Have you ever wondered what exactly fish finders are and how they work? We have! That is exactly why we gathered all of our information into one, easy to read infographic to share with you all. This breakdown will help you understand what fish finders are, how they work, and the most common ways to install them on your kayak. We also go into a few accessories that will make install a little easier for you. Check it out and let us know if you have any tips or tricks on how to best use them. If you are interested in getting one, ACK.com carries a large selection of fish finders and accessories here.
Ever since YETI has made its debut it has secured a cult-like following amongst outdoorsman and beverage drinkers alike. At first glance they may seem like just another cooler, but the second you begin using one you know it is anything but ordinary. They look and feel sturdy, they are mega strong, and do an amazing job of keeping your food and drinks ice cold – for a very long time. You may be wondering, “What kind of magic is behind this?” Look no further, we present the science behind a YETI.
Built For The Wild
So what’s the big deal and just what makes a YETI cooler so strong? It all starts with the manufacturing process of the shell itself. Just like your kayak, YETI coolers are roto-molded rendering a product that has no seams, is impact resistant, offers long-term durability and can take a serious beating. Go ahead and drop it, kick it, stand on it or sit on it- a Yeti will not fall apart at the seams. However, it doesn’t stop there. Latches, hinges and handles are usually the first things to fail on most coolers but the guys at YETI didn’t skimp on the details. The T-Rex™ lid latches are the same latches used to secure hatches on ATVs and the YETI NeverFail™ hinge system consists of a full-length, rust-proof aluminum rod integrated into hinge stops which are molded into the lid. The handles themselves are virtually indestructible and the plug itself has a story of it’s own because we all know one of the worst things that can happen is a busted latch.
Keep ice longer!
While durability has sky-rocketed YETI to fame, it’s the ability to do what coolers are meant to do that has pushed these products into the limelight — keeping your food and drinks cold and fresh. YETI Coolers use up to 3″ of pressure-injected commercial grade polyurethane foam in the walls and lid to make sure your ice stays ice all day long. Lets just say if your ice isn’t cold, your ice is broken.
Lock it up!
Ever come back to your cooler after thinking you closed it to find that it in fact, has been open for hours leaving all your drinks warm and food mushy? Fear no longer! The YETI cooler doesn’t just close- it seals. The full frame, freezer-quality gasket circles keep your lid shut tight and the cold sealed in so you don’t have to worry about warm beer ever again.
Check out the brand new Rambler. This tumbler is there to solve the age old annoyance of less than frosty beverages when working away from a freezer all day. YETI over-engineered their Rambler tumblers with kitchen grade 18/8 stainless steel and double-wall vacuum insulation to ensure that you never come back to a less than amazing beverage again. These will keep ice 2x longer than your average plastic tumbler and will keep those hot beverages scolding for you in the cold winter months. What more could you want?
We invite you to browse our complete line of YETI coolers and accessories. Don’t need one yourself? They make awesome gifts. Who wouldn’t want a bear proof cooler?
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 any 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
What is the one accessory item you can always find in the tankwell of a kayak fisherman? If your answer was, ‘A milk crate!’ 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.
by Danny Mongno, Werner Paddles Marketing Manager
Selecting the perfect kayak paddle is probably the most important decision you will make as a boater. That’s because the paddle is your engine, your tool to transfer energy to the water. Choosing the proper blade shape will allow you to perform at the highest level for your style of boating, and understanding how to get the perfect fit will allow you to be more comfortable, use less energy and spend more time on the water. Although it is such an important decision, it does not have to be hard.
First of all, for either whitewater or touring paddles there are some common choices that you’ll need to make. Let’s go over them now:
The benefits of a straight shaft kayak paddle is that it has a familiar feel; most of us have used a straight shaft at some time and it’s what we are used to. Other benefits are lighter weight and less of an investment. If good technique is used and a paddler can hold on loosely to the paddle, focusing on grasping the shaft with the “O-Kay” symbol all day, pain-free paddling can be obtained.
For those who have developed some aches and pains in their hands and wrists, and for those who generally hold on too tightly to their paddle (and let’s face it, we all do when we get nervous), a neutral bent shaft kayak paddle becomes an insurance policy for your body. By always keeping the wrists in an ergonomically correct straight alignment, less pressure is put on the small tendons and ligaments of the wrist and pain is avoided. Although more of an investment, it can make all the difference for spending more time on the water. The concept of neutral bent allows for a smooth transition from your old kayak paddle, as your hand position is familiar and exactly the same as it was on your straight shaft. The only thing that changes is that your wrists remain straight while paddling.
