The other day, perusing social media, I came across a kayak fisherman from Ireland. His name is Gary Robinson. I wanted to know what the scope of paddle sports, particularly kayak angling, is like in Ireland. Of course, asking if he has ever seen the Assault Hand Paddle…yet?
First off, I have seen your paddles and they do look like a handy (pardon the pun) item to have in the gear collection. That said, the only place I have seen them thus far is in American kayak fishing literature or websites.
The scene in Ireland, and indeed a lot of Europe is small at the moment but I think it would be fair to say is blossoming. For example, when I started kayak fishing about six years ago I would never see another kayak out on the water. The first three years of me fishing was the same. Apart from a small core of anglers, the sport was just not recognized here. In the last couple of years there has been a noticeable increase in interest in Ireland and Europe.
I write for Irish and European printed publications and for the last five years the majority of my articles have featured kayak angling. Some of the larger companies in Ireland and indeed Europe have recognized that there is potentially a huge market there is potentially a huge market here to be explored and this is backed up by the fact that I have been approached by three major kayaking companies to try and promote the sport and their kayaks to the best of my ability. I am currently testing kayaks and trying to work out a deal.
With regards to kayaking shops and outfitters, there are a few in Ireland. Fishing is big business here, kayaking not as big but there is a dedicated cohort that keep these shops busy Kayak angling is in its infancy but I expect that to grow both here in Ireland and in Europe. The thing with Ireland is that alone, we are a small country with a small population so there is possibly a limited market but, that said, the wider European market is a large one. Interest is growing here and that is reflected by the increasing range of hits on my own site.
Backwater Paddle Company is working to introduce our Assault Hand Paddles to the international paddle sports communities. We have good representation in Australia, with at least ten stores carrying our paddles. England is just becoming aware of our hand paddles. I sent some sample hand paddles over to the Kayak Fishing Shack, located in Yorkshire, England a few weeks ago. They are putting them through their paces.
We have also sent paddles to Puerto Rico, Micronesia, Brasil, New Zealand and Canada.
The Assault Hand Paddle revolution is ON!!