Q1: What prompted you to start FREAK SPORTS AUSTRALIA?
Both of us (Drazen and Dave) have had a passion for kayaking and fishing before we even thought of starting Freak Sports, but fishing in general has always been a part of our lives, right from when we were kids. The pleasure and joy that kayaking in general brings should be something that anyone is able to afford to do.
|Did someone say "kayak"?|
When we became aware that the prices set by big retailers and big brands to buy a kayak and any related kayak accessories were enormous we decided there had to be something we could do. As fellow kayakers we knew exactly what we were after; good reliable products that were affordable for everyone but that didn’t comprise quality for price.
Initially finding a product that met all those requirements was not the easiest task, there are a lot of Chinese manufacturers that spin our plastic boats but don’t actually understand the physical function of the product but at the same time are not prepared to listen to brands like us to work on worthy modifications so that the final product meets quality, functionality and minimum local quality standards.
Our philosophy and company policy is that if a manufacturer is not prepared to work with us meet these standards, we are not prepared to jeopardize our brand by putting a logo on that product. And because of these values Freak Sports Aust., has created a name for itself for being one of the best value for money kayak packages in Australia.
Q2: Tell us a little about the new Assassin GT?
The new look Assassin GT, as the previous Assassin is designed for lakes, rivers and bay paddling. It is a stable, stealthy and compact fishing kayak loaded with all the accessories an avid angler would need. It carries up to five rod holders, easily accessible center and front hatches as well as back storage for your esky or additional gear.
The modification from the old to the new started with simple improvement such as the need for all stainless steel fittings. The very first Assassin was a great basic boat perfect for fishing in fresh waters as most of the fastener (pop rivets) used to secure hatches and flush rod holders were made from ordinary steal, however with the increase in salt water fishing, the need to have these changed to all stainless steel screws was a must.
The changes did not stop just there, customers feedback drove the need for increase weight capacity and overall space as well as the general ergonomics of the seating area, particularly for the larger and taller paddler. The Assassin GT then received a new facelift and redesign of the upper hull as well as overall length of the boat.
The upper hull is now wider and so is the seating well, this meant that even the larger paddler can be comfortable. This also meant that a larger center hatch (from 6” to 8”) was able to be fitted which now accommodates a larger and more useful tackle tray. The drink bottle holder has been redesigned to hold the bottle upright which meant that the center mounted swivel rod holder could be moved 8cm closer to the paddler providing easer reach of their fishing rod. An introduction of a small open tray located in front of the center makes it handy for small tackle or a sounder battery as well as the added kayak anchor storage well at the rear of the boat for neat storage of your small kayak anchor.
We have also improved the included accessories, now offering a higher quality deluxe padded seat (featuring higher grade plastic clips and stronger straps with brass snap on clips), lightweight alloy paddle with a C-Blade design for improved efficiency through water, a longer and stronger paddle leash and a larger tackle tray (also mentioned above).
Q3: Assassin V Torpedo? (Why chose one over the other?)
When choosing between the Assassin and the Torpedo, one would have to ask themselves the following questions.
Where do I go fishing most of the time? E.g., Rivers, Creeks, Lakes or Estuaries, Bays, Ocean? What sort of performance do I want from a kayak and how much gear do I want to take?
The Assassin kayak is more suited for rivers, creeks, lakes, smoother waters as it may be slower (due to its flatter shaped hull) to paddle, but more stable and better suited for skinny water fishing and shorter paddling distances. This kayak is especially perfect for those hard to reach places, where having to jump over a fence or climb down steep banks, they are so easy to drag across various terrain and light enough to carry for longer distances.
Our recommendation is that optimum weight capacity be limited to 100 kg plus any additional tackle up to 20kg. The Assassin may be used for bay and estuary paddling also, although keep in mind, speed and tracking may be compromised during tidal and choppy conditions.
Torpedo kayak is perfect for bays, larger river systems, lakes, partially smooth water and even ocean fishing where long distance paddling is likely to occur. Carrying your Torpedo to the water may be a little heavy for the average Joe if not launching from a beach or non-steep river banks, we recommend the use of a kayak trolley for most other launching points.
The Torpedo is much faster and more efficient through water and is better for breaking through wakes and surf with almost no water slap. Due to its narrower hull width it may be slightly less stable than the Assassin, although your fishing experience would not be compromised. The Torpedo has excellent tracking with or without the use of the rudder. This kayak is perfect for those with a medium to large build and is capable of carrying 180+ kg without stability compromise.
|The FREAK warehouse located at 24/37 Mortimer Road, Acacia Ridge.|
How easy is it to store and transport?
The Assassin GT is lightweight (21 kg) and has a length of 2.92 m and 0.83 m wide, making it easy to carry as well load and unload from vehicles.
The Torpedo weighs about 30 kg, and is 3.63 m long and 0.78 m wide and can be slightly more difficult to load onto cars particularly higher vehicles such as 4WD’s. If you do not feel comfortable with your strength it is recommended that you get help loading and unloading your Torpedo. However this boat has its benefits once on the water and the weight and size will not disappoint.
To transport either kayak, we recommend the kayak is placed upside down on flat roof racks and tied down with pull down straps without a ratchet lock to avoid over tightening. Storage of either kayak in a dry and secure place is recommended and away from direct sunlight.
