Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Evolution of Fishing Kayaks and Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles

Fishing with Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Paddle sports, particularly kayak fishing, are the fastest growing water sport today.  Kayaking, canoeing and rafting are now destination activities.   With all the green and eco friendly activities available, paddle sports have dominated the outdoor adventure scene.   Paddle sports are low impact on the environment, inexpensive, thrilling and always memorable.

Not to be left out, the fishing and sporting communities wanted in on this explosion.  Kayakers, anglers and sportsmen merged concepts and technologies.  Along with diversity came opportunity.  New specialty equipment, gear and accessories evolved.  Fishing kayaks and kayak fishing hand paddles evolved from this call to action.  

With the rapid growth of paddle sports, there has been a definitive diversification of the sport into various disciplines.  All the technological and manufacturing advancements have fueled the sudden increase in the sport.  Kayak fisherman and kayak sportsman have recently dominated the growth in the paddle sports arena. 

Kayak fishermen, also known as kayak anglers, and kayak sportsmen require specialty equipment, gear and accessories to effectively pursuit their sport.  Their fishing kayaks and fishing hand paddles are specifically designed to accommodate their dynamic environments and distinctive sporting activities. 

Kayak anglers and sportsmen have designed boats for easy access and mobility.  Many facets of their kayak design reflect accoutrements that were found only on motorized fishing vessels.  Today you can find rod holders, live wells, storage compartments, battery wells, fish finders, anchors, etc.  If they can fit a specialty fishing accessory on a twelve to fourteen foot kayak, they will try to get it on there!  They even have twin hulled, foot propelled and battery operated kayaks for the hard core anglers.

For ease of access and dismount, the anglers use a modified version of the sit on top kayak, or SOT.  SOT’s were a natural conversion platform for kayak anglers. These boats are self bailing, meaning that any water that gets in the kayak will be drained away by gravity.  Getting on and off is much easier than a sit in kayak.  Turning or sliding around to access tackle or gear behind you is a much simpler evolution.

With this approach to fishing from kayaks, came another conundrum that caused problems in the kayak angling community.  How do you paddle and fish at the same time?  Think about it.  Can you hold your fishing rod and a kayak paddle at the same time? 

Paddling your kayak and fishing at the same time became a comedy on the water.  It takes two hands to wrangle a seven foot kayak paddle, no matter how you hold it.  Throw in a fishing pole, and you soon realize you need three hands! 

Kayak fishing hand paddles evolved from pioneering anglers solving this problem with ping pong paddles, Kadema paddles, modified badminton racquets and the sort.  They could hold onto their fishing rod and with the other hand paddle their boat stealthily toward their prey. 

It soon became apparent that flailing a seven foot paddle is not conducive to shallow water, or skinny water fishing.  The fish can see you!   The best way to sneak up on your prey is to glide stealthily toward them.   While holding your fishing rod, using a little six or seven ounce fishing hand paddle to propel your kayak, about 16” long, is perfect for the task.

As you begin your foray into kayak fishing, do your research.  Peruse the internet, talk to local anglers, visit local outfitters and try various kayak platforms and fishing hand paddles.  That little effort will certainly make your fishing trip much more rewarding and memorable. 

Fish on!!

Fishing Hand Paddles Contribute to Successful Kayak Fishing

Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in the outdoor sporting and paddle sports markets.  With this explosion of growth, came opportunity.  Kayak fishermen are beginning to reap the benefits of new concepts and technologies in advancing their sport. 

 Having said that, kayak anglers and sportsmen are clamoring for new equipment, paddle gear and accessories to stay ahead of their competition.

 “It was a fishing comedy on water.”  I mused from afar.  Jim was in the salt water flats flailing a seven foot kayak paddle.  He was trying to hold onto an eight foot fishing pole while chasing a redfish through the mangroves.   I thought to myself, “He needs another hand to juggle that kayak paddle and hold his rod.”

