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Kayaking "Fred"?

I come from a serious cycling background and have been kayaking about three years. I just got my first fiberglass 'yak, a CD Gulfstream, a while back after years of plastic WS sealutions and tsunamis'. In the cycling world there are people called "Freds". In the cliquish biking world certain actions, clothing or equipment choices are open to ridicule and derision. You're a "Fred" if your cycling stuff isn't up to code. It's worst than a pack of 14 year old school girls. Just curious if that mindset exist in the kayaking world? Kayakers versus canoeist, or Walmart boat compared to a more expensive model perhaps?

Comments

  • I haven't run into it myself. It probably exists because human nature always has judgmental folks. Were I to run into one? I'd paddle fast to get away. :)

  • Call me Fred if you must, but you won't find me paddling the venues I do with anyone in a box store "kayak".

    This has more to do with safety and efficiency than being elitist.

  • Not so much on different levels of gear within a category (like your mention of WS tsunami vs CD gulfstream), but there is a bit among categories of boats (sea kayak vs rec boats vs sots/fishing kayaks).

  • Your Gulfstream is not a Fred.
    I knew someone with a sailboat with the impressive name "Tangaroa"
    The owner said it sails like a "Fred"

  • Agree with Peter about boats and brands.

  • @Sparky961 said:
    Call me Fred if you must, but you won't find me paddling the venues I do with anyone in a box store "kayak".

    This has more to do with safety and efficiency than being elitist.

    The "Fred" would be the person in the box store kayak.

  • I am from Europe. From reading these forums, I sense some culture difference between Europe and USA, but I still think this applies on both continents:

    Sea kayakers are mostly judgemental of people who don't know what they are doing.

    Sometimes the lack of knowledge is revealed by equipment choices, so there can also be some "equipment judgement" among us, for example:
    Going far from shore in a kayak without flotation and without a tested plan for what to do in a capsize.
    Going far from shore in cold water, dressed for the warm air temperature instead of being dressed for the cold water.

    But I usually don't see people being judgemental over "odd" equipment. It usually more like:
    "Wow, did you build that yourself? Does it work?"
    "Wow, I had never thought that could be used that way."
    "Wow, his PFD is really worn out. He must have a lot of experience."

    There is also a lot of equipment bragging/flashing, especially when going camping. But only in the "positive" direction. You will get comments if you have some nice equipment, which nobody else have (like my handheld espresso machine with built-in bicycle pump). You will also earn a lot of respect for going the minimalist way or using really old-fashioned equipment. But you will not be judged for having the "wrong" camping equipment.

  • edited June 6

    @Allan Olesen said:
    Sea kayakers are mostly judgemental of people who don't know what they are doing.

    I agree but with one addition. I judge those who don't know what they're doing and aren't interested in improvement.

    ...and as I've said in the past, I don't have a problem with any type of equipment, just its use in the wrong situation.

  • @The Nazz said:

    @Sparky961 said:
    Call me Fred if you must, but you won't find me paddling the venues I do with anyone in a box store "kayak".

    This has more to do with safety and efficiency than being elitist.

    The "Fred" would be the person in the box store kayak.

    Hmm, yes, I see now. This is why I never "ran with the cool kids" in high school.

  • edited June 6

    Don't paddle with Fred any more. He moved away.

    On the bike if you are an A rider riding with the C riders is "painfull". Conversely if you have a seakayaks and average 3-4 mph including breaks paddling with a 8ft Sundolphin(big box pool toy) is just as undesireable.

  • That is such a divisive comment. ;) Can't we all just get along?

  • @The Nazz said:
    I come from a serious cycling background and have been kayaking about three years. I just got my first fiberglass 'yak, a CD Gulfstream, a while back after years of plastic WS sealutions and tsunamis'. In the cycling world there are people called "Freds". In the cliquish biking world certain actions, clothing or equipment choices are open to ridicule and derision. You're a "Fred" if your cycling stuff isn't up to code. It's worst than a pack of 14 year old school girls. Just curious if that mindset exist in the kayaking world? Kayakers versus canoeist, or Walmart boat compared to a more expensive model perhaps?

    In my previous life I also was a serious cycler and never heard the term "Fred "
    Who knows, maybe I was a "Fred"?
    Now in the paddling world, I'll paddle with anyone as long as they are not judgemental.
    With that said, I won't paddle a long off shore paddle with anyone unless I know their capabilities

  • Nazz,

    I'm also a cyclist and am familiar with the Fred mindset. As i get older, I may become one. Stable full of Colnagos (road, 'cross, etc.), yet my jerseys are no longer form fitting and I have a mirror mounted on my helmet. :)

    I started running about five years ago and find no evidence of the Fred mindset in that community. As a slow, middle aged beginner, I've run and socialized with Olympians, sponsored professionals, and industry people. Every single one was welcoming and inclusive. Didn't matter that I was slow or that maybe my shoes were laced incorrectly.

    When I bought a vintage CD Solstice GTS three years ago and joined this community, I found that it is much more like the running community. If someone is out there, paddling, they're one of us. The community tends to sort itself into "run groups" like car clubs do on the track...novices, intermediates and experts, but there is no looking down on someone in a "lower" run group. They just have less experience, or perhaps not the same level of interest or enthusiasm. But they're still out there, not sitting on the sofa!

  • I just recently had an article read to me that seemed to suggest that, as cycling has equipment Freds, sea kayaking may have certification Freds. The impetus for the author was expedition paddling with an experienced group in a remote area, and crossing paths with a pair of "inexperienced" folks. It was pointed out that this pair was on day fifty-something of a several month outing, and they were avid expedition hikers and climbers. This was their maiden kayak expedition.
    The author pointed out that his group's privately spoken sentiment was that these two had no business being out there.
    But in reflecting back on the situation, he began noting flaws in his "experienced" group's sentiment.

  • edited June 11

    Can't stand the elitists in the biking, kayaking, backpacking or any equipment laden pursuits. Generally, the "elite" is more about what they can afford to own (and display) and sometimes about what they can do.

    That's my take. I stand with and am content to be a "Fred."

    sing

  • RexRex
    edited June 12

    I've been biking for over thirty years and in my (large) biking community I have heard exactly one person use the term "Fred" and that person moved away a long time ago. Cyclists in my community are NOT gear snobs. Primarily you're judged by your biking peers by how safe you are to ride with. (Then you're judged by how good your jokes and remarks are.)

  • @Rex said:
    I've been biking for over thirty years and in my (large) biking community I have heard exactly one person use the term "Fred" and that person moved away a long time ago. Cyclists in my community are NOT gear snobs. Primarily you're judged by your biking peers by how safe you are to ride with. (Then you're judged by how good your jokes and remarks are.)

    So, you are a very safe rider.

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