Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to The Wilson Times.
What do you do when you have something that is very outdoorsy, but carries the reputation of being either very — excuse the political incorrectness of this column — girly, or at the very least hipster? You build up the hype to the market you are looking for, right?
This is the case with a water vessel that I currently own. You see, I have a paddleboard.
This is not the paddleboard where you picture someone doing yoga while the sun sets behind their silhouetted, contorted body. This is a paddleboard designed for anglers, and hunters to an extent as well.
I chronicled several adventures I had using the paddleboard a few years ago as I set adrift on a 22-mile long weekend down the Neuse River in pursuit of spawning stripers and bottom-feeding catfish. My, was that an adventure too!
I broke a rib, fought through a cold night in which I was worried about hypothermia, and wondered if the most dangerous thing in the wild were the animals or the party goers.
And while the paddleboard is definitely cool and I have enjoyed using it, the fact is, it is just stuff. I also have a top-of-the-line kayak, and for the waters I am closest to, I will use it 100 percent of the time. Because of that, sometimes we have to let things go in order to get new and different things. Outdoorsmen are kind of notorious for that.
Ah yes, but I must return to that lead-in paragraph. I seemed to digress from the initial point, which is to reach your market. While this paddleboard would work just fine for doing yoga, it doesn’t fit that sleek white surfboard look with pinks or baby blues lining the edges. It doesn’t have the everchanging pastel-colored LEDs highlighting the water around the perimeter of the board. No, this is more like a barge. Or as I stated in my best used car salesman’s description, a battleship.
I bring to you, the advertisement:
“Has your girlfriend, wife, or both been nagging you about a paddleboard for Christmas? Rest easy. I have one fully masculine Flatstalker paddleboard available for sale. Flatstalker, you ask? Well, the Flatstalker is the man’s man paddleboard. This baby comes in battleship green, and when you step on it, you will know why. This vessel is powered by pure testosterone, and can be optionally powered by paddle (provided), electric motor or small gas boat motor. Of course, no one will mind if you step outside the rules and throw two Detroit diesels on it either, but that is totally up to you.
This paddleboard is so amazing, fish and ducks will simply land at your feet to have the pleasure of being associated with someone that basically is the Thor of the water. Jason Mamoa probably uses this paddleboard, and we all know Aquaman is no longer that yellow-and-green donned wimp from Superfriends.
Want more? Well, Flatstalker basically one-upped that yuppie cooler company that everyone has a sticker of on their two-wheel-drive truck window. The cooler doubles as a seat, triples as a rod holder, and quadruples as a tackle box and tray. It is even notched to remain in place while traversing rapids. Heck, stand on top of the cooler and surf the rapids instead of ‘floating.’
Yes, with this paddleboard, it won’t matter if your girlfriend, wife or both leaves you, because there will be a long line of women waiting. Men will envy your greatness. You will be the King of Paddleboards. No one will mistake you for being a snowflake.”
So, what are your thoughts? Will this draw the attention to help me sell my paddleboard? And lastly, forgive the absence of political correctness, but this paddleboard doesn’t deserve to be politically correct.
Bill Howard is an avid bowhunter and outdoorsman. He teaches hunter education (IHEA) and bowhunter education (IBEP) in North Carolina. He is a member of North Carolina Bowhunters Association and Pope & Young, and is an official measurer for both.