Bonafide Kayaks announced today its industry launch and upcoming product unveiling at the ICAST trade show in Orlando, Florida, July 11-15, 2017.
“Our focus from day one has been to build kayaks that are optimized for fishability,” says Bonafide Kayaks CEO Luther Cifers. “To get there, we knew we needed to execute well on performance, features and form. That meant taking risks, trying new things, measuring the results and following the data. The final results are in, and we’re ready to show the kayak fishing community why we think we’ve built the ultimate fishing platform.”
A well-known leader in the kayak fishing space, CEO Luther Cifers has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing, engineering and business development. His manufacturing companies have appeared on the INC5000 list of the fastest growing privately held companies in the Unites States twice, and he intends for Bonafide Kayaks to follow that pattern. “We’ve assembled one of the most talented and experienced teams I’ve ever worked with, and together we have built what I can only describe as a great company and an incredible fishing kayak.”
The Bonafide management team includes Jake Fuller as Product Manager, Hans Nutz as Design Manager, and Matt Montaruli as Engineering Manager. Veteran kayak anglers Bobby Clark and Chad Hoover will captain the roster of the Bonafide Kayaks promotional team, bringing a high level of respect and exposure to the brand, and infusing extensive on-the-water and competitive angling experience into the product development process.
“The definition of Bonafide is authentic, genuine and real,” says Product Manager Jake Fuller. “Those words describe perfectly who we are and how we operate. We are working hard to ensure our products and customer service are true to our commitments–true to this sport, and true to the kayak angler.”
The first two Bonafide Kayaks products to roll out to anglers are the SS127 and the SS107. The first in the Sit | Stand series, the SS127 and SS107 are designed for versatility. The team says they perform well in a wide range of fishing conditions, and are the result of months of R&D and performance testing. “These days, kayak anglers are looking for maximum stability,” says Cifers. “The problem is that achieving great stability usually means losing in another area, like reduced paddling performance or added weight. We wanted uncompromised stability. So we tried some things. We developed ways to rapidly create prototypes for testing. We measured critical performance characteristics such as stability and speed. We set out to “crack the code” on hull performance and we think we have achieved that with our new hybrid cat hull design.”
Although stability and paddling performance were major areas of focus, fishing performance was of equal importance. Having developed the right hull, the team then set out to execute on fishing-friendly features. Some of the key developments they say create the ultimate in fishability are the sliding under-the-seat JunkDrawer, DryPod removable console, Doubleheader hinges that allow easy access to the bow hatch, multi-rod and paddle management points, HiRise seating with an ultra-high bass boat-like position, and PerchPads which provide an additional standing position on top of the gunwhales for stand-up paddling and sight fishing.
“If you want to build the right product, you have to understand the application and you have to know how to listen,” says Fuller. “We are listening.”
SS127 Pre-production SPECS
Length: 12.7 FT.
Width: 33.5 IN.
Weight: 75 LBS.
Capacity: 475 LBS.
Deck Height: 11.5 IN.
SS107 Pre-production SPECS
Deck Height: 15.5”
Weight: 67 lbs.
Capacity: 425 lbs.
Based in Greenville, SC, Bonafide Kayaks is in the final stages of setting up its rotomolding plant. “We knew that no matter what we did, we would manufacture our kayaks in the USA,” says Cifers. “This is an exciting moment for us, and we’re looking forward to serving our customers, growing our team, and seeing what we can accomplish together.”