The 3 Rules of Warmth

jMost northerners know what it takes to stay warm on those cold winter nights, and I’m not talking about that magical liquid in the flask. Im talking about the gear you’ll need to hang out in the cold and not even notice that it’s -30 degrees. I’m a Texan that went to live in Colorado for a year to be a ski bum and I only wish a wise man had told me the 3 rules of warmth before I was months into freezing my butt off. A lot of people have their own recipes for staying warm. Momma always said, “wear some layers,” and I’m not going to contradict Momma (I was raised better than that), but that advice is a little vague when you find yourself leaving the house in a blizzard.  Continue reading The 3 Rules of Warmth

Austin Canoe and Kayak culminates ‘Pink Campaign’ with donation to Breast Cancer Research Foundation

ACK_LOGO_black_circle_WEB

Austin, Texas (November 11, 2014) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC, will donate $1,435.72 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). These funds were raised as a part of ACK’s pledge to donate 5 percent of sales generated from the sale of select products offered in pink that were sold throughout the month of October to support breast cancer research.

“We are grateful to our customers who embraced this campaign,” said Steve Messana, President and co-owner, ACK. “ We are excited about the enthusiasm that the campaign generated and next year we plan to offer even more merchandise for this campaign in order to increase our donation.”

BCRF’s mission is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer. The organization provides critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship. Continue reading Austin Canoe and Kayak culminates ‘Pink Campaign’ with donation to Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Thank You For Another Fantastic Fall Demo Days!

AuxFall2014Demo14

Our 2014 Fall Kayak Demo Days took place earlier this month and as usual we had a great time putting them on! ACK Demo Days are a company wide favorite not only because it give us the opportunity to interact with customers and manufacturer representatives twice a year, but we also get to do a little paddling of our own!

For those of you who are not familiar with ACK Demo Days, they are a bi-annual event that we have hosted since 2006. We host one in the spring and the other in the fall and are happy to say that every year both events seem to get a little bigger and grow a little stronger! Manufacturer representatives from all over the country come together along with their line-up of kayaks, paddle-boards, camping gear, and other accessories to give our customers a chance to try out their most recent upgrades and products. On top of what the manufactures bring, we include our own gear and kayaks for paddles all over Central Texas to test out completely free of charge. Continue reading Thank You For Another Fantastic Fall Demo Days!

Farewell Warehouse, Hello Marketing!

Looking back, no one told me it would be easy.  I suppose the young naive man I was just assumed that would be the case.  Twenty pounds lighter and years matured, I reflect on that young man with a wry grin.

After graduating from college and bouncing from one job industry to the next trying to find my proverbial “path” I eventually found myself at the doorstep of the ACK Warehouse, applying for a job as an associate.  In my mind, I saw it as the chance to work with my olderwarehouse brother (who would be my boss’ boss’ boss but still) while saving money on gym costs as I carried some boats and wrapped a few packages. Continue reading Farewell Warehouse, Hello Marketing!

Bethany Wine Scholarship Fund Tournament

The weekend of July 19th I had the opportunity to fish the Bethany Wine Scholarship Fund Tournament. Bethany was a young lady that unfortunately passed away last year from a rare form of cancer. She was a well-known, and well loved, person in the kayak fishing community as well as an avid outdoors woman. This paddle celebrating Bethany also happened to be the same weekend I received my brand new Tarpon 140; I like to think  it was meant to be.

That Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of rain pouring down on my roof- not the best thing to wake up to the day of a tournament. So I got up, made breakfast, poured some coffee and decided to wait out the storm. Once I thought the worst hadOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA passed I made my way to the launch. When I arrived there was a slight NE wind and no rain so I set out for a short paddle to test the water.

I set off in my spankin’ new Tarpon and decided to start fishing. Unfortunately the fish didn’t have the same goal as I did that day! With an hour left until weigh in I decided it was time to get grinding and really go after some fish. After my first small trout I was able to hook onto a solid 27″ red and get him up next to my kayak. That little guy put up a fight! The drag was screaming and my grip was tightening until the red reached an oyster bed and was able to cut my line. Oh well!  Ten minutes later I hooked another and after a short fight he popped my line. I quickly jotted down my notes and made my way to the boat ramp for weigh in. This one was a small trout weighing about 4.36 lbs causing me to miss the leader board. Some you win and some you lose- that’s fishing for you! I told myself there’s always another tournament and packed my gear.

