In 2012 my wife blew my mind and bought me my first kayak for my birthday. We went to the local Jackson Kayak dealer MEFCOR Outdoors to see what they might have. I took a quick look around the store and there it was, all beautiful and olive the Jackson Coosa. One look and I knew that was the one and after a quick demo it was game on. This was the start of a beautiful journey that is still in the works today.
I started doing some local trips to the lakes, rivers and some of the smaller creeks nearby. Never has hitting the water been so easy and enjoyable! I was really taken back how light the Coosa was and how stable it was, not to mention its maneuverability in the rivers. Being able to stand and sight fish was unreal, plus the amount of gear I could now take for longer trips was awesome. The seat well let’s just say there was no more back aches and numb butt for me. Truly my Jackson Kayak blew opened the doors of opportunities with where and how long I could fish or just paddle. I was so excited about this I asked the local dealer if I could come help at the demo’s, which he gladly excepted the offer.
I couldn’t stop telling people about Jackson kayaks and how awesome these yaks are and then being able to show them at demo’s made it all the better. Soon after I found myself at every demo and hanging out at the shop as much as I could. Doing this allowed me to start to build new relationships and even help sell a few yaks. Many of my friends got on board and started getting themselves a Jackson and we would hit the water every chance we got. Before I knew it, this was no longer just a hobby it became a passion. As time passed and more and more people saw the kayaks and how great they performed we started to see the kayak community grow.
Moving forward from there I quite my job at the time and started working for the local Jackson Dealer and outfitter MEFCOR Outdoors. Finally, I was able to really spend time talking to folks and getting them in their dream kayak and outfitting them for success on the water. The great thing about Jackson Kayak’s I believe is that there is one for every type of person out there. We are seeing kids all the way up to the retired getting into the sport of paddling and its awesome. As the industry continues to grow we are building stronger communities through relationships made.
Since so many people are getting into the sport and folks asking about paddling classes, my best friend and I got certified through the A.C.A as paddle instructors. Doing this has enabled us to work with folks from the purchase of their yak at the local dealer to hitting the water with them. It’s enabled us to build new relationships in the area and promote the sport of paddling and kayak angling. We want to make sure that as people hit the water they are as prepared as they can be.
In 2018 MEFCOR Outdoors started a kayak fishing team, which is composed of me and two others. The team was selected because after purchasing their own Jackson Kayaks they became regulars at the shop and even helping out at kayak demos’. We started fishing together our families all became friends and so it just seemed to be a good fit. We chose to fish in several KBF tournaments that landed us at the KBF Trail Series Championship at Toledo Bend in Louisiana. During that trip we had the opportunity to meet people from all over the US and made lots of new friends. Yet again through kayaking we had an amazing opportunity we would have never had otherwise. Our team also works various events displaying and educating folks on Jackson Kayaks along with the joys of paddling kayaks and angling.
For the past two years I have had the privilege to attend the Jackson Kayak Dealer summit and have had the opportunity to meet some amazing folks. Getting the opportunity to see all the people who pour their passion into these kayaks give me a true understanding of what sets Jackson Kayaks apart and that’s the people. Its not just about building an awesome kayak (which they do) but, its more about building relationships and opportunities for people to truly get out and enjoy this awesome sport. It’s about building relationships that is not just limited to our individual communities but ties us together around the world. Kayaking is more then just a past time it translates into a lifestyle that is evident in everyone at Jackson Kayak and its infectious!
This year I have been giving the opportunity to be apart of the Jackson Kayak fishing team and I couldn’t be more thrilled. My hope is that I can give back just a portion of what has been giving to me by this wonderful industry and sport. Its awesome to be apart of such a supportive family to continue to grow within the sport. In closing let me just say get out to your local Jackson Dealer and let your life be changed! Till next time tight lines and wet paddles.
– Daniel Ingram