Brand History



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.


Timeline 79

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


Timeline 80

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


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.


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


Timeline 89

Yakima brings ski mounts to the market.


Timeline 90

Yakima introduces the RocketBox.


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.


Timeline 93

Yakima is named REI Vendor Partner of the Year.


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


Timeline 95


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


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

Yakima opens a production facility in Tijuana, Mexico


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.


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


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.


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).


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.

Receives 2008 Subaru “Supplier Excellence Award.”


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

Merges with Kemflo International LTD.


Purchases Hubco, Australasia's leading manufacturer of rooftop car racks and makers of Whispbar and Prorack.

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


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 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. and 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.


Cargo box manufacturing moves to Buena Park, California.

Establishes Yakima Europe.