal comfort and customization. If you are looking to optimize your comfort while hunting then the Avery Outdoors Marsh Seat is the accessory for you.

Want to watch a product feature video on the above products? Click here.

Ultimately, when choosing your hunting accessories you have to keep in mind comfort, safety, and utility. All of Avery Outdoors hunting products have something different to offer and provide different comforts while out in the wild. Check out the other Avery Outdoor products we have here to fully outfit your next hunting adventure. Happy hunting!

-Dayvee @ ACK

 

Wanderlust: Takachiho Gorge

As the second installment in our Wanderlust series,we thought it would be fitting to write Takachiho Gorge
a post on one of our most popular Facebook destinations, Takachiho Gorge. The photo of paddlers beneath the canopy of foliage amongst a waterfall has garnered quite a bit of attention so without further ado we would like to take you on a trip to Takachiho Gorge.

Takachiho is nestled at the center of the Kyushu Mountains in the northwestern area of Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. The town borders Oita and Kumamoto prefectures allowing the Gokase-gawa River to flow freely through it causing the gorge to take the form of a ‘V’. The Takachiho Gorge is a picture to behold with its towering sheer grey cliffs made of slow forming volcanic basalt and canopy made of vibrant green foliage. High above the gorge is a paved walkway allowing visitors to leisurely stroll the quarter of a mile long perimeter decorated with mountain cherry blossoms while enjoying the view of rowers below. At one point the pathway above offers a view that is practically straight down to the river below.

Although the pathway surrounding the gorge is beautiful, the view from the bottom is unbeatable. Visitors can rent row boats to row the expansive Takachio Gorge or go paddling on the Gokase-gawa River  exposing them to the most Takachiho Gorgebeautiful scenery Takachiho has to offer. One of the most popular views is that of the 54 foot Minainotaki waterfall which cascades down the cliff creating clouds of mist that rise from the falling water. The gorge and river are an easy and pleasant paddle that would be enjoyable for all levels of experience. During the summer, the gorge is illuminated creating a beautiful glow highlighting the surrounding foliage and emerald green water.

While in Takachiho, don’t forget to check out the nearby Takachiho-jinjo Shrine in the evening where you can experience the traditional Yokagura Dance while admiring the 800 year old Chichibu cedars surrounding the temple. A hike to the top of the Kunimi-ga-oka Hill is another great stop where hikers can marvel at the city below and take in the expansive mountains encompassing it. If an outdoor international adventure is something you are looking for Takachiho Gorge would be an excellent option to consider. With its beauty, traditions, and resort attractions it is sure to please even the most discerning of travelers.

-Dayvee @ ACK

 

Father of 10 For a Day

Around the last week in April I received a phone call from Thomas, the owner of Diablo Paddlesports, about helping out for a local children’s event. He told me they would be working with Generation Outdoors to teachGeneration Outdoors & ACK fatherless kids how to kayak and fly fish. The amount of kids that had rsvp’d for the event was growing in numbers by the minute and both Thomas and Generation Outdoors were worried that they wouldn’t have enough kayaks and adults to help staff the event. Of course I couldn’t leave them hanging and gladly gave him the thumbs up. The second we hung up I penciled it into my calendar and set about getting my hands on some rental kayaks and games. 

The morning of the event I woke up excited to start the day. I was unsure of what to expect and was anxious to meet the kids. Continue reading Father of 10 For a Day

How to Choose a Paddle That’s Right For You

Blade shape and paddling style – From a Fisherman’s perspective

Simply put, if you focus on a paddle that fits you it will means less fatigue, more time on the water and more fish in your boat.  A lot goes into a great paddling paddle and each manufacture will happily tell their story, so do your research, try stuff out and make an informed decision. However the constant between all brands is that you are going to see two general blade shapes.  They will differ some, but generally you’ll have short and fat or long and skinny.  Each shape is designed specifically to perform better with your paddling style.  Now sure you can use anyHooked-Kalliste. Back face Paddle blade, paddle however you want, but to get the most from your paddling match the blade shape to your paddling style.  Let’s take a closer look.

