The Richmond Fishing Expo was scheduled to rock the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va from Jan. 17th - Jan. 19th. The due date for my second daughter's arrival was on the 15th. I wondered if I'd make the Expo. I had gotten lucky and my wife had not gone into labor before the Kayak Anglers Rendezvous, but I was sure she would before the Fishing show. Coming into January, we knew the likelihood of me attending both events was slim.
Friday came and went with no baby. Saturday morning I loaded up the truck and headed to RVA for some kayak fishing goodness in Doswell. The plan was, if my wife went into labor, we'd meet in Charlottesville to have the baby. I arrived in Richmond and walked into the show. Our booth, once again, looked amazing. From the opening of the doors on Saturday, we were busy. The Expo was well attended and the Event Park looked great!
Jim and Tina Shank, and their cute dog, were there with their kayak trailer, Wilderness System Ride 115 Kayak and Wilderness Systems Commander Kayak. Jim and TIna have been great customers and were long time Heroes On the Water Central Virginia coordinators. It is always a pleasure having them in the booth. Thanks Jim and Tina!
Aaron Dryden, Wilderness Systems Pro Team, AT Paddles, PowerTeam Lures, was on hand with the Wilderness Systems Ride 115X Kayak. The great show prices combined with Aaron's knowledge led to quite a few Ride 115s and 115Xs being sold off the floor. Strong work and thanks Aaron!
Jim Hager, of FeelFree Kayaks, was in the booth showcasing the new FeelFree Lure 11.5 Fishing Kayak. Only 2 of these things are floating around the US and we had one of them in our booth. This thing was a hit with kids and adults alike! The Lure 11.5 has been getting a lot of buzz leading into its release. This thing looks pretty cool! Thanks Jim!
Mark and Kris Lozier, Native Watercraft Endorsed Guides and Owners of 1st Landing Kayak Fishing, Werner Paddle Team, Astral Team, were in the booth. They were showcasing the Native Watercraft Slayer 13 Propel Kayak and the Astral Ronny Fisher PFD, which is due out soon! Both the PFD and the Slayer generated a lot of buzz. Thanks Mark and Kris!
Brian and Roy from the Central Virginia Chapter of Heroes On the Water were in our booth. It is always great to have HOW represented at our events. I'll say it till I'm blue in the face, if you haven't checked out HOW, do it now. Thanks Brian and Roy for hanging out and spreading the word!
Dan Smullen, from Yak Attack, hung out and sold some kayak fishing gadgets in the booth. Luther, owner of Yak Attack, showed up a little later, fresh off some big success at the Shot Show in Vegas. I missed the opportunity to catch a photo of him, as all of us, myself included, were psyched to hear about his new venture, CiferTac. Thanks for hanging out Dan! And thanks for bringing us a Yak Attack resupply at the show Luther!
Special shout out to Chuck Wrenn, of Hobie Fishing and PowerTeam Lures. Chuck manned the helm at what is always a busy station, the Hobie Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak. Not only is Chuck a great ambassador to kayak fishing, Hobie Fishing Kayaks, etc, but he stuck it out all three days and then helped the boys load the ARC truck at the end of the show. You the man Chuck! Thanks for always being there for us and for always giving yourself completely to the cause!
And big thanks to William Ragulsky, of All Out Kayak Fishing, Hurricane Kayaks, Werner Paddles, and Astral for stopping in and hanging out. Pretty sure William sold a few Werner blades during his stay in the booth. Thanks William!
So, it was a very successful show. The Richmond Fishing Expo was humming. I have joked two years in a row, that we had the best booth there. It was another solid showing. Thank you to everyone who made it possible. Vic, from the ARC- Hampton store! Brian Vande Sande, from the ARC-Farmville store was there all day, everyday! Thanks Brian and Vic! Thanks to Al, Scott and Brian for transporting, stocking and breaking down the booth! We have a great team at ARC and a great community of Kayak Angling Ambassadors!
On a personal note, I made it to the show on Saturday. It was, once again, fantastic to hang out with everyone. Every time I hang with the VA crew, I walk away thankful to have come across so many new, skilled friends. I planned on going back to the show on Sunday, I did not make it. Sunday morning my wife woke me up at 6:30am, and after securing our 2 year old daughter with her grandmother, we headed to the hospital. Daughter #2, Eliza, arrived at 6:27pm that day. I didn't know I had the capacity for that much love. If you've followed this blog at all, you know the premium I put on family and friends, and I am overjoyed to have my circle expand with the addition of another daughter. Thank you to everyone who wished us well and said prayers for a safe delivery. It was amazing.
Before everyone starts joking about my fishing being over for a while.............One of the great things about being in the Appomattox River Company fold is that, very often, opportunities present themselves, opportunities that are too good to pass up. Luckily, my wife grew up in the ARC family, so she is very understanding. Which brings me to this new kayak.
We got to keep the FeelFree Lure 11.5 Fishing Kayak for some prototype testing! I plan on hitting the water on Sunday and I'm psyched to see what this thing can do!
All together, life is pretty solid. Hope all is well with you and yours. I'll post more photos on Facebook later and I'll try and post some video and photos of the Lure 11.5 next week. Hopefully the bass cooperate. See ya on the water!