I hear that rec kayaks are actually pool toys and others feeling they are suitable for high sea adventures. First off there is a pretty good range in just rec kayaks say between the $1100 OT Loon126 and a $275 Sun Dolphin from Walmart. Then if you do some outfitting to the Loon and kayak in at least pairs with practiced skills and stay in reasonable waters, they are IMO real boats to be enjoyed.
This always comes around to education for me and lack of it. People that research and buy a sea kayak have 100s of times more knowledge of the pros and cons of their boat. People that say look a kayak for 300 bucks that comes with a paddle and PFD lets buy two and hit the Great Lakes this weekend. They are not likely to come here and investigate what they plan on doing they are flying by the seat of their pants. They are the same people that make uninformed choices about all kinds of things. They use their kayaks a couple times find out it is more work than it looks and sell them on CL for 50 bucks and they end up being used by the kids I see going down the creek when the water is ice cold and moving five times faster in the spring with no PFD. They don’t realize the current goes straight thru a downed tree but they can’t.
There will always be many more accidents with cheaper boats because there are more of them and the people using them are less informed.
People think I go to an amusement park and do a 10 story high water slide and that’s safe and exciting so how dangerous can a river be?
Things like scouting and camps where people used to learn things about nature are not just around like they once were.
It is all fun until it isn’t and it can get real fast as everyone here knows.
I don’t know the solution to education also. It is pretty hard to keep people out of the water that want to be in it. Do you stop selling cheap boats and hurt people that are using them where they can safely?