Shaft diameter and blade size
Both of these options are really common sense and easily determined by your body size. Folks with smaller hands and smaller bodies, should look towards the smaller diameter shaft for a more relaxed grip and a small or medium blade surface area to put less stress and strain on the body. Larger boaters, generally with larger hands, prefer the standard diameter shaft and a medium to full sized blade area, depending on their fitness level. Remember, a kayak paddle with a bigger blade is not always going to make us more powerful, especially if we are just working too hard to move that extra size through the water. If your hand is larger than 7 inches from the base of your palm to your fingertip, you will want the standard shaft. If the length is smaller than 6.5 inches, you should use the small diameter shaft. In between, you can go either way.
Spend as much as you can afford on your kayak paddle material
As I said early on, the paddle is your engine. You will use less energy on the water, run more drops, surf more waves, paddle further and perform better if you are less tired. A paddle that is lighter to move through the stroke path, referred to as the paddle’s “swing weight,” will allow you to feel fresher as the miles and hours wear on. A kayak paddle with a stiffer material will flex less, causing less water to “escape” from the blade face and for you to use less energy in your stroke to create more motion.
Kayak paddles with higher end materials like Performance Core provide more buoyancy in the blades, which helps you brace with more confidence and roll more easily, even in the most aerated water. Sure, paddles wear over time, but so does your boat, your automobile or mountain bike tires, your tools. However, think of the performance advantages you are getting while on the water. Is your paddling enjoyment worth the investment? Well, I think that sums up how to decide what to spend…how much do you value your time on the water; how far do you want to stretch your skills?
Now, let’s take a few simple steps toward fitting you with the perfect whitewater or touring kayak paddle:
Choosing a Whitewater Kayak Paddle:
Choose the shape of your blade based on the style of paddling you are doing.
As we paddle downstream we are faced with many features: holes, waves, eddies, ledges both small and large (i.e. waterfalls). To navigate your way through these obstacles your forward stroke will be far and away the most valuable tool. A river running kayak paddle will have a larger portion of the blade shape at the upper tip, or a focus above the center line of the kayak paddle. This oversized tip allows paddlers to reach the water sooner and get instant bite at the most important part of the forward stroke, the catch. For those paddlers looking primarily to run rivers or steeper creeks, this is your best choice.
As the sport of whitewater kayaking has grown over the years the ways we “play” the river has expanded. For some the feeling of front surfing a glassy wave is what provides that all-day smile while others need to notify the local air traffic controller before they start their aerial assault on the river. No matter what your idea of play boating is, the proper shaped blade will help your performance. By down turning or “drooping” a play boat blade shape, with more focus of the blade surface area below the center line, the kayak paddle will engage the water sooner, allowing paddlers to perform play boat control stokes with greater ease.
3. What if you can’t decide?
If just getting to the river and enjoying your time on the water with your family and friends is your ultimate goal, with no set agenda, we say play the percentages. What do see yourself doing the most out there? Then buy the blade that works best for that application. Remember, the proper blade shape is going to offer you maximum performance in your discipline, but that is not to say you can’t “cross train”.
Now that you have the proper blade shape for your paddling style, let’s be sure you have the perfect fit. The perfect fitting kayak paddle will assure comfort and better paddling efficiency.
1. River running kayak paddles will always be longer, again due to the importance of the “catch”. The catch is where the blade first enters the water, where you have the most energy in your stroke. So if your paddle has some extra length you will have more “catch length” and take fewer, more powerful strokes. Generally speaking, short people use 194 cm, medium people 197 cm, tall 200 cm.
2. Play boating kayak paddles tend to be shorter, as you will need to perform more dynamic paddle strokes when performing play boat maneuvers. You will also need to take much faster, higher cadence strokes as you attain upstream to catch waves or drop into holes. For a general rule of thumb, short people should look to a 191 cm, medium at 194 cm and those long folks 197 cm.
Choosing a Touring Kayak Paddle:
Choose the shape of your blade based on the style of paddling you are doing.
