I feel that I've been very fortunate in my kayak fishing journey thus far. I credit my success in part to the many hours I've dedicated to helping out with various demo days, shows, etc. I also think that part of my fortune is from what I call my kayak karma. Simply, helping others will in turn benefit you.
I desperately wish someone would have introduced me to kayak fishing back in high school or even in my college days. I feel that it is my duty to spread the word about the sport I love and introduce it to those who have never heard of it. In general, being a positive ambassador for the sport. You will never see me bashing other brands of kayaks, pfd's, paddles, rods and reels, or tackle. It's just not what I'm about. For me it's about introducing new people of all ages to the sport and showing them the wide variety of options that are available to them at all price points. I am extremely honored to be apart of the Wilderness Systems Pro Team, but I didn't start there and I didn't start in a Wilderness Systems kayak. I started in what I could afford at the time and what was available to me.
This past summer I introduced two of my closest friends to kayak fishing. Both of these guys have heard from me for years how awesome it is and how much I love it. They finally agreed to go on a trip with me and both said, "Why did I wait so long to do this". There are so many misconceptions of kayaking in the general public and if you feel compelled it's up to us to show people that there's more to kayaking than Aziz Ansari commercials.
In addition to taking people out for their first trips, I also give kayak fishing presentations to high school students. I do about 5 of these a year, and it's honestly one of the most rewarding things I do. Kids are so inquisitive and always so impressed when I set my fully rigged kayak, and I get to have a lot of fun with it. I get asked the most insane questions sometimes, and it's truly my pleasure to be able to speak to them.
I'm always looking for ways to promote the sport and introduce and educate people to what we do. I have learned that you never know who will instantly be interested and take what you have showed them to the next level. All of this effort never feels like a "job" to me and I will continue to do my very best to be a positive ambassador for the sport.