I use to preach this more, but if you are new to kayak fishing or just shopping for a new boat demo days are far and away the best opportunity to see just what style of boat or even specific boat model you are most comfortable in. They provide the opportunity to try out as many different makes and models as you feel like getting into. These events are always free and typically come with store specials that are being run that day or week so they also make great opportunities to purchase a new boat as well.
I helped put butts in seats this past Sunday out at a demo day for Pack & Paddle that was held at Sugar Mill Pond down in Youngsville. We had fantastic weather and I was able to try out the Blue Sky Boatworks Angler 360 for myself – what a fantastic platform to pedal and fish from.
If you’re in the market for a new kayak do yourself a favor and call up your local kayak dealer and ask when their next demo day is. It is the best way to narrow down the ever-expanding kayak market to something more palatable. Sometimes the kayak you like best will be a surprise, which is one reason I like to work the demo days, to see someone’s reaction to a boat they may have not even considered.
Tomorrow is the annual Beer & Gear event over at Pack & Paddle. This is always a great event to see the latest in outdoor recreation gear. The craft beer from across the US is a plus too. It brings two of my favorite things together so I’m hoping I can slip away and head across the Atchafalaya Spillway. It’s from 5-8pm so if you’re anywhere near Lafayette tomorrow evening, be sure to head over because you don’t want to miss it. I hear the big raffle this year is Steve Lessard’s kayak from the 2016 Hobie Fishing Worlds event!
With Beer & Gear tomorrow, that also means it is the start of demo season. On Saturday Pack & Paddle will be doing a kayak demo from 10am – 2pm over at Vermilionville. Acadiana residents – head over there if you’re interested in trying out the latest kayaks. Also on Saturday, if you’re around New Orleans, Massey’s will be holding their first demo day of the year at Bayou St. John, which will be from 10am – 3pm. The location is across from Cabrini High School, 1405 Moss St.
It’s that time of year, there’s no excuse if you’re in the market for a new kayak or have been wanting to try out the new models not to head out to a demo. They are free and are the best way to try out as many different makes and models as possible to see what will fit you best. Whenever someone asks for some good advice in picking a new kayak, the best thing anyone can tell them is “demo, demo, demo”. I’ve found it really important to try as many different boats as you can before making a purchase because sometimes which one is your favorite will surprise you.