It’s that time again! The 2013 Spring Demo Days are almost here and we hope you are as excited as us to experience one of the most sought after events in the paddling community.
This year, we will offer two days of full out on the water action for all three demos! Expect to see and demo a wide selection of kayaks, standup paddleboards (SUPs) and canoes. Expect raffles, lots of vendor representation and clinics all day long on a wide range of topics. We’re particularly excited about some new clinic topics this year, like Kayak Fly Fishing with Diablo Paddlesports.
Here are the dates and information but for complete details and maps, click here.
Date: April 6 & 7 (Saturday & Sunday)
Location: Hyde Park Quarries
Sat 10am-4pm & Sun 12pm-4pm (rain or shine)
San Marcos, Texas: Date: April 13 & 14 (Saturday & Sunday)
Location: Texas Ski Ranch
Sat 10am-4pm & Sun 12pm-4pm (rain or shine)
Houston Demo Days: **There will be two locations this year to better serve Houston area residents!**
Date: April 13 (Saturday)
Location: Independence Park
Time: 10am-4pm (rain or shine)
Date: April 14 (Sunday)
Location: Elizabeth Kaiser Meyer Park Pond Time: 10am-4pm (rain or shine)
As always, these events are FREE to attend! Check back in for the latest details including clinic times and topics!
Been having a blast at all of the Texas Boat Shows and just wanted to give you a peep at our booth for each one. Our stores work overtime to man both the shows and their respective locations, and always have a blast in the end seeing old faces and meeting new ones. We’ve had a great turnout this year and appreciate everyone who’s visited us so far. Hope to see you in San Antonio where you can find all of our Hobie boats along with several other brands.
The holidays are over, but for many that means it’s soon to be the best time of the year. That’s right, it’s nearly time for the 2013 Winter Boat Shows! Each year several Texas cities host these events and display the widest variety of boats on the market. For the most part the shows revolve around powerboats but we at ACK have taken it upon ourselves to remind event goers that you don’t have to break the bank just to have fun on the water. Our booth always offers an amazing display of kayaks to see, touch and learn about from our expert staff as well as the manufacturer representatives themselves who will also be on hand.
Below you can find the full 2013 Winter Boat Show Schedule. We hope to see you there and just like last year we’ll have some great offers!
ACK’s very own Kristian Kolflat, Austin Store Assistant Manager and KATS Tournament Director, was interviewed by Pat Kellner of FishTattoo. In the interview, Kristian speaks on ACK, KATS and kayak fishing in terms of both the industry itself as well as his own passion for the sport. Read the full interview here.
Pat Kellner is an avid blogger of the kayak fishing world, custom rodsmith, KATS participant & pro staff member for Bending Branches.
Alex from the ACK warehouse recently sent in this photo gallery from his day paddling around Austin’s urban waterway’s Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. Looks like he had a fun time, huh? Nothing like a lazy day on the water! – Joseph @ACK
ACK recently sponsored the second annual Fun Fun Fun FestAqua Olympics at Fiesta Gardens in Austin, Texas. We were out promoting our SurfTech SUP lineup and of course our upcoming Demo Days, giving away some swag and hanging out with the good people of Austin, Texas. The family-friendly event included SUP Jousting, SUP High Kick, a tug-o-war across the lake (with mayor Lee Leffingwell and City Council member Mike Martinez), a pro BMX launch into the water, a taco cannon (yes a taco cannon) and a lot more. In fact our very own Office Manager’s son, Jonathan, competed in SUP jousting and did well!
We had a ton of fun and met a lot of friendly faces we hope to see again in the future! – Trent @ ACK
ACK is excited to sponsor the second annual Aqua Olympics, an Austin original event involving a number of off-beat water competitions coupled with a festival on land that aims to be plenty of fun. The Aqua Olympics are associated with the popular music festival FunFunFun fest and are expected to bring close to a thousand in attendance!
So what sort of competitions are there going to be? The ones we’re most excited about are those taking place from the top of a Stand Up Paddleboard. These include the SUP high kick, freestyle & jousting – winners of these events will take home $50 ACK gift certificates as well as a free 24 hour kayak/SUP rental!
Of course there will be plenty of other goings on including slip and slide races, an across the lake north vs. south shore tug of war and a number of BMX/Skateboard showings (including a ramp into the water!). For all the details see highlights from the press release below:
Fun Fun Fun Fest is excited to announce the second annual Aqua Olympics taking place at Fiesta Gardens in Austin, TX on Sunday, August 19, beginning with Opening Ceremonies and registration at 4pm. Participants will have a chance to win prizes, including passes to the festival, by competing in events ranging from Stand Up Paddle Jousting to a “Revenge of the Nerds” Belching Contest. The festivities will also include live music, food and complimentary refreshments.
Competitors and teams for all events are encouraged to quickly register at funfunfunfest.com/2012_water_olympics. The festivities will also include pro riders soaring into the drink on the BMX Lagoon Launch and pro skaters ripping it up on the half pipe. You can also take part in giant slip n’ slide racing and other games. And, don’t forget about the FFF Taco Cannon, which will be on hand dispensing supreme taco deliciousness by the blast.
