Press Releases

Most of the names on the 2012 Wilderness Systems Pro Staff roster have long been at the forefront of the kayak fishing phenomenon. This year, new talent from every corner of the industry joins the ample experience and enthusiasm of the industry icons. As competitors, trainers and ambassadors for the sport, the Wildy Pro Staff is a crew of undeniable experts – accessible to anyone with an interest in getting on the water and fishing from a new perspective.  “I'm excited about what the 2012 Wilderness Systems Pro Staff has to offer,” said Chad Hoover, team manager and long-time Pro Staff member. “Our team consists of some of the best anglers in the sport with diverse skill sets. Our goal is to provide anglers of all skill levels with valuable insights and expertise to make their time on the water more enjoyable.” Here is the roster for the 2012 Wilderness Systems Pro Staff: Chad Hoover (Norfolk, Va.): Author of Kayak Bass Fishing; host of NBC Sports Knot Right Kayak Fishing; Owns www.kayakbassfishing.com and jovially owns up to his nickname, “Knot Right.” Captain Dean Thomas (Aransas Pass, Texas): Guide, mentor, and non-discriminatory angler who will fish for whatever is biting. Jeff Little (New Windsor, Md.): Author, resident river smallmouth expert and undaunted by a little snowstorm when it comes to getting out on the water. Co-owner of ConfidenceBaits.net Jeff Suber (Crawfordville, Fla.): Adventure junkie and shallow water redfish fanatic, who co-organizes the largest charity kayak fishing tournament on the Florida Gulf Coast. Chris Fierro (San Diego, Calif.): Specializes in large species off the coast of Southern California and Baja, Mexico. When he’s not fishing with rod and reel, he’s spear diving from his Tarpon 160. CJ Siebler (San Diego, Calif.): At 24-years old, CJ is the youngest Pro Staffer and an unchallenged expert at rigging with advanced wiring and electronics. Chris LeMessurier (Berkley, Mich.): ACA-certified kayak instructor and record-holding angler. Owner of KayakFishtheGreatLakes.com and organizer of the popular NoMo Charity Fishing Tounrament. Bill Schultz (New Berlin, Wis.): Overall fitness advocate and smallmouth bass aficionado, Bill is the leading voice of fishing for smallies in legendary Door County. Joe Poole (Leander, Texas): Loves…
Kokatat announced today that John Horsnell has joined its sales team serving the Midwest territory including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.   “John brings a great mix of sales savvy and paddlesports experience to serve our dealers and the passionate paddling community in one of our most important territories,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat sales and marketing manager.   Horsnell comes to Kokatat with over 15 years of sales experience and currently represents multiple leading outdoor brands.  He has previously represented paddlesports specific brands Yakima rack systems, Bell Canoes, Dagger, and Perception kayaks.    “Ever since working retail at Midwest Mountaineering I have always been enamored with the quality and innovation of Kokatat products,” said Horsnell.  “I’m excited to grow Kokatat’s business and provide exceptional retail support in the region.”   Horsnell is a lifelong paddlesports enthusiast and has completed multiple thousand-mile canoe trips throughout the Canadian Yukon and Northwest Territories.   To contact John, email him at  or call 608-206-9242.
