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.

Video Update: Balance, At Ease

How should paddling fit into your life? What about the outdoors in general? Striking the right balance between outdoor fun and work is a reality most of us have to face. A new online video series called “Balance” aims addresses this topic and their first episode, At Ease, focuses on kayaker Blair Trotman.

Balance Ep.1- At Ease from Lee Visual on Vimeo.

Watch the Teva Mountain Games on NBC this Sunday!

NBC Sports’ World of Adventure Sports (WoAS) returns this Sunday with coverage from the 2012 Teva Mountain Games earlier this year. This event called athletes from around the world including paddlers (kayaks & SUPs), cyclists, runners and more from a total of 23 different disciplines. Sadly, ACK was not in attendance, but we kept up with the coverage and were really impressed. You can count that we’ll be watching this Sunday and suggest you do too! The show will air on NBC on Oct. 14th, 2:30 – 4:30 PM ET.  – Joseph@ACK

NRS Releases Full Length “Remains of a River” Film

You might’ve caught occasional video updates on our blog sharing the video submissions to NRS of 2 friends who took it upon themselves to journey the entire Colorado River from its furthest inland source in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains to Mexico, a total of 1,700 miles. Since the completion of their trip, NRS has compiled the submitted and edited episodes for a final full length film. Just under 50 minutes, we hope you enjoy this amazing journey as much as we have. In the words of NRS, “at turns inspiring and alarming, this will have you laughing, marveling, shaking your head, and maybe planning an adventure of your own.” We certainly agree. – Joseph@ACK

Of Souls + Water, The Warrior – NRS Video

NRS doesn’t skimp when it comes to their short films. You might’ve caught our updates recently on the Remains of a River Series, but they’ve just released the next installment of their equally impressive Of Souls + Water and we couldn’t help but share. The fourth persona of their five part series which tell the real stories of five water bound archetypes, the warrior has fought all his life – on and off the water. Now, he finds peace  through his sport. – Joseph@ACK

“Years later…when I think everything is lost and gone, empty feeling in my gut, I go down to the river and get a surfboard and go surfing.” – Christopher Peterson, the Warrior

Remains of a River, Episode 4 – NRS Video

Will and Zak continue their ‘source to sea’ mission on their own in this latest installment from the NRS Remains of a River series. Watch as they immerse themselves in the “simplicity of the river” and ponder their reasoning for taking on such a journey. Props to these guys and may it inspire your own paddling adventure. Watch other episodes from the series here. – Joseph@ACK

Remains of a River, Episode 3 – NRS Video

Maybe you’ve been keeping up with Will and Zak from NRS on their journey to paddle the Green and Colorado Rivers from source to sea. If you haven’t, you can watch the first couple of installments at the NRS website, here. Otherwise, enjoy the latest update below.

Just saw the @NRSWeb Remains of a River ep. 3 @austinkayak, watch it here

-Tweet this to your friends and followers!


ACKTV Update: NRS Pike Overview

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

Inspiration and Contemplations

Creativity is key when shooting photos outdoors.

It seems fitting that as a first post to the ACK blog I pose a question…which I’ll do in just a moment or two. My first intention is to introduce you to what we’ll chat about here and I do hope the word “chat” becomes operable as I’d like these posts to be exchanges in which both you the reader and I get to learn — the only way to do that is if you post replies to my ramblings.

So, given my diverse background which is reflected in my passions, I’ll touch on almost anything that comes to mind. You won’t find a post about cooking unless it happens to be that I’m cooking while camping. You won’t find a post about getting lost in the woods unless there’s a GPS/compass mentioned. You won’t find a post about aperture settings unless it relates to working with that spiffy new GoPro that you just…oh, who am I kidding? We’re going to get to talk about TONS of great stuff because our activities out there are directly supported by ACK’s retail operations.

Cool, eh?

So, let’s start with that question; what is it that inspires and motivates us to be outdoors? Or, perhaps more precisely related to this blog, what makes us pursue trying to capture those moments via photography or videography when outdoors?

I find as a professional photographer that I *need* motivation and inspiration to get out and shoot. Usually for me the motivation is easy — there are just so many incredibly worthy things to see in the world so sometimes it’s the inspiration that I really need. I seek inspiration by viewing the work of others. I try to see through their eyes and by doing so hope to gain a fresh perspective that I might apply when I look through the camera’s viewfinder.

To be clear, we’re not talking about copying here but rather looking at imagery in a way that makes us THINK when we’re composing an image because great imagery isn’t (usually) accidental — though I must say the squirrel photo bomb certainly was both great and accidental.

I think we could all gain a bit of inspiration by having a gander at this remarkable collection of images from this year’s Smithsonian Magazine’s Annual Photo contest.

By spending a little time reviewing these images, I bet the next time you’re out on that kayak in flooded cypress, cresting a hill on a mountain bike, or even hiking a quiet path you’ll find the inspiration and motivation to pull out that camera and try to capture a bit of the beauty of the world around us. I hope so anyway.

When viewing these, try to keep a few things in mind; what’s compelling about the composition? Why does it work or why doesn’t it work for you? Might you have composed the image differently and if so how and why?

Next up, we’ll chat about editing — gonna stick to photography for the first few posts here. We’ll start with what the digital era has forced upon us and how to avoid spending HOURS in front of a computer editing after shooting for days while out there.

Kendal Larson

About the author – Kendal is a Houston-based professional award winning photographer and ACK guest blogger. His parents were fairly certain when he was small that he was part fish because he loved so much his time in/on the water. That’s never changed and you’ll see the intimate connection he has with the outdoors in both his writing and his imagery. For more information or to view some of Kendal’s work visit