Stop Apologizing!

Hey, new guy. Don't be sorry and stop apologizing!

At the boat show this weekend, myriad people walked up and chatted for a bit. It was great to talk about rigging and fishing and all the fun things associated with our sport. The recurrent theme that kept coming up was a bashful, almost apologetic air that was taken on when I asked several people if they had a kayak already.

"Yeah, I do, but it's one of those cheap ones from {Brand X Store}."

My immediate reply was my elevator speech about how I spent the first six and a half years of my now 11  years of kayak fishing in a $200 sit in kayak and loved it. I would always remind them they were off the banks and out there doing it and that was what is important.

After mulling over the number of times this happened over a two day period I have come to a conclusion.
I think the kayaking world needs to apologize to all the new guys. I'll start.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I may have given you the idea that kayak brand was ever more important than kayak fishing. It's not. Being on the water and enjoying the sport outweighs ANY brand or marketing scheme.

You can kayak fish out of near anything. You will not hear me decline an invite based on a kayak brand. I will never be too cool to fish with someone in a Brand X boat. I am the antithesis of cool already. No need to alienate the rest of the world.

Many, many, many of the kayak anglers I know will fish with anyone on any given day as long as the drama stays in your truck. I love to fish with new folks. Crowds are ok. Not my favorite but ok. Get me on the water and I'll talk your ear off.

Kayak fishing is about that first moment you paddle out. Reliving every time the peace and serenity that washes over you as you glide across the water. The water doesn't care what brand your kayak is. The fish don't care either. Kayak anglers shouldn't either.

Some of the happiest kayakers I know are paddling Pescadors. Would they take a Slayer Propel or a PA14 if someone handed it to them? Probably but enjoying being off the banks is what it's about. The great thing about our sport is the buy in. You can get into it for $100 or $4,000. You can make all your own accessories or you can buy them. There is room for everyone.

To you new guys, welcome to the sport. Don't let the brand snobs discourage you. 95% of us are pretty good folks and we'd like to go fishing with you. You should stop apologizing. The experienced kayakers should be the ones to say sorry. We've mislead you to feel like you don't belong. On the contrary, maybe it is us who don't belong.


Rob Goebel said...

I love how you think!!

Chris Payne said...

Thanks Rob!

Kayakjak's Blog said...

Thanks Chris! So well written and true!

Joe Castillo said...

I' one of those in a $200.00 yak , but haven't had all that time to fish . I know they're kayakers in the Temple area I see go down the road . I hope to be in the water more this year at lake Belton . Good story .Keep up the good work .

Bob Estes said...

You are so right Chris. I got out of the bass boat circus to get away from the same types. Kayak fishers are making an impact and I want to be on your side. Let's make a positive impact and welcome everyone. Our kayaks are just boats and brand is certainly no qualifier.

GreyNurse said...


Last father's Day saw me on my first yak. Would have loved a Hobie Outback, but a reality check saw me onto a "cheap and cheerful", based on a Mantra Noa Hull. I love it. Apart from finally being able to stop dreaming about what it would be like to fish from the opposite sore and actually do it,it prompted the re-emergence of other hobbies like electronics, wood and metal working, etc. Finally, the tools that my late father in law left behind are being put to good use. (Betcha wouldn't think that a Black & Decker Workmate makes an excellent yak cradle.) And best of all, I'm meeting new people to fish with.

Aris said...

Nothing beats being on the water! Your take on this is right on target. Great conversation as well.

Bill Bragman said...

Great article. Its all about how you float not what you float

Stephen Martin said...

That is so true.House waiting on the side line, life's to short to worry about brands. If works use it.. Happy yaking

Coffee and Turpentine. said...

The fish don't care what kind of boat you have!

kayakfishingfever said...

Five year old Future Beach Angler. Bit slow, But carries a cargo of 400lbs. Steers well and stable. Less than $500. On the lake where I fish most often, I have heard folks say "wow, look at that kayak." Thanks for the respect.

kayakfishingfever said...

$500 Future Beach Angler. Stable with a 400 lb capacity. Stable and thick poly. Hatches and room for growth. Thanks for the respect

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