I was trying to think back to my first time in a kayak. After some thought, it came to my mind it had to have been in 1997 or 1998 while on a school field trip down a small river in southern WV. After paddling a canoe most of the day, I remember being intrigued by a few of the other classmates that had rented kayaks instead of a canoe. We swapped here and there through the rest of the day and I remember being hooked from the get go.
Fast forward a few years and kayak play days later and I purchased my first kayak, a used Wilderness Systems tandem that only had one seat so as to maximize storage. It was a little over a decade ago and the kayak craze had definitely not yet started, especially not in WV. Most all of the water bodies I fished with it, there were constant funny looks and questions from bystanders at the launch points. Rightfully so though, aside from some whitewater or creeker yak's near the more famous areas like the New or Gauley Rivers, you just simply never saw kayaks in WV. I remember it was a good 2-3 years before I ran into another kayaker on the water and probably another year after that before I saw another angler using them to fish from. For a while it seemed like it was me and only me, which was good and bad. Good because I didn't ever have to deal with competing for hard to get to areas with other kayaks...bad because without the soon to be popularity, upgrading to a new kayak was basically a chore in itself just due to the fact that there weren't any around. The fishing kayaks of today weren't produced yet, and the couple that did exist were untouchable with the funds of a poor college kid.
Now, fast forward 10+ years, dozens of new kayak innovations, unparalleled growth of popularity in kayak fishing, a few new brand names even, and we end up where I am today. After literally thousands of both miles paddled and fish caught, my old faithful Wilderness Systems yak from yesteryear gave its last rash of plastic to the river bottom in 2015. After living in a few different recreation and tourism focused towns in WV, I've had the oppurtunity to paddle and field test several brands and styles of the newer age kayaks. I was always content with my Wilderness Systems so never felt the need to upgrade until it expired. Once so, I knew what style and size yak I wanted, it was just a matter of deciding on brand. I kept hearing about this new company called Vibe. "Kayaks just as good as any other brand but about half the cost" was the statement that I kept hearing. I definitely liked the sound of that, so I decided to check them out.
What I found once I began searching through Vibe related forum topics and articles was that this was not just a company, this was a company that was dedicated to building a positive vibes community with a dedication to customer service like none I've ever seen. Combine that with the price point (and stock features!!) and it was a no brainer. I pulled the trigger and could not at all be happier. For anyone that doesn't know me, I fish for every species that swims, with all manners of gear, from NY to FL and all in between, both fresh and salt. I've intentionally put this kayak through the tests and I am yet to find a fault. Factor in the amazing Vibe Kayaks Owners Group where, everyday, a community comes together to help one another and provide tips and techniques without any criticisms or name calling.......you just don't find that other places, especially not too many other places on the internet in 2017. That is Why I Vibe...and why you should too (insert shameless plug here). I won't tell you that Vibe is the best company on the market, there are so many brands and so many kayaks out there, buy what makes you comfortable firstly, and buy what makes you happy, mostly. BUT, If you're like me and like a great community with great service, a great price point, and top shelf comfort, give Vibe a look and try one out. You just might find yourself impresssed.
WV Born and Raised
Multi-Species Fishin' Addict
Appalachian Range Outdoors
Vibe Kayaks Pro Fishing Team