Great interview with Derek Hutchinson

Some info and opinions on the BCU, kayak design, paddles etc.

video interview:

for all his foibles
Derek did some pretty fantastic things for the sport. I have tremendous respect for him but can’t help but smile a bit at his particular perspective on it. he deserves his title as the father of sea kayaking.

Hey I didn’t cross the North Sea so who am I to make any comments?


great intervies. I believe it was a few years back wasn’t it?


The site says it was in 2007
I took a couple of classes from Mr. Hutchinson in '04/'05. They were well worth the time, money and effort. I’m happy beyond measure that I got to meet and learn from this man while the opportunity was still there.

Derek being Derek
Neat guy and contributed tremendously. But I have to wonder how boat designers must feel at his comments that everything on the beach came from his Gulfstream, or traditional paddlers when he bashes the greenland stick and how he sees one guy using it, or other long term coaches when he says he invented the All-In. This may be less charming for those in the business than the rest of us. Or maybe it’s just Derek and everyone has long since developed immunity.

Did like that Matt Broze bit at the end, where he got Derek with documentation about the west coast designer who had bulkheads and hatches in his boats in the 60’s. Long before the 70’s, when Derek claims he invented them, and a guy who wasn’t Brit no less.

The designers I know would
just smile… I think most folk understand what’s going on here.




– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 3:37 PM EST –

me of Al Gore taking credit for inventing the internet although Derek Hutchinson actually has many more valid reasons to say what he says. I watched a video tape once of him kayak surfing in the north sea with another boater---the boater ran over him and knocked both Derek and his boat over and into the water---kind of hard to roll up when another boat is on top of yours---you could almost see the air turning blue--it was quite clear that he had some rather strong language regarding the whole situation--- it would have been interesting to hear it but the makers of the film edited it out.

so my money is on…

– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 11:46 AM EST –

his having "...turned you from paddling frogs into paddling princes and princesses"

that and extended paddle for everything i think were/are standard...has he changed that up at all?

i think it's that extended paddle thing that got him in a bit of a bind with the BCU...i seem to recall someone mentioning that the BCU stripped him of his BCU coaching cert...they seemed to have disagreed on where kayaking has gone in the years since derek and some others more or less wrote the BCU when i hear derek talking about the BCU being stuck in the past....what's that word? irony?

god bless him though...a video of the gent having a grand ole time in an orion on the N sea is what got me into this sport/affair.... i think it was an edition of anyplace wild - john voorhees...who according to derek was horrified at the whole thing and so they ballasted his orion and even then, lot's of "intestinal wobble"....derek was wearing this whacky viking cap and surfing along and looked like he was just having a ball...and i had a boat a week later.

he can be gruff, he is self aggrandizing BUT for all that, we all know his name and have an idea of what he may/may not have done...pretty close to sea kayaking's first "rock star" if you ask me.

I make no claims to being a prince
I do know that the skills he taught in his “Outside the Cockpit” class gave me a lot more padling confidence than I had prior to taking them.

me too. took a class with him a looong time ago and all that extended paddle stuff DOES absolutely get you out from over the boat and feel like regardless of what happens, up you come…TONS more confidence…as a tool, i think it’s really, really useful.

the from frog to prince thing was something he said and has said in many of the classes i’ve seen him teach since.

he likes himself
i’ve read a few thing from him and apparently he was the first to do anything meaningful in a kayak. he invevnted this and that. he’ll tell you so.


– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 4:06 PM EST –

Hutchinson is just funny

If he is a designer where are his drawings?

Here is a beautiful kayak from 1911 designed by banker O Högberg

The kayak has bulkheads “skott” and hatches “luckor”. And the kayak is so well balanced that it does not need a skeg or a rudder

The stuff that Hutchinson introduced was marketing.

Hans Friedel

Delorian owner?
Does D.H. have a Delorian? With flux capacitor?It could be he traveled back in time to clue in the Inuit on kayak design - sort of like Marty McFly teaching Chuck Berry how to play guitar. But why didn’t he take a Toksook with him so the Inuit wouldn’t have to use those ridiculous unfeathered sticks?

I believe it was working with fiberglass that was the primary difference.

I’m under the impression his background was teaching Craft, Design and Technology, among other things.

Nice sense of humor.

Sometimes the cream of the crop does rise to the top…

Did the Gulf Stream come before
all the other commercial fiberglass boats with a skeg and low back deck? Before the Romany? Before the Anas Acuta? It’s not a rhetorical question. I don’t know the sequence of release to market before 2003.



– Last Updated: Oct-11-07 7:02 PM EST –

I believe the answer to the question is....The Anas Acuta was the first production fiberglass Kayak on the market.

Best Wishes

bump on greenland paddles
During Derek’s on water demo, I asked him what he thought of the GP. I asked because he was selling the Tooksook so hard. He basically said (not an exact quote), “It’s a lagit paddle. We all go through making one.” He said he was surprised that, to his knowledge, no one has tried putting a bump down the middle like on a Tooksook. He said he thought it would increase stability (I think.) I thought that was interesting.



Typo meaning legit or is there a term I am not getting? Also, I am unclear how a typical GP is in any way unstable (or how a bump would make it more so). Can you clarify what he meant a bit?

Aerlig talt… han er full av drit
Interesante bilder .