Most people enjoy the low angle style of paddling. Low angle paddles have longer and narrower blades designed to pull through each stroke with the right amount of surface area for good power while maintaining a smooth forward stroke. The low angle stroke puts your hands at about shoulder height, is more relaxed and puts significantly less pressure on your upper body, arms and shoulders.
This is typically a more aggressive style of paddling with a faster cadence and a larger variety of strokes being used on each paddle outing. By focusing on keeping your top hand about forehead height as you take your stroke you will notice the blade travels closer to the kayak. With the blade traveling in this path your boat will track significantly better and go straighter. Werner’s wider, shorter blade shape puts more surface area of the blade into the water in this position. This does place more emphasis on proper torso rotation since more pressure can be put on your shoulders in this higher angle paddling style. The commitment is worth it though for those looking to take their paddling to a higher performance level in longer, sleeker, light touring and touring kayaks.
3. What if you can’t decide?
What do see yourself doing the most out there? Look at the boat you’re paddling and your goals in the sport and then buy the blade that works best for that application. Remember, the proper blade shape is going to offer you maximum performance in your discipline.
Now that you have the proper blade shape for your paddling style, let’s be sure you have the perfect fit. The perfect fitting paddle will assure comfort and paddling efficiency.
1. Low angle kayak paddle
Here are some easy to follow rules:
- 6 ft or under, use 220 cm.
- 6’1″ and over, use 230 cm.
- If you kayak is over 28″ wide, add 10 cm to the length of the paddle, after you choose based on your height.
2. High angle kayak paddle
Here are some easy to follow rules:
- 6 ft and under, use 210 cm.
- 6’1″ and over, use 215 cm.
- Kayak width general does not come into play since most high-angle paddlers are in more narrow light touring and touring kayaks.
If you have questions about boating styles or kayak paddle choices, give the folks at ACK a call, 888-828-3828, or email at email@example.com.
If you strategize for travel safety—and plan ahead—you can avoid becoming a victim of theft on the road. Keep these eight tips as you start packing up for your next getaway.
From Eagle Creek Blogger Jessica Festa
When traveling and exploring unfamiliar territory, your belongings become more vulnerable to being lost or stolen. That said, you don’t need to travel in fear: there are tactics you can employ to keep your things safe. To help you plan a strategy, here are Eagle Creek’s top suggestions.
1. Leave Unnecessary Valuables at Home
If you can’t bear the thought of losing something, leave it at home. Of course, there are some things you may need to bring like your camera or cell phone for emergencies; however, do you really need to bring your high-end wristwatch, costume jewelry, laptop, tablet and your smartphone? Pack light, especially when it comes to valuables.
2. Invest in Concealed Accessories
Instead of putting valuables in outer pockets and backpack pockets where they can be easily stolen, invest in accessories that allow you to keep your important items on the inside of your clothing and inside secret pouches.
ACK offers three different concealed accessories to help you travel safe. The Undercover Neck Wallet can be worn around your neck and tucked into your shirt. The Undercover Money Belt and the Undercover Hidden Pocket are two other options for keeping your valuables out of sight.
3. Lock Up and Stay Alert in Crowds
Instead of just leaving your suitcase vulnerable to intruders, keep it locked up using a Signal Search TSA Lock or Mini-Key TSA Lock. This type of lock allows you to see when your belongings have been opened by TSA. You can also use one of these locks to secure purses and day bags to make it more difficult to get into your possessions both on the street and in the hotel. If you stay alert and are confident, you’ll avoid looking like a target.
4. Don’t Let Your Guard Down In The Hotel
It’s easy to let your guard down once you’re off the city streets and back in your comfortable hotel room. Don’t. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in a hostel or 5-star hotel, you need to be mindful of your belongings in order to travel safe. Lock up valuables, keep luggage closed and secure and, if you don’t need your room cleaned every single day, hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door to keep cleaning staff out of the room when you’re out exploring the city.
5. Keep A Clear Head
While it may be tempting to sample every beer on the menu at the local bar when traveling, it’s not wise. When drinking, sip slowly and alternate with water to keep from becoming intoxicated — and putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Some thieves specifically target travelers they see leaving popular bars and coffeeshops as they make easy targets. The more clearly you can think, the more aware you will be or your surroundings and better equipped to handle potentially dangerous situations.