KGSR’s Andy Langer and 101X’s Trevin on the Radio will be providing the play-by-play during the competitions, while Riverboat Gamblers frontman Mike Wiebe reports live from the sidelines. No Fun Fun Fun Fest event would be complete without live music and delicious snacks. This year, Austin’s Learning Secrets DJs and FFF Fest 2012 group Orthy will perform at the Aqua Olympics, and Frank will provide delicious treats for sale on site. Complimentary refreshments will be provided.
This year, Fun Fun Fun Fest gives a respectful nod to one of the city’s other beloved festivals, Aqua Fest, which took place on the shores of Lady Bird Lake in decades past. And with the Summer Olympics heating up in London at the moment, participants should not be short on inspiration or competitive fervor.
So if you haven’t gotten your fill of Olympic events or are just in the mood for a fun-filled afternoon, come stop by our booth this Sunday! We’ll have t-shirts, a raffle & the friendliest smiles out there. Hope to see you there!
Editor’s Note: We are sad to announce that Michael, a valued ACK Austin store employee, will be leaving ACK to pursue his education in Colorado with his girlfriend. In many ways, Denver reminds us of Austin as an outdoor sports mecca and we look forward to hearing about his outdoor adventures. Michael recently visited Denver and we asked that he share his experience with us. Michael will be with us for a bit longer but we’ll go ahead and say it now, thanks for everything and we wish you the best of luck!
My girlfriend and I are leaving the wonderful city of Austin for another city that is a whole lot higher, in elevation that is — Denver, Colorado. Denver has always been somewhat of a majestic place for me; being a snow sports enthusiast I dreamt of nothing but fresh powder and immaculate corduroy awaiting the top of that first lift. There are quite a few lifts within a short drive of Denver.
We are both continuing our education and are taking the opportunity to move to this outdoor sports Mecca. I recently spent 3 days in Denver scouting out campuses, leasing opportunities and getting a feel for a culture that emanates passion, love and above all, respect for the great outdoors. Austin is known for a similar culture, as can be deduced from the seemingly numberless roof rack systems found on automobiles of all shapes and sizes. Denver is the only city I have ever experienced that actually rivals, if not surpasses Austin in the number of automobiles with roof rack systems. Yakima, Thule and Malone bike carriers, kayak carriers, and snowboard/ski carriers roamed the streets awaiting use. I counted nearly 25 whitewater kayaks in one day; needless to say a sight for sore eyes for Austin folks doing the rain dance daily. This was expected but nonetheless an observation that excited me to a high degree and looking forward to it.
Luke Adams from NRS paid us a visit at our Austin Demo Days back in April and showed off the features of a unique, inflatable fishing kayak called the NRS Pike. Luke covers all the features of the boat including its impressive stability for sight fishing, its portability, and plenty of other built-in features. Be sure to check back for more videos in our upcoming series of instructional and product overviews! – Trent @ACK
Last week I got to step into the Paramount Theatre here in Austin, Texas for the first time and catch the 2012 Fly Fishing Film Tour and to represent ACK as a sponsor of the event. It was a neat evening with many familiar faces. I have seen many of these folks in our stores or at CCA (Coastal Conservation Association) events, but a lot of people I had never seen, and mostly because fly fisherman can be a pretty subdued bunch. They aren’t looking for a high catch count as much as the perfect cast, presentation and of course the land. I consider myself to be an amateur fly fisherman and really do enjoy the sport but in some circles I am deemed “the worst fisherman on the planet” — I at least find peace in the cast and man, these movies make me want to get better!
My top 3 movies of the night were:
The Kodiak Project – I have longed to visit Alaska for many years. I think its beautiful country and this wild bunch of fellas seem like the kind of group I would fit right in with. I laughed so hard when I saw the guy in the bear costume and the fella I thought looked like an accountant turned out to be a Deadhead…Rock on! He could still be an accountant for all I know but he was slaying the steel head. An all around great video that got me excited to plan a trip.
Reverb – I liked this movie for the sheer weirdness of 3 guys entrenched in the Chicago punk rock scene finding common ground in, of all things, fly fishing. How does that happen? Punk rock is angry, loud and in your face…and fishing is, well, the exact opposite unless you like the lunacy of Mike Iaconelli. I’m not much of a fan of Iaconelli; act like you’ve been there before bro. Now if I caught a fish I would do a back flip out of my kayak…errr fall out of my kayak and tell people I was attempting a back flip.
Doc Of The Drakes – Just a touching piece about a guide and a retired doctor with Parkinson’s Disease chasing big fish after the hatch. The story was just the right pace to reflect on where you’ll be when fishing may not be the easiest thing to do anymore. The spirit of the outdoors still lived in Doc and I’m sure his guide learned a lot about life.
All in all an outstanding night! Got me fired up for the CCA banquet and I’m crossing my fingers that this is the year I finally win some prizes.