As much as people can talk about gear, fishing and kayaks on forums, social media and in person, absolutely nothing can duplicate the actual experience of getting in a kayak and seeing how it fits your body. That's why these demo day events put on by Massey's are so awesome - rather than having to pay to rent a kayak, folks are able to come by and try out several kayaks in a short time period, comparing them back to back. I was there representing Jackson, and people had some fine compliments about both the FlexDrive models, and the paddle kayaks, particularly the Mayfly. At the end of the day, my son got a chance to jump in a kayak (on dry land) and loved it. Thanks to Dave Woodward at Massey's for organizing this event.
This Saturday was a a fun day helping people compare some of Jackson's fishing kayaks on Bayou St. John, in the heart of Mid-City, New Orleans. The local dealer, Massey's, brings out a fleet of boats, and people get a chance to really feel out the differences in how the boats paddle, and make sure they get the boat that fits them. Despite a bike race that shut off Carrolton/Wisner Ave and much of the surrounding streets, there was a good turnout of folks interested in the kayaks, a few of which really took their time paddling quite a few different models to get a feel for them. It was actually really awesome to see people excited about their first fishing kayak; really brought me back to that excitement I felt when I first started going out and fishing. I spent a bit of time going back and forth with a couple of guys on the pros and cons of the Cuda/Coosa/Kilroy models for fishing locally, and they paddled them all both sitting and standing, and in high/low positions. They both left the demo with a lot of good information. Another couple came in to look at tandem kayaks, but after a couple of minutes paddling the tandems, settled on individual kayaks, eventually taking home a Mayfly and Cuda! Personally, I had a chance to paddle the Mayfly around for the first time. I was really pleasantly surprised with the speed and maneuverability of such a wide, heavy boat. On a fairly windy day, it did a great job shedding the wind, with the very low profile deck. The turning radius seemed good, although my much lighter Kilroy turns a little easier. Standing was a joy, and I really, really like that you can rack the seat forwards and backwards - hoping that becomes standard on Jackson fishing kayaks. I also got a kick out of meeting a couple of folks that had read some of the articles on my blog - great to know that someone out there is reading and enjoying some of this stuff! Thanks to Dave Woodward for organizing the event, and bringing delicious donuts... Even got to visit a bit with my in-laws and my son, who got a kick out of sitting in the kayaks and watching people paddle around on a beautiful breezy day on the bayou.