Press Room

Johnson Outdoors Announces Old Town Sets Course for Expansion

OLD TOWN, Maine, June 15, 2017 -- Johnson Outdoors, a global leader in innovative outdoor recreation equipment products, today announced plans to expand product offerings under its flagship Old Town brand, maker of award-winning, market-leading canoes and kayaks.

“Old Town is an iconic brand with a legacy of pioneering innovation and superior quality that has given people a great experience on the water for over a century.   No one knows paddling better, no one knows more about what people want and need out on the water, and no one else can deliver the legendary craftsmanship of Old Town.  Moving forward, consumers and dealers will see a broader array of kayaks, paddles and personal flotation devices that carry the Old Town name and all that it stands for,” said Bill Kelly, Group Vice President – Watercraft Recreation and Camping for Johnson Outdoors.

Old Town currently offers a complete line of recreational and fishing kayaks and will now be further expanding into the popular day touring kayak category. The new Old Town Castine day touring kayaks will be offered in three sizes to fit all paddler shapes, sizes, and performance levels and will follow the successful Old Town Loon design principles.   The kayaks will begin shipping in Fall 2017.

Old Town paddles will combine higher-end design and improved functionality, including lighter weight paddles, innovative blade designs and enhanced aesthetics. New Old Town PFD designs will provide world-class safety features along with greater comfort and functionality to appeal to existing and new water rec consumers. Both Paddles and PFDs will be available in January 2018.

In addition to the expanded Old Town brand portfolio, Johnson Outdoors is upping investment in R&D and marketing support behind Ocean Kayak to increase the velocity of innovation and speed-to-market of new products in the brand.  Ocean Kayak product lines will remain focused on “fun and adventurous” pursuits that have roots in, but not limited to bigger, deeper water recreation activities.

“We are very excited by the future for both Old Town and Ocean Kayak brands.  Consumer insights will continue to drive everything we do and ensure more consumers intersect and experience our brands through a variety of products that tie the paddling experience together for an awesome time out on the water. While we are transitioning out of the Extrasport and Necky brands, we look forward to serving our customers with our great new products,” said Kelly.

JOHNSON OUTDOORS is a leading global outdoor recreation company that inspires more people to experience the awe of the great outdoors with innovative, top-quality products.  The company designs, manufactures and markets a portfolio of winning, consumer-preferred brands across four categories: Watercraft Recreation, Fishing, Diving and Camping.  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 and charts; SCUBAPRO® dive equipment; Jetboil® outdoor cooking systems; Eureka!® camping and hiking equipment; and Silva® compasses. 

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Boy Saves Deer During Kayak Trip on the Tobique River
boydeer1It was as happy an ending as the beloved Walt Disney story of Bambi when an 11 year old boy rescued a newborn deer trapped in mud along a river in northern New Brunswick, Canada. Benjamin Thibodeau was on a camping trip in Riley Brook earlier this summer when he spotted a small animal sticking out of the water along the Tobique River. From his Old Town kayak, he could see a little head, ears and some white sots. He thought it might be a baby deer. The boy called to his father; who was on shore, and quickly paddled over to the animal. When he reached the banks of the river; he saw the deer was up to his belly in mud, its four spindly legs buried deep along the bank. With no leverage to free itself, it couldn't move. Wasting very little time Benjamin pulled the deer out of the mud and then with the help of his father moved it to safety. Happily, the next morning both of them woke up to the sight of the deer standing outside the door of their tent with its mother and sibling.