Assassin - $595
Torpedo - $795
Q4: Tell us a little about yourselves? (Interests? Kayak Fishos?)
Fishing has always been a part of our lives, right from when we were kids.
For me (Drazen), I remember when I was a little boy, some 25 years ago and going freshwater fishing with my grandfather using no more than a handmade long rod with about 3 meters of fishing line tied to the end of it, cork as a float, handmade hooks with earthworms and flies as bait. We used to catch so many fish (i.e., Trout and Perch) even with the most basic gear, and that’s how my passion for this sport and the outdoors was instilled in me.
Today, I still use light gear but I am pretty sure the technology has improved a little. My weapon of choice is a Nordic Stage Areal Jaeger (6’6”) coupled with a Shimano Stradic FJ fishing reel and 6 lbs braided line, mainly using lures such as soft plastics, shallow divers and surface lures mostly targeting Bass when fishing freshwater rivers and creeks and I usually chase Squire, Flathead or Bream when fishing saltwater estuaries and bays, and of course I don’t go anywhere without my Freak Assassin kayak. I also enjoy camping and four wheel driving on the odd occasion as well as snowboarding if I happen to find myself in the snow.
I, Davor (Dave), grew up in Europe as a hyperactive kid always wanting to be outdoors. The trend didn’t seem to slow down as I grew older and I hope it doesn’t - but we all know how challenging it is to find free time. I love being active, but there are only a few activities that stand out for me - such are basketball, fishing and any extreme sports or activities that involve an adrenaline rush. I know that fishing isn’t the best example of a full adrenaline sport, but as my fellow fisho addicts would know, it is easy for an adrenaline rush to kick in when you hook up and have that fish on the end of your line.
I started kayaking and kayak fishing around 2007, with my cousin when we explored the Mt Crosby part of the Brisbane River. With time we explored many other places, and kayaking slowly became my number one outdoor activity. I like to kayak and fish light, carry as little as possible on my Freak Assassin GT kayak. So that involves a maximum of two rods, some pliers, spare leader, and a small variety of lures and soft plastics. I don’t have a preference over reels and rods, I just use what’s good at the time when I’m shopping for my needs after a little bit of research. At this stage, my favourite set up is Nordic Stage Areal Sharpshooter, which is a 7 foot very light graphite rod with quick action geared with Shimano Sustain 1000, rigged up with 4lbs braid and 8-12lbs mono leader. This set up might not be the most economical for regular fishos, but definitely is great for light action. My favourite fish to catch are bass, yellow belly and Murray River cod, but this winter I’d like to make my way down and do some trout fishing.
Q5: What associations does Freak have in the industry? (Sponsored events etc?)
2013 6th annual Moreton Bay Classic fishing tournament – Assassin Kayak lucky door prize giveaway and Fundraiser BBQ for the Volunteer Marine Rescue Association Queensland
2014 Boondama Dam Fish Stocking and Management Association – Double Agent Kayak giveaway.
In the coming months and into 2014, we will be increasing our promotional activities at fishing tournaments, trade and event shows as well as advertising.
Q6: Freak sells more than just Yaks? Tell us a little about your other products? New products in the pipeline?
Since our humble beginnings in April 2012, Freak Sports Australia has grown exponentially over the past 24 months and is fast becoming Australia’s most popular and trusted suppliers of fishing kayaks.
But that’s just the beginning! We have a huge range of recreational kayaks that suit every need and have expanded our product range to include essential accessories for your kayaks including anchors and Railblaza.
We are also excited to have extended our range to include Swordfish water tubes, Ultra and Latitude life jackets, and Nordic Stage fishing rods. Later in 2014 Freak plans to introduce more kayak accessories and extend our outdoors range with camping tents, tow tubes and fishing accessories.
Q7: Tell us about your HQ. Employees, facilities etc ?
We have a warehouse facility which can hold just over 500 units of stock, the management and delivery of our products is critical for our everyday operations and these duties are taken care of by our Warehouse manager. If you have visited us before (or planning to visit us) you can recognize him as the guy with the big smile always ready to help.
Our main office is directly above our warehouse; here we dedicate our time to sourcing new products, product development, marketing operations and general logistics.
The FREAK team is the soul of Freak Sports and consist of the Managing team (Myself and business partner), Marketing Team (the girls team: Maria and Thy), warehouse operations and field Staff (sponsored keen kayak fisho’s that are happy to share their adventures with all the freak community).
Q8: Why choose a Freak Yak?
Freak Sports is dedicated to providing products that do the job, are functional and exceed quality expectation. We believe in listening to our users experiences and feedback and we make continuous effort to improve our products.
Apart from great quality and affordable products you can rest assure that there will be always someone to talk to one on one and over the phone, after all our service is what we pride on, we are fellow kayakers and we do enjoy listening to you!
Our kayaks are made overseas, but with great quality control and inspection and that is why we can offer you a great price together with a 3 year warranty on every Freak yak. Big brands and big stores have proven they are too commercialized and overpriced. Freak Sports is committed to provide you with quality products at a fraction of the price
A big thank you to Drazen and Dave for their time.
Check out the web store at : http://www.freaksports.com.au/