Interview with Vince Console of Hobie Kayaks E-mail
Monday, 19 October 2009 09:56

Vince, can you tell our readers a bit about you and your background?
My background is fairly diverse in relation to my education, experience and work history.  I have a degree specializing in service sector management from an accredited Cal State University. I’m a recent fire academy graduate with a multitude of EMS certifications.  I’ve held various jobs and careers in a wide variety of settings and have spent most of my life either in or around the water.

I’ve worked as a test rider for a large PWC manufacturer, a sales associate for one of Southern California’s largest tackle retailers, an Ocean Lifeguard and Lifeguard Instructor for two of Southern California’s more pristine beach cities, and served as a Marketing Executive for the SCUBA Industry’s largest marketing association.

My experience encompasses facilitating aquatics training and seminars, special event coordination, contract management, marketing and communications, emergency medical services and angling specialties.  I am a life-long swimmer, water polo player, surfer, free diving enthusiast, and all-out fishing fanatic.

How did you get started with Hobie?
Honestly…LUCK, and a little perseverance.

Can you tell us exactly what your job is and what you do for Hobie?
Like many of us here at Hobie, I find myself wearing numerous hats.  My primary job is as Hobie’s Fishing Product Manager, which includes researching, selecting, developing and placing new product within the marketplace.  I’m basically the fishing arena interface between Hobie’s marketing, sales, public relations, design and engineering operations.   Other aspects of my job include customer relations, corporate sponsorship, and fishing team management.

Hobie has really made an impact on kayak fishing—this all from a company that was until recent years predominantly a sailing company. What made Hobie change focus?
Let’s just keep this between us.  Fishing is the largest segment of the sporting goods world.  We’ve always been known for sailing, but we also know an opportunity when we see one.

Vince with nice strip

You have the envious job of traveling around the country,  kayak fishing with the locals. What observations have you made in different areas of the country in terms of kayak fishing?
The most notable observation in my travels is the camaraderie kayak fishermen share.  A whole new wave of anglers was spawned with the dawn of kayak fishing.   Regardless of where you are in the world, it is apparent that kayak fishermen share a common bond, where everyone—regardless of how much an old salt they may be—is willing to share information, swap stories and even (on occasion) divulge their own secret honey hole.

You fish many of the kayak fishing tournaments. What’s your opinion of the competitive portion of the sport?
I believe that competition breeds innovation, and that no one sport has been more innovative over the past several years than kayak fishing.  However, what really makes kayak fishing tournaments so unique is—again—the camaraderie of the kayak angler themselves.  Unlike many other tournaments where competition is somewhat cut-throat, it’s apparent that many kayak fishermen enter tournaments not just to compete, but to fish among their friends, collaborate on new ideas, and as simply an excuse to get out on the water and have a good time.

When you first saw the MirageDrive™ System did you ever think it would be as popular as it is today?
My first impression of the MirageDrive™ was that it was nothing more than a gimmick, and that it would never work in the types of environments that I’m used to fishing.  But…when I had my first opportunity to demo it, I was hooked!  I simply couldn’t think of an easier and more stealth way to target fish. 

Early on there were some problems with leaks around the MirageDrive™ housing. What has been done to remedy this?
Like any innovative manufacturer, we’re not immune to the occasional hiccup. What sets us apart from our competition is our ability to react quickly to resolve isolated incidents before they affect the end user. Fortunately, that was the case with the MirageDrive™ housing. We discovered the incident early enough that we were able to rectify the issue before it became an actual problem.
What accomplishments are you most proud of when it comes to the sport?
I’d have to say that I’m proud to have the ability to contribute to a sport and a hobby that I love, and knowing that those contributions are hopefully going to help others have a more pleasurable experience out on the water.

We all know that Hobie is very close-lipped about what they are working on. Anything you can share with our readers when it comes to the future for Hobie?
Pssst…it’s getting fishier!
Which Hobie model do you fish from?
I know that this may sound like a “corpo” answer, however, it all depends on the conditions, environment and the species I’m targeting that particular day.  Each Hobie model has unique attributes that lend themselves to specific fishing conditions, and I’m simply fortunate enough to have access to the entire Hobie line.

What other manufacturers’ kayak models do you like?
Come on guys, do you actually expect me to honestly answer this one?  Really…what other manufacturers?

What is your most memorable catch from a kayak?
My most memorable catch would have to be several spotted bay bass that I hooked with my grandfather and his buddy on their first kayak fishing outing.  The fish were nothing memorable, but the company sure was.

What is your favorite species to fish for?

What species are on your “must-catch” list from a kayak?
Golden Dorado, Musky, and of course a large Mako.

What’s next for Vince Console?
You never know, but I can assure you that I’m always thinking of my next fishing venture somewhere—anywhere.



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