Jackson Kayak Named Leading Whitewater and Fishing Kayak Manufacturer

Company named fasted growing brand according to Leisure Trends Q1 report* JK maintains the industry lead in whitewater for sixth year, while earning top spot in fishing sales for the first time
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May 10, 2012: Jackson Kayak has been named the top whitewater and fishing kayak manufacturer by Leisure Trends Group's recent Quarter 1 Paddle RetailTRAKâ„¢ report. The Sparta, Tenn.-based company, founded by top level whitewater competitive kayaker Eric Jackson (recently winning New England Triple Crown), has seen a continued growth in its expanding brand of boats.

Jackson's company has seen a meteoric rise in its fishing line of kayaks since entering the market just 18 months ago. At specialty, Jackson Kayak is posting the highest ROI (return on investment) for fishing kayaks, more than twice that of any of top five selling companies due to high sales, high margin, low inventory, and a high number of inventory turns.

Nearly two years ago, professional kayak angler Drew Gregory teamed up with Jackson Kayak to assist in producing its fishing kayaks. Gregory, along with lead designer Tony Lee helped bring the idea of the Coosa and ‘Cuda from concept to reality.

“When I first started working with Jackson Kayak, undoubtedly our goal was to be the leader in fishing kayaks, but I couldn't have imagined it would happen this fast,” Gregory said. “To me, this is a reflection of the dedication, determination and overall industry experience of those within this special, family-owned American company.”

In the specialty channel, the report ranks Jackson Kayak No. 1 in total units sold (2,156) – selling nearly twice as many units as its closest competitor. The company was also atop the list in dollars sold ($2,406,188) and gross margin return on investment (GMROI) with a mark of 3.95.

In the individual category, JK's Coosa model was the top seller, and its ‘Cuda was No. 4, despite being released just six months ago. JK sold 879 Coosa's for a total of $950,067 with a GMROI of 4.20, while the ‘Cuda sold 637 units for $740,404 with a GMROI of 4.90.

Its whitewater division was named the fastest growing brand in both units and dollars sold year-to-date (January – March 2012) as compared to the same period a year ago (2011).

Jackson's expanding line of kayaks becomes a reality with the help of lead designer Dave Knight, along with a talented staff of innovators.

“We are proud to see that we are underway to be leading the industry in whitewater sales, gross margin, and ROI for the seventh season in a row,” Eric Jackson, president of Jackson Kayak said. “We are very proud of how our protected territories, policies, products that are refreshed more often than any other brand and marketing come together to make a great package for our dealers. We aim to keep improving, but it is a good moment to look at what we have already accomplished as a team, throw a few high fives, and then get back to work before we lose our edge!”

Across all three paddle channels (specialty, chain and online), the report ranks Jackson Kayak No. 1 in total units sold (996), and dollars sold ($1,013,081) – both up more than 145% from the same period last year.

*Source – Leisure Trends Group's Paddle RetailTRAK – a POS retail sale tracking service for the paddlesports business.

About Jackson Kayak: Jackson Kayak was founded in 2003 by Eric Jackson. Currently located in Sparta, Tenn., near the Caney Fork River, Jackson Kayak designs, builds, and manufactures a multitude of models. Their line of high quality kayaks includes whitewater, creeking, touring, environmental, and fishing. Converting an old Levi Jeans factory into their manufacturing headquarters, Jackson Kayak has assisted not only in furthering the kayak industry but also promoting the economy of Sparta.

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CONTACT:
James McBeath 613-256-0598 james@jacksonkayak.com

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