The Richmond Fishing Expo starts off each year with an infusion of knowledge, product offerings and general camaraderie among those in attendance. For the last seven years, I have participated in this annual event as a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and representing Appomattox River Company. Each year, ARC has a variety of kayak hulls and kayak related items such as PFDs, paddles, PADDLEVA Swag and YakAttack accessories on display for the Expo attendees and exhibitors alike to peruse and ask questions about.
While we as members of the various Pro Staffs are on hand to answer questions and discuss the potential of our respective kayak brands, we each have a role that is beyond one of brand reputation. We have a responsibility to share in the knowledge and expertise as it relates to the sport of kayaking and kayak fishing.
It is our responsibility to provide unbiased facts and personal experience to the public in order for them to make a more informed decision regarding which kayak hull is right for them. It is our responsibility to also have functional knowledge of the other kayak offerings as well. During this annual Expo, it affords each of us an opportunity to learn more about each brand's features and benefits.
While I consider individuals like Tom Quicke, Sr., Rob Reker, Grant Alvis, Micah Marbrah and myself as knowledgeable individuals regarding the Hobie product line, I don't hesitate to direct people to individuals like Rob Choi, Roland Butler and Kevin Whitley (Johnson Outdoors - Ocean Kayaks and Old Town), Eric Schrock (Feel Free), Aaron Dryden, Chuck Morris and Mark Lozier (Wilderness Systems), Sean Amiss, Jr. (Bonafide), Josh Dolin (Jackson) and Woody Callaway and Jonathan Stanberry (Native Watercraft) for questions and details regarding their offerings.
The gift of knowledge is what we as representatives of our respective brands can ultimately pass on to the next generation of kayak anglers and help the sport grow! Take a moment and think about how you can share whatever expertise you possess in the days that lay before you.
Stay safe and take a friend fishing!!