Although my fishing may have been less than fantastic I can not say the same about my kayak. I have been kayaking for over 10 years and I gotta say, my Tarpon is one of the best i’ve paddled. You can’t beat the seat that is on this yak- especially if you need a little extra support for your back. It tracks great, is easy to paddle, and has plenty of storage. The paddle is especially easy when I use my AT Fishstix Paddle. The only thing I would change about this paddle is the color- I’d like AT to make it in Desert Camo to match my yak! Let’s just say the gear didn’t disappoint me like the fish that day!

Overall, the Bethany Wine Scholarship Fund Tournament was a wonderful way to celebrate Bethany’s life and enjoy my new kayaking gear.

Tight lines,

Donald Drabek, ACK Wilderness Systems Ambassador

My Experience with KATS

Written by guest blogger and KATS participant, ACK & Wilderness Systems Ambassador Eugene Mora  III.

First, let me begin by thanking the ACK and KATS tournament personnel and sponsors. Without the joint efforts of all, this series would not have been as awesome as it was.KATS-Logo2014

The 10 events for the 2014 series were scheduled to be fished on some of the Lone Star States finest waters. Of these events I was able to fish 6, and although my numbers were less than stellar is was an awesome first year on the water.

Being a lifelong fisherman and frequent tournament angler, I came into the kayak tournament scene thinking it would be a simple transition. I could not have been more wrong. It was a game of efficiency. Making sure you packed just what you needed and nothing more was important. Loading the yak with every soft plastic shape, size, and color was not only impossible, it was ridiculous. Just think, I still had to pack every spinnerbait, jerkbait, and crankbait ever produced. Did I mention top water toads and floating frogs?

Other than bait selection, deciding which rods would be chosen for the desired presentation was another battle in itself. Taking 15 different rod and reel combinations would be a bit overboard. Carefully deciding which 5 or 6 were the lucky ones to make the cut was a long thought out process, but a necessary one. Every bass fisherman or woman knows this routine. We do it before every tournament.

K.A.T.SNext on the list of things to think about is location. Moving from one fishing spot to another is also very different. You don’t have a trolling motor to ease on down the bank and a 200 horsepower outboard to motor across the lake. Where you go and how fast you get there is up to you. Several factors come into play when planning just how far you want to take your kayak. Winds, boat traffic, and fatigue are all important things to consider.

Once my baits, rods, and locations have been established other accessories were chosen to aid in the experience. For me a small ice chest with snacks and drinks was essential. Along with that I add my anchor, stakeout pole, and a drift sock. These three additions aren’t the only things to bring along, but they were most helpful to me. A sonar system and battery pack are soon to be added to this list of items.

The KATS tournament series of ’14 has since wrapped up and although I failed to make the cut for the championship, the season was a huge success. I cannot say enough how great the series was. Many fish were caught, much knowledge was gained, and many friends made. The staff, volunteers, and sponsors were five star. The participants and fellow anglers were some of the nicest, most polite and helpful individuals I had ever encountered on any body of water.

Truly an unparalleled group of anglers. Thank you.

 

Eugene Mora III

Wilderness Systems Ambassador

ICast Showcases New Hobie, Wilderness, and Old Town Kayaks

The 2014 ICAST Trade Show showcased a plethora of brand new kayaks that are a true advancement in the industry. Between Hobie’s Pro Angler 17T, Old Town’s Predator XL and Wilderness System’s Thresher 140, the innovation at this years ICAST was at an all time high. For your convenience we have broken down the soon-to-be newest additions to our kayak lineup and provided links to reviews as well as added the ability to pre-order.