Long and Skinny.  This shape is for “Low-Angle” paddling.  In this style your top hand is shoulder height during your stroke, and much more relaxed as it puts less pressure on your smaller muscle groups.  This allows you to spend more time focusing on landing fish. Continue reading How to Choose a Paddle That’s Right For You

Best Kayaking Spots in Central Texas

When most people think Texas, they think cowboy hats, horses, and country music. While some of that is certainly true, most people don’t associate Texas with great outdoor beauty. With high plains, rolling hills, and even a gulf coast, Texas offers a variety of gorgeous geography. In addition, Texas is home to 3,700 named streams and 15 major rivers. Kayaking in Texas can be quite the adventure with so many diverse ecosystems, making it one of the most beautiful states in the country to paddle in. Below is a list of some of our favorite kayaking spots in Central Texas.

Lady Bird Lake

Located in the heart of downtown Austin, TX, Lady Bird lady bird lake paddleLake is considered to be one of the best urban kayaking lakes in the state. Many think of Lady Bird Lake as a beautiful in-city playground that features spectacular downtown views as well as shady areas that make you feel like you’re in your own lake hideaway. If you paddle west of Mopac, you’ll get breathtaking views of the rolling hills that make up Central Texas. The section of Lady Bird Lake East of I-35 features great fishing opportunities for you anglers out there. Lady Bird Lake offers great sights of bat-watching under the Congress Avenue Bridge as well as access to live music along the shore. This area is great for paddlers that want an outdoor experience with close enough proximity to the liveliness of city life.

Guadalupe River

In the heart of the Hill Country, the Guadalupe River is a spring-fed, crystal clear river that is perfect for tubing, fishing, paddling, and swimming. Paddlers will discover class III rapids as well as long stretches of flat water. The Guadalupe is a river oasis that features tons of greenery consisting of cypress, sycamore, oak, and pecan trees. For you angling kayakers, the Guadalupe River is the only river in Texas that is home to trout year round.

Colorado River

As the 18th longest river in the US, the Colorado River is also the longest river with both its source and mount in Texas. The Colorado feeds throughout Central Texas and is known for its large width and slow-moving Colorado Riverpace. This is a great place to visit for beginner kayakers that want to paddle in a place with no rapids or hazardous places. There is plenty of vegetation above and below water that shade fish as well as paddlers. As you travel south, banks steepen and become extremely scenic with cliffs and sandstone bluffs.

Blanco River

The Blanco River is located near Wimberley, TX and is typically recommended for medium to advanced paddlers. Its rolling hills and steep cliffs make paddling on this river a wild adventure embarked with gorgeous scenery. One quality about the Blanco is that you can only kayak down this river in flood conditions, which can be dangerous for paddlers. Normal water levels make much of this river too shallow to navigate. Another thing to keep in mind while paddling the Blanco is that parking is scarce, so if you can get someone to drop you off, the more relaxing adventure you will have.

If you’re ever lucky enough to venture into Central Texas, be sure to take advantage of the many places to kayak. The beauty and greenery that surround the water of the Hill Country is unmatched. And while you’re in the area, be sure to visit Austin Kayak. We’re your source for all things kayaking, canoeing, and hiking.

 

 

Wanderlust: The New River

We asked all of you where you would paddle if you could choose anywhere in the world and received so many great answers that we decided to start a special column focused entirely on traveling! Wanderlust is in all of us and with our Facebook followers recommendations, we will guide you on a written tour of some potential adventures you may want to consider. The first one being the New River Gorge.

Feeling like you need a break from your routine? To get outside and smell the flowers? Well we have a place just for you. The New River, otherwise known as the Kanawha River, is about 320 miles long, stretching through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The portion in West Virginia is known as the New River Gorge National River and is an American Heritage River. This river travels all the way from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Think of all the fishing! The New River gets its name from the difficulty that explorers had in tracking it down. Even though the discovery is relatively new, the river isn’t; it is the 3rd oldest river in the world! The first recorded exploration was in 1671, by Abraham Wood on a fur trading expedition, resulting in another name- Wood’s River.

