2014 Fall Demo Days: What’s New

Here at ACK we always aim to bring the latest and greatest to our  Demo Days and the 2014 Fall Demo Days is no exception. This season we’ve got a line up featuring new kayaks from Old Town, Wilderness Systems, Dagger, FeelFree and Hobie and we cant wait to get you all out on the water! Read more to get the dish on these hot new kayaks and make sure to try them out at Demo Days!

Old Town Predator XL

Like the rest of the family, XL incorporates all the innovative Predator features that put anglers on top of the food chain. And now Old Town Predator XLintroduces an industry changing XL Consoles, designed for electronics, storage and power customization in just seconds. Quickly convert to power by Minn-kota, for completely hands-free all-day navigation, trolling or structure fishing. This particular boat recently won ‘Best New Boat’ AND ‘Best in Show’ at this years ICAST trade show- the first boat to win two titles since ICAST 2009. Ultimately, it’s hard to not be impressed by the Predator XL!

Read more about the XL here and here. You can pre-order your Predator XL here!

Wilderness Systems Thresher 140*

15450Built with both the serious and the aspiring offshore angler in mind, the Thresher series ushers in the next generation of high performance big water sit-on-tops. The hull is efficient and quick, yet stable and predictable to handle ever-changing open water conditions. The deck is sleek and modern, with a thoughtful layout for maximum gear storage, capacity and accessibility. Along with familiar outfitting, the Thresher also introduces several advancements like water-shedding bow storage cover, versatile center hatch, and the FlexPod OS removable console for accommodating electronics or removable storage. If you are looking to upgrade your kayak or in the market for your first kayak the Thresher is a great option; both attractive and efficient in design this kayak wont disappoint.

Read more about the Thresher here and here. Already want it? Pre-order here.

Feelfree Lure 13.5

“The Lure 10 and 11.5 were an instant hit but some anglers demanded even more and Feelfree has 15454delivered” according to Jim Hager, Feelfree US, “We knew we had to do it, it was just a matter of time. The original Lures were designed to accommodate a growing market of kayak anglers seeking more comfort, more stability and multiple seating positions and we did just that. Now we fill the gap to satisfy the rest of them – the ones that want it all.”  Summed up the Lure 13.5 is a kayak that offers everything a kayaker would need- good looks, impressive features, and a solid brand backing it.

Read more about the Lure 13.5 here and  here. All about the 13.5? Pre-order it here.

Hobie Pro Angler 17T 


The new Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T is a fishing machine with comfort, stability and room for everything you need, including another person. Plus, it’s powered by the patented Hobie MirageDrive pedal system. Hobie took the qualities that made the original Pro Angler a fan favorite and expanded with Vantage XT seating, a drop-skeg, and a built in transducer mount to name a few. If comfort, size, and quality are what you are looking for the 17T is the tandem kayak for you!

Read more about the 17T  here and here. Already in love? Pre-order your 17T here.

Not only will this years demo day host new boats, but it will also feature clinics by industry pro’s and other outdoor gear for you to try out! Get more details and information at austinkayak.com/demo. We hope to see you there!

*Wilderness Thresher 140 available for demo exclusively at the Austin Demo Days. 

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 Heads East

One of the perks of traveling to my grandmothers 80th birthday party in North Carolina is the opportunity to visit some great vendors and get a first hand look at their operations. Asheville and Greenville are home to some giants in the business like Confluence, Legacy, Astral, ENO and Feel Free USA. Highlights of this week will not only be a reflection of 80 wonderful years of life but an in-depth look at how kayaks are made and the people behind them. I’m excited to see how Confluence handles so many great brands under one roof like Wilderness Systems, Perception, AT Paddles and Bomber Gear. Legacy (Native Watercraft & Liquid Logic) just moved facilities and I’m excited to hear the challenges involved in moving such massive equipment such as the large ovens they use for manufacturing kayaks.

Astral has a new line of shoes that I’m hoping I will get to try on and ENO makes one of my favorite products of all time, the hammock. Along for the ride is my 4 year old who will get to see a first hand look at what daddy does and how he interacts with people. I’ve also got a trail run planned with Werner rep Danny Mongo. These are just all great opportunities to strengthen the relationships we’ve cultivated over the last 6 years and I look forward to many more!

I want to get as many pictures of secret projects I can get as well as meet the people who make the products you love so stay tuned.