Google Hangout: Hatch Installation

Venus 11 Hatch Kit

Time: 6:00 PM CST

Date: Jan. 21st, 2012

How to View Broadcast:

Google+ Members: Click here to enter the Hangout

Non Google+ Members: View the broadcast below at the scheduled time

The Hangout will star ACK’s very own Chris Hackerd, co-owner and VP of store operations, who has offered to lend some of his time to demonstrate how to install a new hatch for your kayak.

Google+ members can view this broadcast either in Google+ or within this blog. Only the first ten Google + members to log in through Google+ will have the option to participate in the Q&A. If you are not a Google+ member you can still view the presentation here. The video will stream live below at the schedule time. Stay tuned!

Google Hangout: Flush Mounted Rod Holder Install

Time: 6:30 PM

Date: Dec. 18th, 2012

How to View Broadcast:

Google+ Members: Click here to enter the Hangout

Non Google+ Members: View the broadcast below at the scheduled time

The Hangout will star ACK’s very own Chris Hackerd, co-owner and VP of store operations, who has offered to lend some of his time to demonstrate how to install a flush mounted rod holder on a kayak.

Google+ members can view this broadcast either in Google+ or within this blog. Only the first ten Google + members to log in through Google+ will have the option to participate in the Q&A. If you are not a Google+ member you can still view the presentation here.

Visit to the Heart of the Paddling World – Part 3 of 5

Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations and one of three ACK co-owners, is an avid mountain biker, birder, ‘yak angler and all around outdoors-man. Recently, Chris traveled east to North Carolina to celebrate his grand mother’s 80th birthday and took the opportunity to visit many of the manufacturers based out of the area including Confluence, Legacy, WernerEnoAstralFeel Free/Pyrahna. Below is part three of his trip. See part two here.

Visiting Eno

I had more time on my hands so I popped into ENO which produces one of my very favorite products, the ENO Doublenest Hammock. I have one on my deck and now that it’s cooled down some I’m back in it nightly. ENO stands for Eagles Nest Outfitters and they’ve been in the same building for about 13 years and love the outdoors scene in Asheville. With the endless hiking and camping trails it’s no wonder it’s an ideal spot for these folks.

I got a tour of the facility and viewed their pick, pack and ship process. So many of the employees had been there for several years. One of the highlights of working at ENO is that right across the street is 2 local favorite watering holes Green Man Brewing and Next Generation Beer. Note to self…head back this way after I’m done with my visits. ENO has an employee on hand named Elijah that is a master welder and wood worker. I had to take a picture of this conference room table it was beautiful!

Since this visit was unannounced I needed to get out of Adam Cohens hair and on my way to Astral! They’re conveniently located near the French Broad river so they can paddle right after work so I hurried on over!

Chris@ACK

Next up, Chris tries on the new Brewer from Astral.

Visit to the Heart of the Paddling World – Part 2 of 5

Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations and one of three ACK co-owners, is an avid mountain biker, birder, ‘yak angler and all around outdoors-man. Recently, Chris traveled east to North Carolina to celebrate his grand mother’s 80th birthday and took the opportunity to visit many of the manufacturers based out of the area including Confluence, Legacy, WernerEnoAstralFeel Free/Pyrahna. Below is part two of his trip. See part one here.

Dinner with Werner & A Day At Legacy

I had dinner with Danny Mongo of Werner later that night and he got me up to date on the paddling scene in Asheville. I had no clue when I was spending all my time at my Grandma’s house that I was directly in the heart of what seemed like the paddling center of the universe. Whitewater, Sup, Rec and Fishing all close at hand. The sheer number of kayaks on the roofs of cars was shocking.

My next stop was Legacy paddle sports at their new location as they’ve moved from Greenville, SC to Asheville in the last few months. It certainly had that unfinished look to it but was busting at the seems with potential and innovation. My first stop was RD where I got to take a look at some new color combinations they were working on…pretty sweet looking.

Mike Hooks walked me out onto the floor and it was beautiful! More American workers, sewing, molding and building kayaks and accessories. A couple of dogs were playfully fighting over a chew toy in the corner. Everyone greeted Mike with a smile and seemed happy to be at work which is a great way to keep product quality high in my mind.

The process of molding the kayaks here was very similar to what I saw in Easly, SC. It was fun trying to figure out what mold fit which boat without looking. I got to talk and feel the molds up close and ask questions about how they worked. When I was younger I worked for a plastic injection mold builder for the auto industry. Some of the principals were similar but this was totally different. The injection process has the plastic shot into it while the roto-mold method has carefully measured out tubs of colored resin. This is such a neat experience.

The Legacy team which houses Native and Liquid Logic under one roof has a world of opportunity in front of it and cares deeply about the Whitewater, SUP, Rec and Fishing communities.

Chris@ACK

Next up, Chris spends the day at Eno…

Visit to the Heart of the Paddling World – Part 1 of 5

Chris Hackerd, VP of Store Operations and one of three ACK co-owners, is an avid mountain biker, birder, ‘yak angler and all around outdoors-man. Recently, Chris traveled east to North Carolina to celebrate his grand mother’s 80th birthday and took the opportunity to visit many of the manufacturers based out of the area including Confluence, Legacy, Werner, Eno, Astral & Feel Free/Pyrahna. Below is part one of his trip.

First Stop, Confluence

Landed in Greenville, SC and the first spot on the docket was to hit up Confluence Watersports. They have a new manufacturing facility that I was dying to see. However I had to make a quick detour to Quaker Steak and Lube when I saw a sign from the highway promoting the top notch wing joint. It was a place I frequented as a college kid in Ohio.

Walking through the doors of Confluence I bumped into so many familiar faces from the Outdoor Retailer show. I was stunned at how large the new facility was. I met up with Scott our customer service rep and started the tour. He walked me through R and D, Customer service and I stumbled on a quality control meeting with the top brass. Everyone was so nice and happy to see me.

Growing up in Detroit, manufacturing was a part of my life – my father was a 35 year employee of Ford Motor Company. The similarities of the environment were not lost on me and it warmed my heart to see American manufacturing taking place. This was the first time I was seeing how kayaks are made and it was an eye opening experience. I actually got to see the old method of roto-molding kayaks where the mold rotated and the oven actually moved versus the new method where the molds rotated through a 3 stage process of heating, cooling and retraction all while spinning and rotating.

I also viewed multiple kayaks going through their hardware installation assembly line. Air tools and efficiency at it’s best. I stumbled across some new Wilderness Ride seat’s being built specifically for ACK and got a big hug from Linda in the parts department which I’m told can cure everything that ails you. I’m not gonna lie…I felt a little better. I bid farewell to Scott and headed on my way to Asheville to link up with my family. Still had some business to attend to but had a smile on my face after seeing where the products I sell are being made.

Chris @ACK

Next up…Chris visits Werner and spends a day at Legacy Paddlesports.

ACK Takes a Detour to MOAB

ACK President/Co-Owner, Steve Messana and VP of Store Operations/Co-Owner, Chris Hackerd took a detour on their way to the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah to partake in an exhilarating mountain bike adventure in none other than MOAB! I’d ask them for all the details but as always, they are busy so instead we’ll share a visual experience — one that will certainly help you understand why it’s considered one of the best places to go mountain biking in America. Maybe they’ll invite me next year. – Roland @ACK