This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the annual Beer and Gear event at Pack & Paddle kayak shop down in Lafayette, La. This was my first time at this particular event and it way my privilege to represent Bonafide Kayaks and Yak Attack. I didn't have any previous knowledge about this event going into but I was told to bring the finest local DFW beer I could find, and that it was going to be a big event. I loaded up with 4 cases worth of local craft beers from around the Dallas Metroplex and set off for Louisiana.
As soon as I arrived I quickly checked into my hotel and headed straight to Pack & Paddle to begin setting up for the event. I scrambled to get all the Bonafide and Yak Attack gear set up and then walked around to check out the shop and mingle with some of the other brand reps. There were reps from Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Alabama, all with local beers from their perspective areas. The event kicked off around 5:00 and it didn't take long for the masses to start showing up. By 7:00 the place was jam packed, and I later found out that the final attendance count was around 450 people. All comers were like minded kayakers, anglers, and beer lovers. The local beer that I brought was a great way to break the ice and welcome people to my booth and it opened up doors of communication to talk about the boat and the accessories that we brought. At the end of the night the store does a big give away of several different donated items and every goes home happy and reeling from a great night. After we got everything cleaned up and put away from the event all the store employees and brand reps went to break bread together at a little hole in the wall joint called Old Thyme Grocery , and I ate the absolute best crawfish po boy that I'd had in my entire life.
The following morning Pack & Paddle hosted an on the water demo day for everyone to test out the kayaks that they had seen and inquired about the previous night. I never got a total head count on the demo day but I would guess it was around 200-300. The Bonafide SS127 garnered a ton of attention, like I knew it would, and the demo day was also a smashing success.
I have never been to an event before like this and all I can say is that I will be going back next year. The Beer and Gear will on my calendar each year from now on. Pack & Paddle has this event planned down to a science and it went off without a hitch. Thank you to Pack & Paddle, Bonafide, and Yak Attack for this tremendous opportunity.