Enter to Win Over $600 in SUP Prizes in ACK Photo Contest

ACK Photo Contest - Enter to win!
Chance to win some great prizes!

Photo Contest: It’s Time for a Little SUP Show & Tell

Summer is in full swing and what goes better with the hot summer sun than water? Down here in Austin it’s unusual to drive by a lake without seeing an Austinite cooling off on the water. There are so many floating options out there these days, but stand up paddleboards are quickly becoming a staple on the lakes because they are full of versatility! You always find paddlers using their SUP for a variety of activities; for example, morning yoga classes, board racing, event training, a little fishing…SUP paddle in one hand and a rod in the other, spending quality time with the pooch and even just taking break, laying back for a relaxing float under the sun. It’s amazing that the most simple of paddlecraft can be used in so many different ways!

Always on the look out for new SUP uses, we want to see how YOU do it! Share your photos showing how you SUP around in the #ackgiveaway photo contest and be entered for a chance to win a Ultimate SUPlementary Accessories Package valued at over $600!

How To Enter:

The process is simple, just jump over to our Facebook page and click the Photo Contest Tab near the top right. Upload your photo, add a caption and you’re in!

Click to enter the #ackgiveaway Photo Contest now!

Prize: The Ultimate SUPlementary Accessories Package

We’ll be giving everything you can think of in terms of SUP Accessories. The grand prize will include a BIC SUP Paddle, BIC SUP Leash, BIC SUP board cover (size determined by winner), NRS Inflatable PFD, NRS Paddling Shirt, SUPThings Rigging Accessory and a Danuu Paddle Cover. Win it all by getting the most votes for your photo!

So what are you waiting for…let’s see those SUP photos!! Remember to use the hashtag #ackgiveaway and share with your friends!

 

FCS SUP Shop Talk: Insights from Professional SUP Athletes

Ever Wanted to Pick the Brain of a Top SUP Athlete?

FCS Shop Talk with SUP AthletesOn April 24th, paddle boarders around the globe were given the chance to do just that! FCS held an all new exclusive FSC SUP Love webcast called “Shop Talk”, a series for paddleboarders and retailers like ourselves to call in and communication directly with some of the most experienced SUP athletes.

Who were those SUP athletes?

Non other than Candice Appleby and Danny Ching, two SUP racers with impressive resumes including numerous big race title wins under their respective belts.

Plenty to Glean for Aspiring SUP Athletes

The live-streamed show allows users to submit questions via twitter, over the phone or prior to the show and hit a wide range of topics including apparel, race training, safety and much, much more. This unique event has since been published online, and we wanted to share this great resource with you.

We’re certainly looking forward to the next one and will be sure to share more details as they come! Do you have any SUP related questions? Just comment below!

Solar Batteries 101 with Goal Zero

Written & published on Solar Batteries by Goal Zero on their Off The Grid blog

Solar Batteries 101
Photo Credit: Goal Zero

Not a Solar Scientist? That’s OK. We’re going back to the basics of keeping your batteries healthy and your solar panels hot!

SOLAR BATTERIES 101

GOAL ZERO utilizes the latest and greatest in battery technology to accompany you on all life’s adventures. From versatile and lightweight lithium ion, to the robust and powerful Lead Acid, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to keep GOAL ZERO batteries their best.

i. Batteries need exercise.
The best thing for any battery is to use it. Don’t leave a charged battery sitting around,unloved and unused for long periods of time.

ii. The “Battery Memory” myth.
Thanks to old Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries, there’s a myth running around that you should completely drain your batteries before plugging them in for a recharge, called “deep cycling”. Although true with NiCd batteries, the typical batteries you’ll find in most of your gear today, including the advanced lithium and lead-acid batteries used in your GOAL ZERO rechargers, require no such draining. In fact, you should avoid deep cycling your batteries- it does more harm than good in most cases.

Solar Batteries - Myth Busted
No draining required!

iii. The “Stadium Effect”.
The stadium effect occurs when recharging your batteries. You’ll notice your battery quickly filling up in the beginning, then slowing down noticeably when trying to charge up the last several percentages. think of how quickly a stadium fills up when the doors first open- there are hundreds of open seats so it’s easy to find the one you want. Eventually there are only a few open seats here and there and people have to maneuver around to find a spot and filling those seats takes longer. The same theory applies to recharging batteries. It’s easy for energy to flow in and take up empty space in the beginning, and as time goes on and there is less space available, it takes longer for the energy to fill in those holes.

iv. Read the Manual.
Yeah, it might be a long read, but the manual is the best place to find the dos and don’t for the battery in your specific device. Reading your manual will ensure you’re taking steps to keep your batteries happy and healthy.