6. Trust Your Gut
If something seems too good to be true or a situation just doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Get in the habit of always taking your hotel’s business card and putting it immediately into your wallet. Late at night—or if you need to leave the scene quickly to avoid trouble—you’ll be able to hand the card to the driver, and know that he’ll be able to get you back to safety. You won’t have to remember addresses and directions or deal with language barriers.
7. Be Mindful of Scams
There are some truly outrageous scams out there aimed at robbing tourists, so ask your hotel or travel agent which ones you should be aware of when you are touring around at your destination. One rule of thumb is to be wary of anyone trying to be overly helpful — helping you with your bags, wiping dirt from your shoulder, touching you in a flirty manner — as they may just want access to your pockets. In general, keep your bag closed tightly and close to your body.
8. Stay Organized
The more organized you keep your luggage, the less likely you are to lose track of your valuables. Use Pack-It Specter Cubes to save luggage space and keep clothing separated. Additionally, Pack-It Sacs can secure your important documents, credit cards, passport, money and receipts.
Jessica Festa, a New York native, is a world traveler who is always looking for a new adventure. She stays active through hiking, cycling, and dance and loves nothing more than her backpack. Follow her travels around the world at Jessie on a Journey and at Epicure & Culture.
As many of you have seen/heard, we will now be adding Viking Kayak to our lineup. These boats are imported from over in New Zealand and we’re very excited to be the first US retailer to offer them.
We plan on carrying 2 of the Viking Kayak models: the Profish Reload and the Profish 400 with 2 color choices per model. The Reload will come in a Yellow/Black combination called Yellow Mist as well as a Gray/Black combination called Shades of Gray. The Profish 400 on the other hand will come in Green/Black called Lime Mist and also Orange/Black called Sunrise Mist.
The Profish Reload measures a hair over 14.5 feet, is 29.5″ wide and weighs in a 63 pounds. This kayak is ideal for tackling large bodies of water, but drafts shallow enough to handle the flats with ease. The center console, called the Tackle Pod, comes with the boat and provides an enclosed area for on-board tackle management. The pod also allows for the easy mounting of a fish finder. A recess on the bottom of the pod provides a safe tucked away location for the transducer to ride up in too. A replacement center console can be purchased to replace the Tackle Pod, and it provides a flat deck space with an included child seating area.
The Profish 400 measures just under 13.5 feet, is 31″ wide and weighs in 53 pounds. Unlike the Reload, the 400 has a molded in well in the center of the boat that can be used for gear storage or even as a live bait well. Due to its wider stance, the 400 is relatively easy to stand in and provides a great sight casting platform.
We will also be selling various Viking Kayak accessories that go with the new boats. The Chill Pod is a very easy to open ice box for kayak anglers looking to keep their catch cold. Both the 400 and the Reload’s rear tankwell will accept this cool product. A rudder kit is available for either boat, but it is a little different than what we are used to here in the US. This particular rudder does not extend down past the bottom of the boat, but in no way does that detract from its performance. These boats will turn very quickly due to the surface area of the rudder blade. Other accessories we will carry will be a Viking branded hatch bucket with screw on lid, additional flush mount rod holders, and a clear center pod lid for the Profish 400.
We are very excited to have Viking on board and hope you are too! These are now available for pre-order and will actually start shipping near the end of April. Let us know what you think by commenting below.
From Eno Team Member, Carolyn Ellison
With Spring in the air, our weekends will soon be filled with hammocking, camping, playing in rivers and then when we’re all done…we’ll be hungry. Cooking–or eating rather–is personally one of my favorite times of camping trips. You just can’t get that campfire taste at home. There is an art to cooking out in the middle of nowhere however. Read on to explore these tips on how to become a backcountry chef!
Depending on what kind of camping you’re doing, try to minimize the amount of space your kitchen-on-the-go takes up. For example, if you’re doing car camping, opt for canned goods instead of taking up up valuable real estate in your cooler.
Try to minimize the amount of work you have to do on site by preparing as much as possible at home. Does your recipe call for onion? Then before you head into the woods, chop the necessary amount at home. So peel, mince, dice and pack it up!
If you think you’re a star in the kitchen, you probably have an affinity for kitchen gadgets and toys. However try to resist the urge to haul all these out into the wilderness with you. By the time you’re breathing the fresh air and the smell of campfire hits your nostrils–your resourceful instincts will kick in and you’ll be totally content with just using a multi-tool.
