Interview with Legacy CEO Andy Zimmerman E-mail
Wednesday, 07 October 2009 05:53

andy_zimmerman

KFM: Can you tell our readers some about your background in the paddle industry - in particular your involvement in the start of Wilderness Systems?

I Started Wilderness Systems in 1986 in my back yard, with a custom vacuum bagged white water boats, we made boats for the for the U.S. Olympic team, Squirt boats, creek boats, in 1990 we started with sea kayaks and recreational boats, in 1991 we got into roto-molding.

KFM: Can you explain what companies are involved with Legacy and this how this coalition of companies benefits the consumer?

We are now Heritage Kayaks, Native Watercraft and Liquid Logic Kayaks. Heritage has been around for 8 years; we made many improvements to the outfitting and the Redfish family, focused on good designs and excellent quality for a good price. Native Watercraft is now only 1 year old and we hired veteran kayak and fishing legend Jimbo Meador to help design our boats for fishing first but still make sure that paddle great. A premium brand is what we wanted to create, with innovation first in mind with our accessory line. 8 new models will be introduced at this year Outdoor Retailer Show.

Liquid Logic will now become a white water only company; the many popular recreational and fishing designs will be in Heritage (Sting Ray Series). We have 8 new White Water designs with revolutionary new outfitting. The Manta Ray will go into the Native line, with many improvements.

KFM: It appears kayak fishing is on every kayak company's radar and there seemed to be a move away from touring and white water  - is this the case?

Not moved away, but the big growth is in fishing, again, 8 new white water models coming is far from moving away and we also have a new line of sea kayaks in the works.

KFM: The Ultimate series is a kayak and canoe hybrid you came up with - how well is the idea being received and whom are you targeting with it?

We couldn't make all the boats we had orders for and sales thought the stores has been no less than awesome We were running 6 days a week, 24 hours a day and that wasn't good enough. We now have a second oven and more molds. We are targeting kayak fisherman and paddlers that wanted more comfort and features. In one year it will available around the world, and in most states in the USA .

  KFM: You have come out with a pretty nifty system for attaching accessories with your Adapt-A-Trak system, can briefly explain how it works?

Checking out the web site is the best way to understand the now patented system of spray skirts, paddle holders, gear bags, cup holders and there is more to come.

KFM: Word is that you are working on some new materials that are lighter than anything ever used in kayak construction, tell us a bit about it and realistically how light can we expect it to be, for instance a 12 foot kayak to be with this new material?

The material is called Tegris, It is lighter than Kevlar and much stronger while being less expensive. The Ultimate 12' will be ready for delivery in late August and weigh 35 lbs. And you couldn't hurt it with a hammer - with the seat out it will only weigh 28 lbs.! For real!

KFM: What else is in the works for your company?  

The marvel Series is a new cock pitted boat that has the same removable seat, it comes in a 10', 12' and 14.5'. These beautiful boats will be good in rivers and open water. The 14.5' will come in a solo or tandem. The 12' and 14.5' will have a rudder option. We are coming out with an awesome hatch system that is lighter and easier to take on and off. The Manta Ray series formally in the Liquid Logic line will have redesigned seating and be offered in new colors.

We are also coming out with a conventional pedal system, forward and reverse, easily removed for paddling - another revolutionary product from Native. We also are working on a new line sea kayaks.

KFM: What other kayak companies do you think are on the right track in terms of kayak fishing?

I think Hobie has a done a great job with innovation and marketing, they have helped raise the bar for the industry with their quality of boats - I am tired of cheap boats.

KFM: What is your kayak of choice when you want to get on the water?

Last I counted I had 43 boats in my personal fleet. It really depends on the use, I have the first boat we made for Wilderness Systems, and I also have a beautiful Kevlar made River. All of my boats are Kevlar or carbon except for a few plastic white water boats. I have a 18' tandem that weighs only 40lbs. If I had to stick to one, I have a true Greenland seat kayak, 16' by 21" it one weighs only 25 lbs - it looks like a fish skeleton. 

 

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