Press Room

Buzz Building as Spring Consumer Shows Approach

Buzz Building at JO Watercraft as Spring Consumer Shows Approach

Old Town, Maine (March 5, 2014)

Winter’s icy grip may have a hold on much of the country, but things are heating up at the Johnson Outdoors Watercraft facility in Old Town, Maine. With the 2014 consumer paddlesports shows on the horizon a palpable buzz is building around the direction of the brand portfolio, the new Pro Staff and Adventure Team and the state of the paddling industry as a whole.

Home to some of the most storied names in paddlesports, including Old Town Canoes & Kayaks, Ocean Kayak, Necky Kayaks, Carlisle Paddles and Extrasport PFDs, the Johnson Outdoors Watercraft brands share centuries of experience, a proven track record of innovation and above all a passion for adventure and exploration. New products, as always, are at the center of the excitement as the brands’ set course for the year with a host of product introductions.

Ocean Kayak’s newest innovation, the Prowler Big Game II, is currently landing at retail, while Old Town will continue to build on the success of its Predator line with a top-secret model this summer. Necky will add an exciting new carbon fiber and wood kayak to its popular Eliza series, along with two updated Rip Series kayaks featuring drop skegs that were developed in response to consumer demand.

“Our 2014 line up is arguably our strongest offering to date and we’re getting ready for a big year,” states Luke LaBree, marketing and communications manager for Johnson Outdoors Watercraft. “Its been a harsh cold winter but the up side to the heavy snows that much of the country has seen will be a great spring run off and ample water to enjoy throughout the season.”

Numerous factors are contributing to the excitement at Johnson Outdoors Watercraft, not the least of which is the fact that the leadership team under Bill Kelly, VP – Outdoor Gear and Watercraft now has a full year of working together under their collective belt. Industry veterans Tim Magoon, Bill McDonough, David Hadden, Luke LaBree and Paul Johnson are driving the Manufacturing, R&D, brand marketing, communication and sales teams respectively, and in concert, to craft a unified platform on which retail partners can sell and one that helps the brand’s consumer base fully understand and appreciate what separates Johnson Outdoors Watercraft from the competition.

Also central to the buzz is the now fully complete transformation and consolidation of the Johnson Outdoors Watercraft headquarters in Maine. Home to Old Town Canoe since 1898, the facility has undergone an extensive remodel to now house all Watercraft brands. The campus includes R&D, sales and marketing offices, customer service teams and warehousing, and features eight state of the art roto-molding ovens capable of producing up to 200,000 new boats a year. Combined with the facilities’ unparalleled testing lab and quality control center, the new state of the art factory is poised to help propel the brands forward for generations to come.

Consumers can get a first look at the 2014 Johnson Outdoors Watercraft brand offerings at some of the industry’s hallmark spring events, Canoecopia March 7 – 9, Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesports show, March 28 – 30 and the Kittery Trading Post Paddlesports show, March 28 – 30.

Open to the public, each show will provide a chance to preview new product, speak with brand representatives, attend a myriad of clinics and presentations and simply help shake off the winter to get ready for spring.
For more information on the Johnson Outdoor Watercraft brands please visit the following websites:

Necky Kayaks           Ocean Kayak           Old Town Canoes & Kayaks

Carlisle Paddles           Extrasport PFD 

For more information on Canoecopia, Jersey Paddler and the Kittery Trading Post New England Paddlesports show please visit:

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that turns ideas into adventure with innovative, top-quality products. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Gear. Johnson Outdoors' familiar brands include, among others: Old Town® canoes and kayaks; Ocean Kayak™ and Necky® kayaks; Carlisle® paddles; Extrasport® personal flotation devices; Minn Kota® motors; Cannon® downriggers; Humminbird® marine electronics; LakeMaster® electronic charts; SCUBAPRO® and SUBGEAR® dive equipment; Silva® compasses; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; and Eureka!® camping and hiking equipment.
Visit Johnson Outdoors at




Capers Island SC Canoe Camp Trip
slynchCanoe camping trip to the protected Capers Island in South Carolina. 3 mile paddle through intracoastal waterway and then into the ocean. The Old Town Penobscot and Old Town NEXT performed…