Pro or not, if you're not paddling for fun, you're probably not that into paddling. In my experience, those who only paddle when they're working, aren't really dedicated paddlers, and tend not to develop their skills. If it's just a job, and you're not looking for days that you can spend on the water with friends/peers, then it really is just a job.
Leading/teaching folks on the water is totally different than playing with friends. They both have their rewards, but you can't cut loose and push your limits when you're responsible for others.
So, if you're running into people who don't paddle for fun at all, you probably don't want to paddle with them anyways. On the other hand, if you're meeting pros at shops or outfitters, and wondering why they don't want to paddle with you for free, then it's another issue - they may not be inclined to spend a day with someone who's skills they know nothing about, and can you blame them?
The Kayak Wing
Touring Kayak Paddles
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