Hobie Pro Angler 17 Tandem Kayak

Hobie introduced their brand new, ever-so-stylish, fully equipped, beast of a tandem kayak today at the ICAST. The PA 17T is set to be one of the hottest tandem kayaks on the market with some exciting new features that makes it stand far out and above the crowd.hobieproangler

Specs:

  • Length: 17′
  • Width: 43.5″
  • Fully Rigged Weight: 230lbs
  • Capacity: 900lbs
  • Available: Late September- Early October 2014

Breakdown:

The Pro Angler 17 T, although large in size, can be paddled tandem or solo and incorporates three steering controls allowing for the ultimate control you want in a kayak of this size. A drop-skeg has been added to improve tracking and steering. Another highlight of this model is the new Vantage XT Seating that is 5 inches taller than the previous Vantage seating. The Vantage XT can face forward or flip around so that paddlers are seated face-to-face while still being able to use the Mirage Drive. To create the ultimate kayak fishing experience, Hobie added their new H-Rail accessory attachment system. The 12-sided rail runs along both sides of the kayak, clamp accessories on the side, and can slide the length of the rail while being able to adjust at 30 degrees per pivot. Another fishing feature includes a built-in transducer mount making it Lowrance Ready and ample vertical and horizontal rod storage space. This all adds up to space for up to 12 fishing rods and the capability to install an anchor trolley, anchor, drift chute, or stake out pole.

Want more information or to pre-order the Hobie Pro Angler 14T? Click here.

Old Town Predator XL

Old Town rolled out their latest and greatest Predator, the Predator XL- a true upgrade to the rest of the family. It incorporates all the innovative Predator features while adding an industry changing Modular Console System designed for p_15442_260electronics, storage and power customization.

Specs:

  • Length: 13′
  • Width: 36″
  • Weight (Without Consoles): 92 lbs
  • Capacity: 600 lbs
  • Available: Late October 2014

Breakdown:

The Preadtor XL with Modular Console System is the latest adaptation of the Predator and has morphed into a fully evolved hybrid. The performance crafted tri-hull delivers incredible durability and strength while the hull itself is designed to offer superior stability and tracking. The Minn-Kota Console offers complete hands-free navigation and trolling with 45 lbs of variable thrust making it easy to coast across any kind of water mother nature throws at you. The slip resistant exo-ridge deck ensures that you and your gear will stay dry and secure during your entire ride- no matter the weather. The storage on the Predator XL is also first in its class. The large bow hatch with click seal cover and side-mount paddle storage provide enough room for everything you’d need to create the ultimate kayaking experience. For the fishermen out there, it also comes equipped with six removable high-strength mounting plates making it easy for you to customize to your hearts content with fish finders, slide tracks, GPS, or rod holders. The rod tip holders, rod retainer bungees, dual tackle holders, and molded paddle rest also make for an ideal camp for your fishing gear. To top it off, the Predator XL comes equipped with eight scupper holes to drain away any water that may get into your kayak and a stand up assist strap for added leverage when standing.

Want more information or to pre-order a Predator XL? Click here.

Wilderness Systems Thresher 140

The Thresher 140 is Wildy’s first off-shore kayak with an all-new bow to stern look while vastly improving its removable sonar pod
and announcing its biggest secret yet- the innovative Flex Pod OS.

Specs:Thresher-140-Top_vert

  • Length: 14′ 3″
  • Width: 28.75″
  • Weight: 75 lbs
  • Capacity: 400 lbs
  • Available: TBA

Breakdown:

The Wilderness Systems Thresher 140 and 155 both come equipped with a vast amount of features that separate this model from the pack. The Flex Pod OS, a larger version of the drop-in self-contained sonar console that debuted with the Ride 115x, is the biggest upgrade to the kayak and is sure to impress as a single master unit holding a battery, transducer, and sonar display. It plugs in directly and securely to the hull to prevent noise- “a silent menace”. With its increased size, offshore fishermen will enjoy the strength and comfort this kayak provides and its ability to carry heavy gear and fish load while still providing incredible stability. Another new feature to the Thresher is the large rectangular console hatches hinged at the front for a better seal. A seal so strong in fact, that when put through a submerged leak test for 15 hours it didn’t let a single drop inside. Perfect for storing your important items while on extended paddling tours or kayak fishing treks. Not to be missed, the Thresher also features Wildy standards such as SlideTrax accessory rails around the cockpit and stern tankwell gunwales, accessory storage bins and rod stages for the center hatch, and a paddle park. Ultimately, the Wilderness Systems Thresher is an upgraded Wildy classic with all the features and specs a paddler could need.

