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Our Story


Jackson Kayak is a kayak manufacturer founded in 2003 by Whitewater Paddlers Tony Lunt, Eric Jackson and David Knight, in Sparta, TN. The foundation of the company was built by enthusiasts who believed the core values needed to be inclusivity, innovation, accessibility and community. At the onset, Jackson Kayak involved the top minds in the kayaking world – Tony Lee, Dave Olsen, John Sheppard, Leif Koehler and Marty Cronin. As the movement and community began to expand, more top leaders in the industry found themselves filling key roles at Jackson Kayak.

In 2010 Jackson added a fishing line to its production as well as coolers and kennels a few years later.

In 2019 Jackson engaged a new CEO in Peter Hausin and with him came Donna Aubuchon for purchasing and Bill Cave as interim CFO. Together with the existing management of experienced paddlers and industry leaders, Jackson Kayak reset its business structure and today continues to grow under the leadership of this core management group.

Jackson Kayak has grown to claim a leading position as an elite kayak manufacturer in not only the whitewater sector but in the kayak fishing niche as well. Jackson Kayak has also introduced a high end cooler, Orion Coolers as well as a recreational line that includes Blue Sky Boatworks. Jackson Kayak continues to push the limits of innovation in producing products that answer to the ever changing needs of its community and encourage fun for everyone in the outdoors.

With the growth of the company the roles continued to evolve, to include Eric’s daughter, Emily, son, Dane, and Son in Law, Nick Troutman. Dane is a world class athlete and pushes not only innovating our designs, but whitewater kayaking as a whole. Nick is a top competitor, head of JK’s Whitewater division for JK Media House and influencer who promotes getting your kids into the great outdoors. Emily is now Jackson’s Marketing Director, continuing to ensure that strategic direction is led by paddlers, for paddlers.

Today, Jackson Kayak continues to employ most of its early leadership, 100+ locally, and is owned by Tony Lunt, Emily Jackson, and Dane Jackson; keeping Jackson Kayak a family run, Made in USA business.

Jackson Kayak’s Core Values: 

Our core values are in place to ensure that every decision we make works towards the vision, product and people we want to be – Innovative, Inclusive, Accessible and Community Driven. By following what we believe to be our foundation, it has helped us remain at the top of respected brands. Our factory has a banner that our employees can recite for you – “Build it Like Your Own.” This banner reflects that we are focused on remaining relevant and dedicated to paddlers, and with our winning products, can achieve excellence. Our values, as a result, help establish ourselves as an integral part of the paddling communities we serve and with a reputation second to none:
  • Approachability, authentic and community connected
  • Focused on Excellence
  • Unrivaled Customer Service
  • Outdoor Enthusiast who expect everyday to be an awesome day on the water
  • Encouraging and Inclusive – We feel everyone should have the opportunity to go paddling!


At Jackson Kayak our mission is to build products that allow our community to Pursue Joy Through Kayaking. We make kayaking approachable, achievable and accessible by building kayaks that fit every enthusiast.