Paddle or fish?  All kayak fishermen have experienced the difficulty of paddling your kayak and holding your fishing rod.  How do you hold onto your eight foot fishing rod with one hand and stealthily paddle your kayak with the other?  No matter how you wrestle that seven foot kayak paddle, it requires two hands.  Something has to be set down to do the other.

Backwater Paddle Company introduced the concept of the kayak fishing hand paddle.  The introduction of the Predator and Piranaha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles has solved many kayak angling problems.  These paddles are a simple solution to a confusing problem encountered while kayak fishing. 

It had been noted that intrepid kayak anglers and sportsmen could be found with the likes of ping pong paddles, Kadema paddles, and modified racquets silently navigating their kayaks while chasing fish. 

The principle concept of kayak fishing hand paddles were developed by the kayak angler and sportsmen to stealthily move their boat while continuing to fish. 

Backwater Paddle Company finally decided it was time to bring the kayak fishing hand paddle concept main stream.  Today, these lightweight and ubiquitous paddles are transforming the kayak fishing sport.

Kayak fishing hand paddle designs evolved from experienced kayak anglers and sportsmen working closely with the paddle sports manufacturing community.  Keeping the kayak fishing hand paddles fully functional was the primary interest.  Providing a light weight, durable, short and floatable paddle was mandatory. 

Paddle evolution has not come very far since the inception of paddle sports to the modern paddling masses.  Paddle design has basically remained unchanged since the Inuit’s first stretched seal skins over wooden frames.  The basic paddle blade concept has worked well until now.  Nominal manufacturing and material changes resulting in preference of weight and durability reflect most purchasing decisions today.   

Kayak anglers have declared it is time to adapt and overcome those traditional barriers!

Simply place one of these six ounce or seven ounce Predaotr or Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles between your legs, or close by.  Stow away that unwieldy seven foot kayak paddle.  Grab your fishing rod.  Now you can stealthily paddle and fish without spooking your prey. 

Backwater Paddles introduced a couple of fishing hand paddle models available to the kayak angler and sportsmen market.  After the first kayak fishing hand paddle prototypes were tested, it became apparent that having more functions would add to the benefit. 

The “hook and teeth” blade designs of Backwater Paddles became readily accessible and dominate the kayak fishing hand paddle market.  Having a fishing hand paddle is awesome; having that ability to grab onto or push off any object with the hook and teeth is a real bonus. 

It works great for the kayak fishermen, sportsmen, photographers and enthusiasts who need an extra hand while practicing their paddle sport. 

It is truly amazing how having that one paddle, a kayak fishing hand paddle, has made all the difference in stealthily moving your kayak without spooking your prey!  Who would of thought?   

Fish On!!

Is their perpetual motion in marketing?

Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Backwater Paddle Company has struggled to get where we are now.  It has been a long slog through a nasty recession.  Backwater Paddles almost faltered at the start due to the bad economic times.  On top of that, breaking into a new, yet growing market, where your product has never existed presented its own unique challenges.

After a year or so of just keeping the business together, all the little things I have done have seem to come together.  Maybe it was just throwing enough fodder out there that something would catch and hold on.  Maybe it was changing the business plan in mid stream and coming out with the kayak fishing hand paddles.  Maybe it was just the market starting to rebound.  Maybe it was because I did find the right product at the right time for the right market?

Nevertheless, Backwater Paddles has been fortunate enough to begin feeling like we are somebody.  The past two months have been a renaissance in company and product awareness.  We are being noticed.  Somebody likes our product and sees a useful benefit.   We are generating sales, albeit very nominal, but someone does want to try our Predator and Piranha kayak fishing hand paddles.

Starting a project in a niche market is hard enough.  Try designing and selling a product to a market that has never existed before!  I am not saying kayaks nor fishing have never been around, but kayaks and fishing togetherhave spring boarded into the paddle sports market…bringing us kayak fishing.  Ever being an optimist, where  there is growth, there is opportunity!

