Boat ramp idiot #4

A RUDE idiot.

Upon finishing my paddle, I carried my boat (a surf ski) back to the trailer. As I began to remove the waterproof keybox from its keeping place, a woman hurried over (so hurried that she apparently just left her sponsoned Dancer on the ramp). She asked that eternally redundant, “Can I ask you a question?” starter, which I have learned is a ruse to make the askee think the asker is polite.

I knew exactly what she was going to ask: “How much does your boat weigh?” and I was right, down the very words.

I told her, “That’s the first thing people ask…” while considering whether to tell her I never weighed it (true). Manufacturer descriptions have said 27 lbs and 25 lbs, for the same layup, and I don’t know which is correct.

BUT before I could continue at all, she grabbed the stern and lifted it up and dropped it down, not gently, either. I had not yet put the foam blocks on the bars yet and told her, “Would you not mess with it!” rather angrily.

She whined, “I just wanted to know how much it weighs because you’re so fast.” I curtly answered, “It’s light but that doesn’t make it fast.” A better answer would’ve been, “It’s a kayak. The engine doesn’t come with it, but the engine weighs 110 lbs.”

This sponson-dependent paddler’s butt wouldn’t even have fit in the bucket, let alone stay upright in it while sitting on deadflat water. When she returned to her abandoned Dancer with the sponsons, I heard a lot of dropping-on-concrete noises while she loaded her trailer.

Sometimes rowers (the “shell” kind, not the rowrowrowyourboat kind) do their workouts at that reservoir. I hate to think of idiots manhandling those shells. Maybe they’re too intimidated by the obvious narrowness, but anymore you can never underestimate some people’s grabbiness. These are older adults, not kids!


Maybe you can carry a set of 25 lb dumbells, then tell them to come back to your car, because you have something calibrated and named for people who don’t know what a 25 lb. Kayak feels like.

1 Like

I’ve asked those questions more than once but have not touched another’s boat without permission.


@PcomStealsYourData i actually had someone do something similar to my rowing shell back when I used to row!I was setting up to load the boat onto my truck and a guy came over and decided he needed to “help” without asking. He could have easily damaged the boat, and this was a beefier recreational shell (similar in construction to a lightly built kayak) rather than a true racing shell. I reamed him out but he mostly just blew me off, probably was embarrassed more than anything.

I only would touch someone else’s boat if it was in danger - floating off the beach or something similar. I also have a pet peeve about not stepping over someone’s boat - the tripping hazard for one, but no one likes sand strewn all over their boat either.


I love being a burly looking dude. No one messes with me, ever, even though I’m quite happy to chat about my boat. This sounds like one of many stories from my wife though. Women seem to get many more uninvited interruptions regardless of the activity or task.

I would go ape$@!% if someone dropped my boat to the ground out of entitled disregard (an honest mistake is still bad, but more understandable). 20lb boats dont like touching anything besides water and boat cradles. Hope the boat made it out unscathed.

I get lots of weight questions because I will jog/run the 100 yards down the beach to the ocean to get the blood pumping. CA ocean is cool enough that it helps to have an elevated heart rate from the start to keep you warm until paddling warms you up. But running with a 20’ boat in one arm does get you lots of confused looks. lol


My 5’2" and lightweight wife also gets those looks and questions when she carries her 14 pound Hornbeck canoe on her shoulder to the lake from the parking lot . She does not let anyone touch her boat without permission either!


People who only remember those 100-pounders at scout camp have no clue that Hornbecks, Slipstreams, and similar boats even exist. No wonder they wig out when a small person jogs by carrying a canoe one-handed. :exploding_head:
No excuse for uninvited “help” though.


Asking is always OK. Grabbing is not.


Your observation based on your wife’s accounts is so true! What blows my mind is that this person was a woman herself, yet totally clueless about overly aggressive actions.

The ski is unharmed, because I carry it directly between water and trailer crossbars. It never goes on the ground; even if the hull tolerated that the rudder sure would not. Those bars have a thin rubber pad on them, which is why I put (removable) foam blocks on them for transporting the ski.

I’ll be watching that woman like a raptor if I see her again anywhere nearby.


14 pounds! Wow. That IS sweet.

Sometimes landscapers and repair people have to pass through my garage. I point at my kayak and I say, “You toucha my kayak I smasha you face.” That takes care of it.

On one occasion, after repairing my car while the kayak was on the rack, a well-meaning auto mechanic figured he would give the stern strap an extra hard tug. He cracked the hull.


Before the pandemic we kayakers were a pretty rare breed, at least those of us who owned our boat are.

Towards the end of the pandemic recreational kayaking skyrocketed. There was not a recreational kayak that could be bought for love or money.

Now those people have paddled a few times and think they understand the protocol of kayaking better than us who have been doing it for years.

They even get like pack animals when they take over a landing. I almost got into a fight with a dozen of them because I was trying to put a boat in the water and could not get there.

I honked, got out and yelled if someone would move theirs and got no response, until I started to make room to the water for myself and a couple of ladies that had already been waiting for a while. They only quit being belligerent when a ranger showed up and asked if they were going to use the launch. If not take their boats and go home.

The Ranger had actually come to talk to me because he has known me for a few years.

Kayaking has changed dramatically in the past three years, I wish I knew how to fix it, but I do not and would not if I could understand entitled people. I have even rescued a couple that went where they weren’t capable of and they still treat me like I am some kind of turd on their shoe.


I was tempted to say with deadpan face, “About 90 pounds, maybe 100…”

I think I know that guy. Isn’t he the grease monkey with a smasha’d face?

HI Pikabike. Yeah, the Adirondack style canoes can be very light. She loves her Hornbeck “Lost Pond 10”. Check out their website, they do some fine paddling light weight canoes.

1 Like

I think my biggest peeve it the unsolicited “help” when launching/landing or loading my boat on the car.

1 Like

It’s a nice courtesy for people to see someone struggling and offer help, but it is more trouble than its worth. I now anticipate offers when I look like Im struggling (which is all the time), but I pre-empt it by saying, “Thanks, but I need to do it alone or when I am alone, I won’t have the conditioning I need to manage it by myself!” If you say it earnestly with adequate ehthusiasm, they usually look enlightened with sincere understanding.


I understand not wanting a stranger to touch or “help with” your kayak, but why is “Can I ask you a question?” a ruse? It seems to me to be the equivalent to “excuse me” as a preface to asking a stranger something, which strikes me as more polite than just blurting out the question. Anyway I’m personally always thrilled when anyone wants to ask me a question about my kayak. :grin:


I like help. I can load alone with the rug trick but I welcome bossing people around and my husband hates people and never talks to anyone. If somebody wants to grab one end of my boat, THANKS!

But that’s different. People can be annoying but I’ve left my old boat overnight on the beach and it’s always been fine. We don’t usually load them everyday. That’s one of the great things about old used boats is you can relax about them.

1 Like