By Katie McKy
By weekdays, Sarah Meier of Old Hickory, Tennessee is the general manager for an intermodal trucking company, minding the corporate p's and q's, but come evenings and weekends, she doffs her management hat and dons her paddling cap, attending to other details such as bass dimpling the water by dusk's amber light. However, Meier isn't exactly a padder. Rather, she is a pedaler, for her Hobie Revolution 13 is powered by her legs rather than by her arms. She had paddled kayaks, but prefers pedals because she can fish longer and pass the paddlers who once passed her. She said, "At our local fishing tournaments, where everyone puts in at the same spot, I am able to beat out others at getting to the spot I want." The spots she wants are Old Hickory and Percy lakes, the Stones and Cumberland Rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Florida Keys. "All my co-workers and drivers think I am a nut to go out into the ocean on a piece of plastic," she said.
Why is the Hobie Revolution 13 your favorite boat?
I have paddled and fished out of a lot of different kayaks, but the Hobie Revolution 13 has been my favorite so far. Just yesterday, my husband pre-ordered the 2015 for me from Sunjammers in Panama City. When I first saw the upgrades posted online, it was like Christmas came early! The new model has an upgraded mirage drive pedaling system and a much better seat. The seat in my 2012 model has been my only complaint with the boat. Before I had the Hobie Revolution, I would have trouble keeping up on paddling trips. At our local fishing tournaments, where everyone puts in at the same spot, I am able to beat out others at getting to the spot I want. The rudder steers perfectly and is so easy. I can also make a lot more casts since I am hands free.
Lots of kayak anglers modify their boats. Have you?
The Hobie Revolution is a very versatile kayak. I have added Spring Creek Stabilizers and a Hobie Sail to it. This maximizes the stability and lets me plan trips even farther out into deeper waters while maximizing efficiency.
Why do you love fishing from a kayak?
I work in a very stressful industry and kayak fishing is my therapy. Being on a kayak puts me right atop nature. It's been more than a great hobby: It's also been great for my marriage. We spend a lot of time together and have a lot of memories. We are living life rather than sitting on the couch watching TV.
Did you ever share your coworkers' doubts about going out into the ocean on a piece of plastic?
Before we got kayaks, I had always been in a boat or canoe with my husband, so I always had him right there next to me. When he started talking to me about getting our own kayaks, I was a little nervous. That nervousness was gone minutes after I was experiencing the space and freedom of being in my own kayak. If I want to be right next to him, I can be, but if we are getting on each other's nerves, we can have our space. I also think my confidence and independence has grown since being on my own. Pedaling a kayak is so easy that anyone could do it!
Did your Hobie Revolution 13 ever get you out of a tight spot?
A couple years ago, I got a little too close to some sea turtles mating out in deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The shells on these things were 4-5 feet long. The female thought I was a little too close to her man and chased after me for about fifty yards. I thought the dinosaur-ish creature was going to eat me! I pedaled my Revolution as fast as my legs could go and she eventually lost interest. I learned an important lesson that day: Stay away from the turtles!
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