The Austin Canoe & Kayak (ACK) Demo Days are ACK’s pride and joy. Since 2006, the Demo Days have been a favorite bi-annual tradition where vendors, customers and employees alike get together and get on the water. This time honored event has grown from a small gathering at the Texas Rowing Center on Ladybird Lake with a handful of vendors and their boats to a two weekend extravaganza on rented out lakes with almost every kayak, stand up paddleboard and canoes out on the water for customers to paddle. Vendors fly in, old co-workers stop by and locals flock to the four different demos in Austin, San Marcos, Conroe and Mississippi City, Texas to enjoy a beautiful Saturday and/or Sunday on the water with the coolest new gear and ACK offerings. All the Demo Days feature clinics from our vendors, vendor pro-staff and ACK experts in everything from “Fly Fishing from Your Kayak” to “Filming on Your Kayak with Yak Gear Accessories”. The original “How To Paddle (The Basics)” clinic remains one of our most popular and is always the kick starter to the weekend.
While Demo Days has blossomed from a small get together to an all out on-the-water boat show, the true purpose of the event has remained the same. “There is no one-size-fits-all kayak or canoe and that’s exactly why we host Demo Days. We want our customers to get a true feel for how a kayak paddles and what is comfortable for them” explains ACK CEO, Peter Messana. “The best way to achieve this is to get out on the water and paddle a few options. Demo Days gives people the convenience of doing just that with a large selection of makes and models all at once.” Getting inside a kayak or standing on top of a paddleboard is the best way to really get a feeling for what you are looking for and that is why ACK pushes the event like it does. Customers should rest assured that they are getting the best boat for their needs and Demo Days is one of the many ways ACK works to ensure that happens.
Now in it’s 9th year, the ACK Demo Days continue to grow and now hosts up to 400 attendees in a single weekend at one location’s demo; an exponentially larger number from the original 50 who attended in 2006. This kind of attendance is exactly what Peter and Steve Messana dreamed up when the idea conceptualized back during the first year of business. Although the events are significantly larger, many of the details have stayed the same. The one-on-one customer service is still prominent as well as the entrance fee which is and will continue to be, free to all attendees. “Our ultimate goal is to get people out on the water and share our passion with us,” explains ACK Vice President of Store Operations and Co-Owner, Chris Hackerd, “that is by far the most rewarding part of the Demo Days and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring.”
Want to come and check it out for yourself? The ACK Demo Days will be taking place in Fall of this year with all the clinics, gear and fun you can handle. For more information check out ack.com/demo and mark your calendars!
-Dayvee @ ACK