SOLAR 101: GOAL ZERO makes it easy to recharge your gear from the sun- we didn’t invent solar power, we perfected it. Some things to keep in mind when recharging your gear with solar power:

i. Solar panels don’t store power from the sun, they collect it.
We teach you to collect-store-use, which is the best way to utilize solar power to recharge your gear. Collect the sun’s energy with a solar panel. Store the power in a recharger. Use the recharger to power your gear, day and night. If you’re really a diehard, you can plug your gear directly into the junction box located on the back of our Nomad Solar Panels to recharge from the sun.

ii. Solar works, even in overcast conditions.
Solar panels utilize the UV rays from the sun that can penetrate through clouds. Although the efficiency of the solar panels will decrease in cloudy conditions, you’ll still be collecting valuable power from the sun.

iii. Proper alignment works wonders.
Keeping your solar panel angled toward the sun can dramatically increase solar efficiency. Set it up and let Mother Nature do the rest.

Solar Battery Charging Alignment
Find the sweet spot.

Avoid This! Properly Secure Your Boat with a Rack System

It’s every paddler’s nightmare to loose their boat, especially when they’re travelling full speed down the highway. Well, this nightmare became reality for one Georgia area paddler and we thought it was a perfect time to remind everyone on how to securely transport your kayaks, SUPs & canoes with a properly set up rack system. Here’s what happened:

All of this could have easily been avoided by taking the necessary steps to ensure everything is secure. Even for the most skilled kayaker, it is important  to start with the basics… so let’s do a quick review of what those steps are.

Start With The Rack System

We love racks. No matter what kind of car or truck you have, it becomes infinitely easier to transport a kayak, SUP or canoe when you have a good rack system. Over the years, we’ve put together several guides in the past that discuss rack systems for:

We love racks so much so that we even started a website dedicated to the top brands and products that help you get your toys from one place to another called RackBoys.com. If you’re still lost on what rack is best for your needs or how to install the one you have securely, give us a call at (866) 208-7074 or email us at customer@rackboys.com and we will help you out.

Video Instructions: How to Properly Secure a Kayak to a Roof Rack System

A while back we released this video on how to properly secure a kayak to your roof rack. This will help walk you through the basic steps of getting your ride tied down securely.

Getting into a situation similar to the first video doesn’t need to happen – it just takes a little extra time and effort to make sure everything is done right.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask, just comment below!

 

Protect Your Paddling Pup with a Dog PFD

Always ready to paddle.
Always ready to paddle.

Who’s your favorite paddling partner? Wait, don’t answer that…we have a feeling we might know the answer. It’s not your friends or family, who too often have an excuse for why they can’t make it down to the water with you – no, it’s someone who’s always game for a trip outside. Someone who can’t say no to jumping onto a kayak, canoe or paddleboard and usually into the water too. Unless your dog has a fear of water, “man’s best friend” makes a great paddling partner and, just like any paddler, they need to be safe around the water. The best place to start is with a Dog PFD (personal flotation device).

What is the Benefit of a Dog PFD?

Adventuring outside gets tiring.
Adventuring outside gets tiring.

Unlike with people, there are no laws stating that dogs are required to have a life jacket when they hit the water. However, there are a number of benefits to outfitting your dog with a quality PFD that will protect the safe-being of your furry companion and as a result bring you peace of mind.

Whether it’s a distraction like waterfowl or just the allure of water, it’s hard for any dog to resist jumping overboard and doing some dog-paddling. It’s even harder for them to realize how tiring it can be. A dog PFD gives canines something to fall back on – to just sit back and float – if they need it. A quality one also includes reflective cloth for increased visibility and a handle that makes it easy and painless to pull them back on board your paddle craft, when they’re ready to of course.

What Are My Options?

NRS Dog Life Jacket.
NRS Dog PFD

We offer a wide variety of outdoor gear for you pooch, including two different dog PFDs at ACK.com. The first is the low profile Dog Life Jacket from NRS which comes at a lower price and with 1000 denier cordura material, providing buoyancy of up to 2.7-7.9 lbs. The second is the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat which would be considered the premium option of the two. It offers 4-14.5 lbs of buoyancy and is made with a thicker, ballistic nylon material.

