New Kayak Models for 2014

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.

PackLite

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.

Perception Sport Striker

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.

Ocean Kayak Big Game II

Feelfree Lure

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.

Feelfree Lure

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!

 

Native Watercraft Slayer Propel

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 Ride 115X

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.

Wilderness Systems Focus

Coming Soon

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!

5 Most Common Paddling Goals for 2014

Bring on 2014!
What’s your paddling goal?

With a new year comes new adventure and paddlers everywhere are looking ahead to what they want 2014 to hold for them and their kayak, canoe or paddle board. I decided to find out what types of paddling goals were being set by asking our ACK social pages. Here were the 5 most common paddling goals that I heard:

  1. Paddle more. More than anything else, paddlers said they just wanted to get out on the water more in 2014.
  2. Learn how to roll. This specialized paddling skill is one that sets the novice and expert apart and can be done in just about any sit-inside kayak.
  3. Buy my first kayak. Many paddlers get on the water using rentals or a friend’s second ‘yak and are ready to have their own in 2014. Hey, we can help with that!
  4. Paddle a particular body of water. It might be an old favorite or a destination well known for beautiful paddling views (like Glacier Bay, Alaska). I’d like to visit Texas’ Devil’s River!
  5. Catch ___ from my kayak. Kayak anglers are hoping 2014 will be the year they catch the big one, and for some that means a 20 lb Striper off the coast and others just means their first bass. Whatever your kayak fishing goals are for 2014, I wish you luck!

So what’s your paddling goal for 2014? Share it by commenting below and then check out what goals ACK Facebook Fans set for themselves.

A Look Back at 2013

New Year Fireworks
Happy New Year!

Wow, it’s hard to believe that 2013 is already over! It was a big year for us at ACK, thanks to all the support from readers and customers like you. As we get geared up and excited for another great year, I thought I would take this opportunity to look back at all the things we accomplished in 2013.

New Inventory Management System

In the summer of 2013, we implemented a new eco-friendly mobile inventory management system in our warehouse replacing long rolls of paper with electronic tablets. The result has been greatly improved speed and accuracy of order fulfillment as well as an over 90% reduction in daily paper usage. Just another way that we have improved on our internal processes to benefit the customer! Read more about the new system.

San Antonio Store Inbound

Another year, another ACK store. Our newest location is set for San Antonio, Texas and will be open later this month! The location was chosen to better serve our customers who were already commuting from San Antonio to our San Marcos store. We can’t wait until the doors open! Make sure to stop by later this month to visit and also don’t forget to RSVP to the Grand Opening Celebration in Feb.

Redesigned Mobile Website

With so many different sized tablets and smart phones becoming relevant to our customers, we decided to take on a redesign of our mobile site that responds to users’ screen size. The site launched in November and was coupled with a revamping of our checkout system, making it even easier to shop with us. If you haven’t tried it already, visit ACK.com on your smartphone or tablet and see it for yourself!

Three Customer Service Awards

It’s always great to know you’re doing a good job, and in 2013 we were reminded of this not once or twice, but three times! For the 5th and 3rd consecutive year respectively, we were awarded the BizRate Circle of Excellence Award and Kayak Angler’s Choice Award for Best Retailer of 2013. In addition to these two repeat awards, ACK was also upgraded to an elite service designation by Stella Service! We’re proud to have earned each of these awards and will continue to do our best in offering top rated service for readers and customers like you.

Kayak Angler Tournament Series

In 2013, our Kayak Angler Tournament series saw significant growth with over 115 different anglers participating in 7 events. Our new website, www.fishkats.com, was a huge success in communicating information and will continue to be a hub for all things KATS for the 2014 season. The series was so successful that Tournament Director Kristian Kolflat was offered a full time position as ACK’s first ever Operations Specialist. Kirstian continues to plow forward with a largely expanded 2014 season as well some exciting new projects involving Austin Kayak Fishing.

New Centralized Warehouse

We took a huge step in September of 2013 by moving into a much larger, centralized facility. Not only did the move consolidate ACK’s two different warehouses and support functions (like customer service, merchandising, website development and more), but it also tacked on an impressive 10,000 square feet for increased operational efficiency with an additional 12,000 slated to be leased in 2015. The move allowed us to tackle a record breaking holiday season while still providing quick shipping and top notch customer service and we look forward to continue utilizing our space to its fullest potential in 2014. Read more about the move.

While these were some of our most notable accomplishments in 2013, the list doesn’t stop there. 2013 was a year that we saw huge growth in product selection, hired many new faces into the ACK family, improved on various aspects of the website and much more.

As always, we couldn’t have done any of it without your support, and for that reason we wanted to say thank you! We’re looking forward to another great year and are glad to have you with us.

The ACK Team