Press Releases

Necky® Kayaks to Sponsor Oceans 8 Expedition

Renowned Explorer Jon Bowermaster and Team to Paddle Necky Looksha V Kayaks Along Wild Tasmanian Coastline

FERNDALE, Wash. (January 26, 2006) Necky kayaks, manufacturer of premium quality touring and whitewater kayaks, is pleased to announce their sponsorship of the nationally renowned Oceans 8 kayak expedition. A long-term project aimed at examining the state of the world’s oceans and the lives of the people who depend on them, the next leg of the Oceans 8 journey begins in Tasmania, Australia this February 1.

In support of the Tasmanian expedition, Necky will provide their top-of-the line Looksha V touring kayaks to the entire Oceans 8 team. New for 2006, Looksha V kayaks are designed to cover long distances quickly and provide superior handling in strong current, tides or wind chop, even under load.

Led by renowned explorer, Jon Bowermaster, the Oceans 8 team will consist of videographer and former rodeo whitewater kayak champion Alex Nicks, Hobart-based NOLS instructors Lelia Meffre and Travis Holmes and photographer Keith Fialcowitz. The expedition will take four weeks, beginning on the wild southern coast, which is impacted by weather and seas direct from Antarctica. From Port Davey the team will kayak up the east coast to the Flinders Islands, off the northeast corner of the island, covering 600 miles of Tasmanian coastline.

“We are incredibly proud to support the Oceans 8 project and their mission,” said Sara Knies, Marketing Director for Necky kayaks. “We at Necky share Jon and his team’s passion for paddling and are honored to be in a position to help them provide insight into the health of the world’s oceans”.

Underwritten in great part by the National Geographic Expeditions Council, the Oceans 8 expeditions have taken Jon and his team to the waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands, Vietnam, French Polynesia, Croatia and Africa. Interested parties can follow the Tasmanian expedition via dispatches on

“We are very grateful to all our sponsors and it will be especially nice to be paddling Necky kayaks once again,” said team leader Jon Bowermaster. “We will be paddling some of the world’s most unpredictable waters around Tasmania and it’s nice to know that we’ll be using equipment we can count on.”

Necky® kayaks is part of the Johnson Outdoors family of innovative, market-leading brands. The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of top-quality products for the global marketplace across four categories: Watercraft, Marine Electronics, Diving and Outdoor Equipment. Johnson Outdoors’ familiar brands include, among others: Ocean Kayak®, Necky® kayaks, Old Town® canoes, Old Town® kayaks, Extrasport®, Carlisle®, Escape® electric boats, Minn Kota® motors, Cannon® downriggers, Humminbird® fish finders, Scubapro® and UWATEC® dive equipment, and Eureka!® tents. The company has 22 locations around the world, employs 1,300 people and reported annual sales of $380.7 million in 2005. Visit Johnson Outdoors online at ###