We should start by thanking all of you who came out to our Austin Kayak Demo and Expo. Over 300 people made it to the Hyde Park Quarry here in Austin, Texas to try out kayaks, canoes and SUPs, talk shop and attend our free clinics. Saturday was a beautiful day here in Austin but the weather had other plans for us on Sunday. Despite the steady rain, we still had a good turnout throughout the day and our customers made it all worth the while! If you weren’t able to make it out to the Austin demo or if you want to spend a little more time with that special boat, don’t fret! This weekend (September 22 & 23) we’ll be hosting our San Marcos and Houston demos so there’s more fun to go around. Enjoy the photos!
It’s that time again! The 2012 Fall 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, at each location, we will offer a one day on the water demo and a second day expo complete with clinics and BBQ at the store. The on the water demos will take place on a Saturday for each of the two-day events and will be all about getting you in a boat and on the water! We will offer a wide selection of kayaks, standup paddleboards and canoes all available for demo. Additionally, each Saturday will feature 2-3 paddling related clinics to help you learn tips and tricks while on the water. On Sunday for each of the two-day events, an Expo will take place at each store that will showcase outdoor products for hiking, camping, outdoor travel and much more. Clinics will take place all day long on Sunday covering a variety of topics and there will be plenty of BBQ to munch on while you attend and browse around! Representatives for many of our vendors will be on hand to answer questions you may have.
Saturday – Hyde Park Quarries, Sept. 15th (On-the-Water Demo) 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday – ACK Austin Store, Sept. 16th (Expo), 10 am – 5 pm
San Marcos, Texas:
Saturday – Texas Ski Ranch, Sept. 22nd (On-the-Water Demo), 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday – ACK San Marcos Store, Sept. 23rd (Expo), 10 am – 5 pm
Houston Demo Days:
Saturday – Independence Park, Sept. 22nd (On-the-Water Demo), 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday – ACK Houston Store, Sept. 23rd (Expo), 10 am – 5 pm
Check back in for the latest details including clinic times and topics!
Ahh, demo days, a paddler’s dream come true. It’s not often one gets the opportunity to demo over 75 kayaks and attend a variety of outdoor educational clinics in one day and in one place. It’s no wonder we get huge crowds of eager paddlers, curious bystanders and general outdoor enthusiasts year after year. This year was no exception!
While the Houston and San Marcos demo days went on without a hitch, the Austin location event ran into a bit of a snag. We’ve always stood by our “rain or shine” philosophy but this time, we were met with a no water situation due to extreme drought conditions — something we never had to deal with before. Did that stop us? Oh no…far from it.
We tried to change locations to keep the demo on water but due to the short time frame it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, we opted for an “off the water” demo day at our Austin store parking lot and it actually turned out to be quite a successful and well-attended event! Customers were greeted with vendors on site to answer questions, paddling and camping clinics, food and refreshments, hourly prize raffles and even a face painter for the kiddos. Missed it? Click to view photos of the Austin, Houston and San Marcos events.
We’d like to thank you, our customers, for attending these events. A lot of hard work goes into planning and hosting our demo days but experiencing the enjoyment you get from it makes it all worth it. I also want to offer a sincere thanks to all of our vendors and volunteers for helping us make this one of the most sought after paddling events in Texas.
We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Spring Kayak Demo Days and Outdoor Expo…until then, let’s hope for some rain!
Ahh, ACK kayak demo days, they can be a logistical nightmare but at the end of the day every ounce of energy that is poured into the planning and execution of the event is well worth it from every perspective and we hope that for those of you that attended, you would agree!
Now, we do realize that a large percentage of our website visitors are out of state. If you are a fan of our Facebook page or follow Twitter you probably got sick and tired of hearing about our demo days and getting teased with a variety of pictures and videos but we just can’t help it. It’s probably the most exciting, educational and fulfilling event we organize so we must tell the world! The good news is that this is probably the last time you’ll hear about our demo days at least for a few months.
But before we put a final note on all this, we have to extend a big thank you to all the vendors, representatives, volunteers, speakers and ACK employees for helping make this one of our most successful events ever. More importantly, we must thank all of the attendees for joining us this year. We experienced record attendance and because of your feedback from previous years, we were able to make some changes to provide a more convenient and pleasant experience for everyone.
Some of these changes included a more streamlined pricing structure and presentation, more staff on hand and additional off-the-water educational clinics. One clinic in particular that seemed to have garnered a lot of interest was our beginners paddling class before each demo day. We noticed that many people were intimated by the idea of trying out a bunch of kayaks because they didn’t know how to paddle so we thought these would help break the ice, so to speak. I could go on and on about all of our clinics, boats that were on the water and so on but instead, I’ll close this blog with a link to a short demo day clip we put together here.