Perhaps serving as something more than an opportunity in which to best one’s fellow competitors, kayak angling tournaments simultaneously serve as public house, think tank, and swap meet. These events are the physical manifestations of our sport’s cherished core of ethos – a tangible buffet of altruism, charity, and friendship. For the crew behind the scenes, however, tournaments can also be synonymous with work. The logistical side of the equation can be taxing and thankless, yet, for many tournament organizers, the effort is a call of duty born of passion.
Kayak angling competition can come in many forms. From the intimate club-focused cyber-centered online tournaments to the knock-down and drag-out regional series, this side of the sport offers something for all interested parties. To gain a survey of the scene, we sent newly-minted tournament host, Pat Kellner, out for a tour of three vastly differing competitive entities. He brought us back conversations with both organizers and events, and reminded us that the meaning of tournaments goes well beyond glitzy prizes and schwag bags.