There’s something magical about gliding on the water in a kayak, surrounded by the beauty of nature and feeling the gentle push of the current. For more than 12 years, Russ and Edna Trager have been providing unforgettable experiences like these through their store, Zia Kayak. As the summer season approaches, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the dynamic couple behind this business and how they help residents and visitors enjoy Elephant Butte Lake and the Rio Grande up close and personal!

The Journey of Zia Kayak: A Brief History

Zia Kayak has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Russ and Edna’s passion for water sports and their dedication to the community have transformed their store into a popular resource for both visitors and residents. Today, Zia Kayak Outfitters is known for its wide range of offerings, from kayak sales to  paddleboard and kayak rentals, gear, clothing, and more.

Russ and Edna Trager: The Dynamic Duo Behind Zia Kayak

Edna Trager’s Background

Edna, a former EB Mayor, currently serves on the City Council. Her experience in local government and commitment to community make her a perfect advocate for Zia Kayak and its customers, enhanced by her previous advertising and marketing experience with CBS News.

Russ Trager’s Background

Like Edna, Russ has a strong marketing background, having been president of Yellow pages several years ago and also the owner of an advertising agency in California.  Russ sits on the City of Elephant Butte Lodgers Tax Board, ensuring that the local tourism industry thrives. His insight and understanding of the market, together with his marketing skills and passion for lake activities and fishing adventures, have been invaluable to Zia Kayak’s success.

Zia Kayak’s Offerings

Kayaks

Zia Kayak Outfitters, the only Hobie Kayak dealer in the state of New Mexico, is where you’ll find a fantastic selection of Hobie Mirage Series kayaks, which are quite unique since you paddle with your feet!  Hobie studied the efficient fin strokes of penguins and realized they were the perfect solution to powering a kayak.  After years of R&D, Hobie introduced their unique paddle-with-your-feet kayaks that make kayaking accessible, rewarding and fun, regardless of previous experience and skill level. Hobie also offers the perfect solution for kayak fishing.  Zia Kayak is proud to carry Hobie kayaks as they know the Hobie paddle-with-your-feet experience is like no other.

Kayak and Paddleboard Rentals

If you’re not ready to commit to purchasing your own kayak or paddleboard, Zia Kayak Outfitters offers affordable rentals. Sit-on-top kayaks and stand up paddleboards (SUP’s) are both available for rent and include life jackets, paddles, seats, whistles, and foam car-top rests and tie downs. Rentals may be used at Elephant Butte Lake State Park or to take a leisurely trip down the Rio Grande.

Gear and Clothing

Zia Kayak is also your one-stop-shop for the gear and supplies you need for a relaxing day on the water. They stock everything from life jackets to a wide assortment of paddles, as well as stylish and functional apparel that will keep you comfortable and protected.  They also are the go-to destination for fishing gear – reels, rods, electronics and tackle.  Pros and amateurs alike seek out Zia Kayak Outfitters for their high-quality 

products and extensive inventory, including fishing tackle brands that, in all of New Mexico, can only be found at Zia Kayak Outfitters.

Gun Accessories and Ammunition

With the popularity of hunting and target practice in Sierra County, Zia Kayak Outfitters has carved out quite a reputation as the place to find a complete line of gun accessories and ammunition. In fact, people drive for hundreds of miles to shop at Zia Kayak Outfitters because of their high-quality and extensive inventory. From binoculars, cleaning kits, holsters and eyewear to magazines, gun cases, scopes, lasers and a wide variety of ammo, Zia Kayak is sure to have everything needed for exceptional practice sessions and successful hunts. 

Kayak Fishing Tournament

Nine years ago, Zia Kayak introduced a kayak fishing tournament at Elephant Butte Lake State Park, an event which has grown larger each year.  This catch-photo-release tournament, held annually in May, draws competitors from both in state and out of state. The top ten participants win cash and prizes totaling over $5,000 as they seek to catch the biggest Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and White Bass, with the combined length of each participant’s 5 best fish equaling their score. 

The Upcoming Summer Season at Zia Kayak

As the warm summer sun shines on Elephant Butte Lake and the Rio Grande, excitement is building at Zia Kayak. With their wide range of offerings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, from seasoned paddlers to families looking for a fun day out. 

Making Summer Memories 

This summer, make memories that will last a lifetime as you embark on new adventures with Zia Kayak. After all, there’s no feeling quite like the sense of freedom and connection to nature that comes from paddling on the lake or river.  And there’s no better place to get started than Zia Kayak. It’s more than just a store; it’s a place where knowledge is gained, lifelong memories are made, friendships are formed, and a shared passion for water sports unites people from all walks of life.

Supporting Local Businesses: The Importance of Zia Kayak in the Community

By choosing to shop at Zia Kayak, you’re not only investing in high-quality products and services but also supporting a local business that genuinely cares about the community. Russ and Edna’s dedication to their customers and their community is evident in everything they do, and their store is a shining example of the positive impact that small businesses can have on a community.

Conclusion

Zia Kayak is a hub for adventure, learning, and community. With Russ and Edna Trager at the helm, Zia Kayak continues to flourish, providing unforgettable experiences for both visitors and residents. As the summer season approaches, there’s never been a better time to connect with nature and create lasting memories with Zia Kayak.

FAQs

What brands of kayaks and paddleboards does Zia Kayak carry?

Zia Kayak offers Hobie Mirage Series kayaks which are paddled with one’s feet, bringing the kayaking experience to a new level.

Do I need any previous experience to rent a kayak or paddleboard?

No, Zia Kayak offers rentals for all skill levels and their friendly staff is always happy to provide tips and guidance to beginners.

What types of events does Zia Kayak host?

Zia Kayak hosts an annual kayak fishing tournament held in May each year.

How can I stay up-to-date on upcoming events at Zia Kayak?

Be sure to follow Zia Kayak on social media and check their website for the latest news and updates on events, products, and promotions.

Why should I choose to shop at Zia Kayak instead of a big-box retailer?   

By shopping at Zia Kayak, you’re supporting a local business that is deeply committed to the community and its customers. Russ and Edna provide personalized service, expert advice, and a wide range of high-quality products, ensuring that you have the best possible experience on the river or lake.


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