Want more information or to pre-order a Thresh 140? Click here.

Have more questions or feel like we are missing something? Feel free to comment below!

 

3 Steps to Kayak Fishing

Looking to try your hand at kayak fishing but don’t know where to start? With all of the gear and kayaks available we understand that it can be somewhat overwhelming. No need to fret! We have created a 3 step guide to kayak fishing that will walk you through the before, during and after of your adventure. Included is the gear you’ll need and some fun facts about the rise of kayak fishing. Once you decide what you need, check out ACK.com for all your kayak fishing needs!

Columbia Coolhead Cachalot Sun Hat NRS Chinook Fishing Life Jacket Lowrance Elite- 5 HDI Fishfinder Costa Del Mar Blackfin 400G Polarized Sunglasses Columbia PFG Bahama || Long Sleeve Shirt Scotty Baitcaster rodhold and Mount YakAttack VisiCarbon Pro Light ACKessories Milk Crate Yak-Gear Build-A-Crate 3 Rod Holder Anchor Kit Face Shield Paddle Paddle Anchor Kit Face Shield Safety Light Crate Crate Rod Holder Polarized Sunglasses Fishing Shirt Rod Holder Fishing Hat Fishing PFD Fish Finder & Mount YakAttack Leverage Landing Net Landing Net Fish Grip Fish Grip Hook Remover Hook Remover Gaff Gaff Boomerang Big Grip Pliers Pliers ACKessories Anchor Float Anchor Float Boomerang The Snip with LED Light Line Snip Berkley Marker Buoy Marker Buoy Seattle Sports Catch Cooler 20 Fish Grip Fish Cooler Bag Hawg Trough Fish Measuring Device Hawg Trough Floating Stringer Floating Stringer Fillet Gloves Floating Gloves Yeti Tundra 75 Cooler Cooler Fillet Knife Fillet Knife Chain Stringer Chain Stringer Berkley Tournament Scale Scale Image Map

 

Think we missed something? Comment below and let us know!

 

Casting for a Cause- Chris’s Story

I got the opportunity to fish the Casting for a Cause tournament for the second year in a row last week.  The word tournament might be featured in the name but the event is far more than a tournament.  The people that come to this event are there to support injured veterans.  As the child of a Purple Heart Recipient from the Vietnam conflict this hits home for me.  The opportunities that CFAC and Heroes on the Water provide veterans is amazing. Continue reading Casting for a Cause- Chris’s Story

“ACK” as well as “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” are Now Registered Trademarks of MSP Holdings, LLC.

ACK Logo

ACK now holds two new trademarks that expand the brand and development of its core business.

Austin, Texas (July 1, 2014) – Outdoor retailer, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), a division of MSP Holdings, LLC announces their registered trademarks “ACK” and “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” through the United States Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of Commerce. After taking on more and more kayak fishing products and accessories ACK has become a one-stop shop for all things kayak fishing thus “Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters” was born.

Peter Messana, CEO of ACK, explains “choosing ‘ACK’ was simple because customers started to abbreviate Austin Canoe & Kayak and it took off.  ‘Your Kayak Fishing Gear Headquarters’ came about with the rising popularity of the sport and the continued refinement and development of ACK as the leader when it comes to providing knowledge, products, and participation in all things kayak fishing.”

ACK.com carries a large variety of kayak fishing gear that caters to kayak fishermen at all levels. Whether you are upgrading your gear or just starting out with the essentials ACK can help outfit your next kayak fishing adventure.

All kayak fishing gear and other outdoor products are available now at www.ACK.com.

 

About MSP Holdings, LLC

MSP Holdings, LLC operates Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer and Rack Boys a vehicle rack and sports travel outfitter dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. Both retail outfits are based out of the central Texas area, with their respective online stores at www.AustinKayak.com and www.RackBoys.com and within five physical locations in Austin, San Marcos, Spring, Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

 

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with MSP Holdings, LLC, please contact Dayvee Brower-Warrell at 512-318-2941, or email pr@austinkayak.com.