There’s that old saying that “the only thing constant in life is change.”
My absence from the blogging has been reflective of my absence from the water since selling my Jackson Cruise FD. The lack of fishing was mainly due to the waiting game, waiting on my new model for 2019. But there’s been a major change for me as far as kayak fishing goes, in that I’ve resigned from my position on the Jackson Regional Team. This had been due to a few different reasons, none of which had anything to do with Jackson Kayak or the team itself.
Before continuing, I want to say it here, just as I did on social media… My experience as a Jackson Team Member has been phenomenal. I truly love the company and the products. But it’s mainly the people that make the JK brand so awesome. I’m thankful for the friendships I’ve made and hope to keep those friendships into the future.
Now – due to my new position, or lack there of, I felt that it was perhaps time to change things up and I wanted to demo a few new models from other brands. I’ve worked at Pack & Paddle for almost 5 years now and have a lot of experience with the different models, so I had a strong idea on which way I would go. I’ve always told myself that if I were to buy anything other than a Jackson, that it would be a Hobie. And as of 2017, the model I leaned towards by Hobie was the Compass. I liked it’s sharp nose, clean deck layout, large storage area, and overall stability. A huge plus for me is also it’s paddle-ability. These kayak are known for their pedal drives, but in my style of fishing, the pedal drives mainly just get you to a location, and then it’s stand-up-paddle time.
Then, at the end of August, Hobie unveiled what so many people had been waiting for, an updated Outback. The Outback has always been Hobie’s best-seller and it’s one of our top-sellers at P&P. The new design took everything I liked about the old Outback and added what I liked about the Compass, and threw a little Pro Angler spice in the mix as well.
So many of the features were ideas that I had been waiting for and hoping someone would figure out.
When I have been asked why I made the jump to Hobie, I compare it to the purchase of my favorite kayak since I started kayak fishing… the model I used for the longest – the Cuda 14…
– My very first kayak was a Jackson Coosa (the OG). I did (and still do) love the design of that ‘yak. But the first time I used it in a bay I realized why the Cuda 14 was the model everyone seemed to be pointing to for South LA. For about two weeks, I stopped at Pack & Paddle any chance I got to just look at a Cuda 14 they had on display. I didn’t just look at it, I stared at it. It ended when I just couldn’t take it. I sold the Coosa, and bought a Cuda.
This has been somewhat the same for me. The overall layout of the new Hobie Outback is just too great. From the clean deck-floor design, to loads of integrated tracks around the boat, the cupholders, the hatch areas, and the huge tank-well area.
All I can say at this point is that I’m looking forward to using this boat throughout the coming months, and seeing what this “Hobie thing” is all about!