Getting noticed in your market is an overwhelming task.  Let me back that statement up.  Getting noticed in your market without dumping boat loads of green backs into your marketing campaign is an overwhelming task! 

As a start-up company owner, working from savings, and a part time job is all you have to work with monetarily.  Without big corporate sponsors, investors and funding companies at your disposal, getting your marketing campaign off the ground requires tons of patience and good luck. 

Once Backwater Paddle Companies investors bailed at the start of the recession, I knew all bets were off and this would be a struggle.  I had to knuckle down and explore EVERY opportunity, EVERY contact, EVERY lead, and EVERY scheme.   I had to be proactive.   I know deep down, there would be no one else sitting down at this computer, for hours on end, doing this for me.

With the evolution of kayak fishing came new equipment, new gear and accessories.  Being in the right spot at the right time was all we needed for a competitive edge.   The evolution of  kayak fishing hand paddles became the focus of our market campaign and Backwater Paddles rise into the paddle sports community.

But again, it all boils down to the green backs.  Fortunately, perseverance has paid off to some degree.  Backwater Paddles is breaking into the paddle sport news without having sunk beacoup green backs into marketing.  

Is this good luck?  Will the exposure keep growing on its own with little or no more input from me?  Has all the last year of relentless Internet research finally paid off?  Sure, I’d like to believe that.  Sure I’d like to believe in perpetual  motion too.  But I know at some point I am going to have to get some green backs from someone to keep this marketing machine moving forward.

By the way…do you know anyone wanting to get in the ground floor of a paddle sports company?  I am going to need some green backs soon!! 

Paddle on my friends!!

Networking Will Be The Ultimate Success For Backwater Paddles

Predator Kayak Fishing Hand Paddle

Blessing do come in disguises.  You just never know what or how they are disguised, until you have time to reflect.

As owner of a start-up paddle sports manufacturing company and part time tourist eco-guide, trying to keep your business running is a full time job.  However, only one of those jobs pays the bills, barely…the part time tour guide!  I am quite fortunate to have some very close friends who have accommodated my paltry lifestyle.  I have sacrificed everything I have to get this company to this point.   The recession stalled our project, but that is another story.

It was what happened during the recession that is now paying off in our survival marketing campaign.

Even though the recession forced us to temporarily shelve the Raptor Kayak Paddle project, we also re-identified ourselves and evolved along the way.  We have now refocused on our Predator and Piranha Kayak Fishing Hand Paddles.   A simple solution to a complex problem of trying to paddle your kayak and fish at the same time!

But that is still  not the story.  It was what happened in between the recession and our new direction.  

 Networking!  After the recession, I spent a huge amount of time online talking to everyone.  I talked to manufacturers, paddle companies, outfitters, store owners, guides, web designers, yak fishermen and to any one who would listen to my story!  I had to cement Backwater Paddles name into peoples minds.  Failure was not an option for Backwater Paddles!  I knew that the economy would come back one day.  When it was time for Backwater Paddles to get back into business, I wanted us to be there with our name in peoples minds.  I was basically establishing an awareness campaign with no marketing budget, while the recession was on.

When do you know the recession is over and it is time to get back to marketing again?   For us it was when anglers and sportsmen started to ask questions about our hand paddles.  These contacts were direct results from my networking campaign, even better yet, some were the indirect results.  They had heard about us from someone else.

When you have no marketing budget money, when the economy is tough, when you question your company…get ut and talk to someone.  With the internet at your finger tips, people are just a few key strokes away. 

Find out who the movers and shakers are in your line of business and start emailing them about your company.  Do not make the first contact  a sales pitch.  Probably not even the second time either.  Feed them slowly with information about your business and products..  Give them something to hope for. 

When the time is right, through all the phone calls, emials and networking you have done, they will start to come looking for you and being more receptive of your product.  It all starts with communicationg to everyone about your company. 

Basically it boils down to if you are not the one talking to everyone about your company, no one else will be either!