While both have received glowing reviews, we though this recent customer feedback on the float coat was worth sharing:

Dog PFD - Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat
Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat

“Although my dogs are great swimmers (Labradors) I bought this coat for kayaking with my dog.  This coat fits all 3 of my dogs from 63 to 80 lbs with minor adjustments for each dog.  However my 13 year old dog is scared of the vest, but once I get it on her she runs around happy like a puppy.  I can pick her up by the handle to put on the kayak and it holds her without hurting her (like the cheap vests would).   I let the dog get wet first and also dunk the vest in water to keep it a bit cooler on the dog.  I highly recommend the Ruffwear K-9 Float Coat.  Great for aging dogs or just for safety.” – Susan L

So what are you waiting for? Grab your puppy a dog PFD for your next outing – we’re sure that he or she will appreciate it!

Watch out for that… Goose?!?

Yup, you read that correctly. Goose and other animal encounters are happening all over the nation!

Listen to Chris dela Torre elaborate on his unplanned entanglement with as he calls the “Gangsters of Nature” on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC from Canada.

Photo Credit: Outdoor Research Blog
Photo Credit: Outdoor Research Blog

On a serious note, it is important to remember that being adventure seekers means we are trekking into territory that isn’t ours. The animals that live in these natural habitats such as geese, swans and other waterfowl may look cute and harmless from a distance but may be aggressive if they feel threatened. Even though we mean no harm, it’s important that we give them space and respect their environment. I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t want to receive the wrath of a “Gangster Goose”!

Have you had a crazy animal encounters? Tell us about it!

Meet the “Queen of SUP”!

Candice on her SUP from ESPN W
Candice doing her thing. Photo Credit: ESPN W

Get to know Surftec SUP sponsored, paddle board prodigy Candice Apply in this Hot Shots series on ESPN W

Did you know that Candice started competing in SUP competitions only a few months after teaching herself the sport back in the summer of 2007? She even went on to become the first women to beat then men in a professional SUP surfing event in 2008 at the Duke Kahanamoku Oceanfest. Pretty impressive, huh?

Alright all you SUP paddlers out there, what is the coolest place you’ve paddled? Send us pictures at editor@ack.com and we will feature the coolest destination!

 

It’s Getting Hot Out There! – Check Out H20 Options for Any Sized Adventure

The temperature are creeping up and it’s crucial you stay hydrated matter what you’re doing, whether it be a light run or a multi-day back country excursion.

There are a wide variety of ways for you to get the H2O you need. Check out these ACK videos as we give a break down of essential products for Hydration on Longer AdventuresHydration when Hiking & Running and Hydration at Basecamp then comment below and tell us how YOU stay hydrated outside!

Hybrid SUP-yak Impresses Casual Paddlers

The Ocean Kayak Nalu began turning heads when it was released about four years ago. Today, this hybrid Kayak-SUP continues to impress those who come across it. Incredibly versatile, the Nalu is meant to offer the best of both worlds with the ability to both sit and stand while you paddle.

Nalu from Ocean Kayak
The Nalu 12.5

Over the years the Nalu has become popular among casual, recreational paddlers just looking to have some fun in either position. A big point of interest has been the price, which is relatively low for typical SUP board. To top it off, we at ACK offer a package deal involving the Nalu which couples the board/kayak with a paddle and leash for some great savings. A recent reviewer going by the name “Beach Bum” submitted this lengthy review sharing his very positive experience with our packaged Nalu 12.5:

A great package deal.
A great package deal.

“I wanted both a kayak and SUP but didn’t want spend $,2000 for both.  Then I came across the Nalu Hybrid.  At first, I couldn’t believe that you could have the best of both worlds with one product without a lot of compromise.  I spent hours scouring the web for reviews and more information.  The more I checked the more I was convinced that this may be the perfect product for people who recreationally enjoy both kayaking and paddle boarding.  I purchased this product around a year ago and let me tell you that I could not have been happier and the price for the package deal at ACK is was one of the best values around.  I use it all the time in the creeks and ocean.  It is very stable and works as expected as a kayak or SUP.  Not sure if they still make the smaller version but I would recommend the larger size of 12.5 which is still very maneuverable and glides nicely.  Enjoy!” – Beach Bum

See more about the Nalu in this video from Ocean Kayak:

What’s Your Dad’s Adventure Personality?

Dads are always happy in the great outdoors!
Dads are always happy in the great outdoors!

Father’s Day is fast approaching and if you need a gift for the kind of dad who likes anything relating to the outdoors, the hardest part about your shopping experience at ACK is going to be picking out which one to get! To help you narrow down your options, we’ve selected a few top gift ideas for whatever adventure personality best describes your dad.

Use our Gift Guide and shop from the following adventure personalities:

Of course, if you don’t see exactly what you want in our guide, we’re sure you’ll find it after doing a little browsing!