The 7th annual Reel Paddling Film Festival premiered last night at The Royal Cinema on College Street in Toronto, hosted by The Complete Paddler. The keen audience was treated to the first screenings of some of the year’s award winning films. The full list of winners are: Best Sea Kayaking Film: In Rescues – Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown, you’ll see exciting and practical rescue coaching sessions from one of the world’s top coaches. Best Canoeing Film: Tracing the Columbia brings together two historical moments: David Thompson’s charting of the Columbia River in 1811 and the 45-day journey paddling the river to mark the 200th anniversary of Thompson’s achievement.  Best Whitewater Film: In Wildwater, journey into the places only river runners can go.  It’s a visually stunning feast for the senses, and an expedition into new ideas. Best Kayak Fishing Film: ExOfficio Presents Kayak Fishing: Game On 4 Jim Sammons hooks up with Paul Harwood on the Fraser River in BC with the goal of catching one of the areas enormous sturgeon.  Best Environmental Paddling Film: The Pipedreams Project follows 3 kayakers on their epic two-month expedition to oppose a $5.5 Billion pipeline project in British Columbia.  Best Paddling Documentary: Chasing Water is the story of Pete McBride, a child of the Colorado River, as he decides to follow the water from his ranch in Western Colorado to see where it ends up.    Best Amateur/Short Paddling Film: So Fine sees Zac Crouse develop banjo paddling with the help from a Muppet.  Best Instructional Paddling Film: Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing with Becky Mason will leave you spellbound by the advanced strokes and maneuvers she shows and the stunning underwater camera angles.   Best Stand-up Paddling Film: In Standup 4 Greatbear, Norm Hann takes us on a 400km SUP expedition through the Great Bear Rainforest, and along the proposed North Coast oil tanker route. “We have more screenings in more cities than ever before,” says Scott MacGregor, Founder and Publisher of Rapid Media “With so many new paddling shops, clubs and events hosting the World Tour, we’re well on our way to blowing 100 showings right out of the water.” Katie Mutton, Assistant Manager of The Complete Paddler, the host of the…
Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK), announces the acceptance of the SNEWS/Backpacker “Best Online Retailer” award. The award recognizes retailers who embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and who serve as visionaries for the outdoor market and leaders of the communities they serve. “We are honored to have won this award, going up against the likes of larger companies such as REI and Backcountry.com makes this award extra special to us,” said Peter Messana, Austin Canoe and Kayak CEO, “it’s a validation that we are providing the best possible service to our customers and we look forward to continuing to deliver this service.” Steve Messana, Austin Canoe and Kayak President, added: “We are proud of our entire staff for making this possible and most of all, we are grateful for those who voted for us. This award combined with the massive expansion of our product offering is legitimizing ACK as a full fledged outdoor adventure retailer.” The winners were announced at an industry ceremony hosted by SNEWS, Backpacker and program sponsor Horny Toad during the 2012 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. About Austin Canoe and KayakFounded over 20 years ago, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) is an award-winning paddlesports and outdoor retailer based out of Central Texas dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and the widest selection of paddlesports and outdoor equipment. ACK operates three physical retail shops in Austin, San Marcos and Houston, Texas and an online store at www.AustinKayak.com. If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Austin Canoe and Kayak, please call Roland Jimenez at 512.687.3010, or email .
The MSR WhisperLite Universal stove has been honored as a recipient of a 2012 Backpacker magazine Editors’ Choice Award, the most prestigious award in the outdoor industry, given annually to products in recognition of their outstanding innovation in design, materials and/or performance. Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his staff of editors and testers presented MSR with the award for the WhisperLite Universal stove at the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday, January 19th. The Backpacker Editors’ Choice Awards, bestowed annually since 1993, honor the products thatBackpacker editors have chosen as the best of the year based on months of trail testing by teams of highly experienced hikers and climbers. With no set categories for the awards and no set number of recipients, the products and the testing process drive the award categories. The MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove was one of only 13 innovative products that have been honored with a 2012 Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award. The new stove is MSR’s first hybrid-fuel stove and combines canister and liquid fuel capabilities into one comprehensive package. Fuel-specific jets and fuel source couplers let it burn just about anything, from white gas and kerosene to unleaded gasoline, while an inverted canister improves performance. "BACKPACKER gear reviews have many imitators, a few competitors, and no equals," said Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Dorn. "That's because no other magazine or website conducts in-depth field-testing as vigorously or impartially as the crew led by Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter. With a core team that has several centuries of combined trail time, along with first descents, decades of retail experience, and expertise in every backcountry discipline, Kristin puts new products through an unprecedented level of real-world abuse in every terrain and weather imaginable. She also oversees a transparent process that has earned an unrivaled amount of trust from readers, retailers, and manufacturers. The results are reviews that lead consumers to smart, durable products that consistently prove their worth with years of best-in-class performance." “Since MSR’s inception in 1969, we’ve been committed to quality, local manufacturing and innovation. The WhisperLite Universal is the result of years of hard work and, at long last, easily…

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