Necky Kayaks is exiting the whitewater business, at least for 2009, a spokesman for the company confirmed Wednesday. Necky, a unit of Johnson Outdoors, will continue providing dealers with boats left in inventory and could re-examine the business beyond 2009, said Mike May with the public relations firm Carmichael Lynch Spong, which represents Necky.


“For 09 they are out of whitewater,” said May. “They won’t have any new models, but there will be stock available and they will sell through that so dealers won't be left hanging. This was not something they took lightly.”


Necky’s whitewater boats include the Crux and the Mission, which were still advertised on its website Wednesday.


In an interview with the e-zine Paddling Life, Johnson Outdoors Paddlesports General Manager Nando Zucchi said Necky will focus on the much larger and profitable rec and touring markets on the flatwater side of the business. 


In late April JOUT CEO Helen Johnson-Leipold told analysts that the company was reviewing its watercraft business very closely with an eye toward cutting costs.