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People ask me, “Why do you love Jackson Kayak’s so much?” Such an interesting question if you think about it. There are a lot of brand options out there when it comes to whitewater boats, not to mention the styles of these boats. I think my “obsession” as some people call it, with Jackson Kayak started back in 2007 or 2008. What first caught my attention was the story of EJ. Here is an individual who decided to hang it all out there and go out on his own to develop a better boat, a better experience, a better brand. To me that is what this country is all about, people taking a chance, starting a small business and pushing it to what is now the market leader in whitewater kayaks.

I started following the company not just from a fan perspective but more so in market share and development. I watched from a far this amazing brand develop and grow. I noticed a posting on the JK website back in 2008, I think, for a contest. The first person to buy the Here and Now video would win a free 2 hour session with Nick Troutman. As a father who is trying to develop his children into whitewater paddlers I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have on of the best paddlers in the world teach my oldest son. The contest started at 12 midnight central time so I got up at 12:45 am EST to log on and purchase the video. I thought to myself who knows, maybe I will win but if nothing else I wanted this video. I called down to the factory the next day to see who was the first to purchase and I found out that I had won….talk about excited!!!

It took awhile for us to get the actual date scheduled but we finally did for a weekend in April of 2009. Turns out it was the weekend after Nick and Emily got back from their wedding/honeymoon in Mexico. My son Tristan and I packed up the car, loaded boats and headed down to Rock Island State Park where we camped for two nights. Nick met us at the campgrounds early Saturday morning and we went to breakfast at a local favorite. After that we stopped by EJ’s house to pick up a boat and borrow some of Dane’s paddling clothing. What was only scheduled to be a 2 hour session turned into and entire day of paddling and hanging out with Nick and the Jackson’s. Nick had Tristan rolling in no time, we paddled all day at Rock Island, had lunch and hung out at EJ’s house and then dinner at the same place we had breakfast….Nick even bought dinner.

I guess what I am trying to say is Nick went way above and beyond the call of duty in this contest and spent the entire day and part of the night with us. To me that not only speaks highly of the person Nick is but it also says so much about the company he works for and the type of people they have supporting, working for, and representing them.

In today’s world of ,”GO, GO, GO and I need it yesterday” it is so refreshing to see a company and it’s people take the time, the extra time to be with their customers and just hang out and have fun.

Why do I like Jackson Kayak’s so much…the product, the history, and the PEOPLE!

See you on the river….in a Jackson of course!