Brand History-Built to Last

Decades of Innovation and Performance

1973

Timeline 73

Yakima Industries is founded by Otto & Jeanne Lagervall in Yakima, Washington. An inventor and paddlesports enthusiast, Otto makes handmade foot braces for canoes and kayaks. (His first claim to fame: invention of the foldable metal music stand.) Their small machine shop also creates roof racks for hauling ladders and pruning equipment.

Yakima Industries introduces its first national product, the Gold Rush Bar.

1979

Timeline 79

Paddling enthusiasts and entrepreneurs Don Banducci and Steve Cole buy Yakima Industries from Lagervall and move the business to Arcata, California.

1980

Timeline 80

The 1A Raingutter Tower is unveiled and quickly becomes the industry standard for rack base systems and remains a Yakima bestseller today

1984

Timeline 84

Just five years after the brand’s birth, Yakima is named the official rack company of the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Buick Estates are decked out with Yakima roof racks capable of carrying five bicycles and ten spare wheels.

1987

Yakima introduces the 1C SST, a refined cargo solution for automobiles without rain gutters.

1989

Timeline 89

Yakima brings ski mounts to the market.

1990

Timeline 90

Yakima introduces the RocketBox.

1992

Timeline 92

The Same Key System (SKS), a security system that allowed all components to be locked to the car with the same key, is introduced.

1993

Timeline 93

Yakima is named REI Vendor Partner of the Year.

1994

The Q-tower system, an innovative system that made easy install and adjustable for a variety of cars was introduced.

1995

Timeline 95

The SteelHead, Yakima’s first locking fork bike mount is introduced.

1996

Yakima introduces its first hitch racks, the Getaway and the Supreme Getaway.

Yakima opens a production facility in Tijuana, Mexico

2000

Merging versatility and cavernous load carrying capacity, Yakima introduces the LoadWarrior rooftop cargo basket. Yakima also introduces the Joe, the first series of strap racks.

2004

Headquarters moves from Arcata to Beaverton, Oregon to help attract top industry talent

2006

Introduces SkyBox and SkyBox Pro cargo box, a game changer for cargo management solutions.

FatCat 6 is named Gear of the Year - Vehicle Rack by Men’s Journal and SKI Magazine.

2007

Timeline 07

Enters the global market and begins a rapid growth spurt, expanding its international presence from two countries to 30 in just five years.

Becomes a Gold Level Sponsor for the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC).

Opens a new Western US distribution center in Riverside, California, dramatically reducing the company’s fossil fuel consumption (40,000 gallons in 2008).

2008

Timeline 08

Named the official rack partner for Amgen Tour of California, USA Cycling Professional Championships and eight other professional cycling events organized by Medalist Sports.

Opens a new Western US distribution center in Riverside, California, dramatically reducing the company’s fossil fuel consumption (40,000 gallons in 2008).

Receives 2008 Subaru “Supplier Excellence Award.”

2009

Acquires RackandRoll, LLC, a manufacturer of high-performance sports trailers.

Merges with Kemflo International LTD.

2010

Purchases Hubco, Australia’s leading manufacturer of rooftop car racks and makers of Whispbar and Prorack.

REI names Yakima “Vendor Partner Award- Action Sports Winner.”

2011

Timeline 2011

After being in the Australian market since 2006, Whispbar, the quietest and most efficient rack system in the world, is launched in North America.

Whispbar named “Gear of the Show” by GearJunkie.com and Outside magazine at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show.

Popular Mechanics awards Whispbar the “Editor’s Choice Award” at the 2011 SEMA Show, the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world.

Edmunds.com and Complex.com call out Whispbar as one of the “SEMA Show: Top 10 Best New Products.”

National Geographic Adventure names Whispbar for “Gear of the Year” award.

Moves manufacturing facility from Mexico to Yakima’s own state-of-the-art facilities in Nanjing, China and Taiwan.

Opened a warehouse in Rotterdam in May 2011.

2012

Cargo box manufacturing moves to Buena Park, California.

Establishes Yakima Australia.