The New RIverThis river is home to variety of exciting outdoor activities, both on and off of the water. Some of these activities include hiking, fishing, mountain biking, scenic float trips, kayaking, ziplines, and much more! The New River Gorge and the surrounding towns are also home to many local events and attractions. When you plan your kayaking trip, be sure to check out local event listings – there’s usually something fun going on. Every season has something amazing to offer in the New River Gorge – so no matter when you visit, you will get a great and unique experience. The spring is known for intense rafts and waves that come with higher water levels from the rain. The summer provides a great opportunity to experience all the activities the New River Gorge has to offer; without running out of daylight. The fall also has high water levels; and the breathtaking changing of the leaves.  Wintertime is picturesque, serene, and a great getaway from urban life – even without the draw of water sports. The New River Gorge is versatile and inviting. Even the pickiest of guests are sure to find something to satisfy their sense of adventure. So, when you next get bit by the travel bug, make sure you make time to experience The New River Gorge!

Introducing the ACKessories Milk Crate!

What is the one accessory item you can always find in the tankwell of a kayak fisherman? If your answer was, ‘A milk ACKcessories Milk Cratecrate!’ then you are 100% correct. Kayak fishermen use them to house all of their gear and even turn to some creative rigging to make their crates suit their style of fishing or needs. Let’s face the facts though. Not everyone out there who buys a milk crate wants to have to go and get extravagant with their crate designs. The typical modification that you find is the standard PVC pipe that is zip-tied into the corners of the crate to act as rod holders. Outside that, the standard milk crate is fairly plain in design. Now, with ACK introducing the ACKessories Milk Crate with Slide Trax Crate Rails, ANYONE can have a well thought out milk crate design that goes past just having some PVC strapped in.

This kit comes with everything you need to turn a 19″ x 13″ milk crate into a multi-functional kayak fishing accessory. With tapped holes to allow for the attachment of after market gear tracks, slots cut out to house pliers or fish grips, and even a slot that allows for a 5 gallon bucket to fit snug in the center of the crate that can be used as a live bait container. For the fisherman who enjoys having his PVC rod holders in his crate, there are four holes cut out in the corners to slide some PCV in to cure that itch.

The days of having to think out a milk crate design are over!

Below, Jerron Wosel, an ACK Buyer, demonstrates how to install the ACKessories Milk Crate with Slide Trax Crate Rails onto a kayak.

Mother’s Day 2014 – Sunshine & Quality Time

Mothers Day Family Outing

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and if you’re still grasping at straws trying to figure out what to do May 11th (Mother’s Day if you didn’t already know that), look no further. Some of us at ACK came up with a few awesome ideas that will surely have your mother anxiously awaiting work on Monday to partake in the office morning brag fest near the Keurig.

The Camping Trip

Devote your weekend to spending some quality time with your mom under the stars. Camping is a great way to get outside, unplug, and unwind. Pack up your car with all the necessities, a tent, bedding, chairs, a portable grill, s’mores supplies and a Yeti cooler to keep that food safe from bears and sneaky neighbors. Then head out to your nearby camping grounds to enjoy each others company and a fun weekend spent outdoors.

Take A Hike

Being active and outdoors is always a great way to bond with your mom and enjoy some beautiful spring weather. Hiking is another inexpensive option that doesn’t require an army’s worth of effort and delivers great results every time. Check out your local park, pick a trail, pack a lunch, and get outside. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and take the necessary safety precautions

Kimberly out for a paddle with her little friend. beforehand.

Hit The Water

Take your mom out for a day on the water this Mother’s Day. Whether that entails kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, fishing, or just going for a dip; a day in the water is a good day indeed. ACK is currently offering a great deal on Custom Packages – including kayak and SUP packages. Build her something beautiful and keep her smiling from ear to ear.

She’s Not The Outdoorsy Type?

How about setting up a backyard oasis? A lazy Sunday could be the best gift you could give your mom. Set her up with a hammock, sweet tea, good music and some homemade BBQ then sit back and relax. In the end, it’s not always about the gifts you get her, but the time you spend together.

Happy Mothers Day! XO Dayvee @ ACK