Plan your menu! And as you are planning it, keep in mind the environment you’ll be cooking in. In other words, research recipes that are suited for cooking on a campfire or camp-stove. Camping recipes have already considered the elements that you’ll be cheffing it up in. This will aid you in an easier–but just as tastier–cooking experience. You can always try out a dehydrated meal too!
As a backcountry chef, remember that 10 minute dinners are awesome too. Keep in mind some short and super easy meals for multiple day trips. You don’t want to get back to camp after an active day playing in the woods for ten hours and return to camp hungry with multiple hours of prep, cooking, and waiting for that intricate recipe you had planned.
You can still spice it up in the woods. Just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you have to leave the salt, pepper, and olive oil at home. These items somehow taste better miles away from civilization. But you don’t need to lug them out in their original packaging. Bring along portable containers and if all the spices are going to get mixed together anyways, go ahead and blend them at home and throw them in the same container.
Laziness is easily translated to efficient-ness when cooking as a backcountry chef. Don’t be afraid to mix up the recipes and modify them to one pot shots. No one likes to clean, especially in the dark in the woods. Make it easy and get to marshmallows and guitars sooner than later.
Clean up and put it all away. This is important. Unless you’re camping someplace where you have no threat of wildlife, it is crucial you properly clean and store your food and food items before you turn in. Try to camp close to a creek or river so you can wash your pots and utensils. Put all food and things that still smell like food in a bear bag and go properly hang it up. There’s no way to ruin a trip faster then to have an unexpected run in with a hungry bear.
I recently had some time at the house to play around with the YakAttack Surface Mount Retractor and found it is quite handy to use in conjunction with the 3/4″ StakeOut Pole Clip that we sell. I use this combo to hold my Boga Grip to the lid of my Ocean Kayak. If you’re on the fence about buying a Boga but do not because of the risk of losing a high dollar piece of gear over the side of your boat, this is the solution for you!
I’ve attached some photos for you to see how I have rigged my boat, as well as a couple more that the gang over at YakAttack sent me so that you can see what they are doing as well.
From the founders of LuminAid, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta. The two share an interest in solar lighting technology and a common belief that design and design thinking can be used to solve problems at a global scale, including improving access to basic resources such as lighting and power.
The LuminAID solar light was designed to fulfill the basic need for light in post-natural disaster situations shortly after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. When thinking about what we could design to make a difference, we decided to focus on affordable, renewable light because it had the potential to greatly improve the comfort, safety, and survival of disaster victims.
While on a school trip to Japan, we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of the earthquake in March 2011. Having experienced first-hand how a disaster can negatively impact the lives of millions, we are motivated to make the LuminAID light a reality for those affected by disasters, crises, and conflict.
Our Patent Pending Solar-Inflatable Technology
The solar-inflatable technology developed by LuminAID Lab is patent pending both in the US and internationally through multiple filings that cover a broad range of applications and uses. The LuminAID light is our first application of this technology. The product packs flat and inflates to diffuse the light like a lantern and reduce the glare of the extra bright LEDs. For every 8 small conventional flashlights by volume, you can pack and ship approximately 50 LuminAID Lights. The inflatable material is also printable with patterns and logos.
The LuminAID and Humanitarian Relief Aid
LuminAID’s goal is to make portable lighting a part of the supplies commonly sent as part of disaster relief aid. In addition to food, water, and shelter, light can greatly add to the well-being of victims of a natural disaster or crisis. Renewable lighting can aid those in situations where batteries are scarce and the electricity grid is disabled both immediately after a disaster and over an extended period of time. Over the past year, our company has put lights on the ground in the wake of disasters such as Hurricane Isaac in Haiti and Hurricane Sandy.
Popularity Among Outdoor Enthusiasts
While designed for disaster relief, our product has quickly grown in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts for its innovative design (it even made National Geographic’s 2013 Gear of the Year list). After being charged in the sun for six hours, the LED light provides up to 16 hours of light — a feature that not only makes it more eco-friendly but essential in emergency situations when batteries are hard to find. Due to its inflatable design, it also provides diffused light like a lantern so it can be used to illuminate a room or tent. Moreover, since disasters often involve water, it is waterproof and able to float – a great feature for paddlers!