Krousmon, my Glass Slipper saga

-- Last Updated: Jul-26-06 1:29 PM EST --

I decided to put this in writing a while ago, but reading your post inspired me to finnish it, a bit hurriedly, perhaps, but finnish it nonetheless. I hope it...helps? or whatever. True story.

Years ago I came across a great deal on a VCP Pintail. It was turquiose deck over white hull with black trim. Ocean cockpit. I cleaned out the spiders, polished her up and thought it was the most gorgeous craft ever to skim God's blue water.

I never did fit too well in that boat. Liked the fit and feel of my Romany better. But there was nothing better to look at while paddling on the water than the Pintail. Absolutely nothing.

I dated a nice girl who, of course wanted to try kayaking with me. We paddled a few times together, her in my Pintail. It was all good but soon I stopped seeing her. When my frinds asked why, all I could say was "nice girl, but she didn't quite fit the Pintail". My friends all nodded slowly and understood perfectly without another word being spoken.

As the girls came and went, and the Pintail firmly held its place in my kayak quiver, my friends began referring to it as "The Glass Slipper". They knew the right girl for me would be the one that fit The Glass Slipper. They would stare at my dates and analyze them. Then, when she wasn't looking they would all shake their heads while doing miniature mock paddle strokes at ten times the normal stroke rate and later comment, "Dude, she won't fit The Glass Slipper, why are you wasting our time". Inevitably, they were always right.

One girl capsized in the Pintail and got real frustrated. Next girl kept asking if we were almost done yet. Next girl complained that her leg fell asleep and somehow she was getting wet. Next girl talked too much. Next girl couldn't talk and paddle at the same time so she would always set her paddle down when she wanted to say something. Next girl pee'd in the Pintail during a short crossing as a freighter approached. Next girl had such a horrible stroke I couldn't bare to watch. Next girl already had a kayak and it was better because it had a rudder. Next girl asked when was I finally going to outgrow all this paddling stuff. WHOA!

One day a friend called and asked if I could teach his kayak class for him at the local university as he was recovering from shoulder surgery. The college class, he said, had 13 female students and 4 males. I told him I wasn't looking for trouble but would help him out anyway. I drove to the lesson and changed into my paddling gear at my truck. As I walked around the corner of the lodge I was almost run into by some female students. "Wow", one of them said with a big smile as she stared at my Palm pfd, "I'd sure like to trade gear with you". Later, on the water, that same girl was quite interested in paddling technique and often queried me about the different strokes. Her name was Jen. Nice girl, but she is a student, and I am the instructor.

A few days later that same instructor called and asked if I would bring some of my ww boats to the pool as some of the girls wanted to learn the eskimo roll. I did, but I stayed in the deep end and practiced rodeo moves with the boys. I couldn't help to notice, however, that Jen learned the roll very quickly and seemed to pickup on the relationship between body and boat and the mechanics invovled. We all went for coffee afterwards.

A few days later that same instructor friend called and asked if I could support him on a club paddle and bring extra boats for his students, and they would pack me lunch. How can one say no to that. As I pulled up to the put-in, Jen looked up at the Pintail on my roof rack and literally gushed, "wow, can I paddle that one?" I kid you not.

She was amazing in the Pintail: smooth, strong, elegant, confident. Curious, inquisitive. My friends knew before I would let myself know. Everyone was watching the girl in the Pintail. A simply gorgeous sight on the water; Jen paddling the Glass Slipper. On the way back the winds kicked up just enough to alarm and disarm some in the group. I told her to pick up her cadence and lean forward and she would hardly notice the wind. She grinned as the Pintail responded with its beautiful bow slicing through the tops of the waves, both Jen and The Glass Slipper glowing from the sunshine and the bow spray.

At the take-out she asked me why my friends kept walking by her and making comments like, "nice fit" and "gosh, you sure looked good in the Pintail". That was Oct. '98. Now her Romany sits next to my Explorer HV in our boathouse. We have a few medals adorning the boathouse wall from winning the mixed tandem category a few times and a couple slalom medals of hers. Many photos and stories of great paddling trips. Most importantly, we have plenty of great paddling and mountainbiking friends. Yes, I finally found the Girl that fit The Glass Slipper. Life is a wonderful experience. God Bless and Paddle Often.

Hold fast on course, Krousmon, your paddlin princess may be just around the next point or in the next bay.

WOW! Two world class posts in a day.

I think I know you…
Does Heidi’s old boat ring a bell? How about the hole in the wall gang? Jones Island a few weeks ago? The Ballard locks a few months ago?

Do you know who I am now?

Lovely story
Thanks for sharing it.

So there is hope…

THAT is the coolest story EVER! I keep looking as I round every point and cove, but all I see are fat, old fishermen.

I need a fairygodmother.

Appreciate the props

– Last Updated: May-21-06 12:15 PM EST –

Thanks for the wonderful sentiments, although all I pretty much did was write down what actually happenned. :>) Paddlin people really are the best kind, so its that much better when you can share your life with another boater.

I am pretty sure I know who you doubledipper, its a small paddling cummunity. 10 years ago I was still very active in the industry from Sweetwater to Riptides and Rapids to Rutabagas to Anglesy Sea and Surf Centre. Every now and then I'll think I recognize somebody on Pnet.

Thanks again, Krousmon, mon. Cherish that kayak and it will grant you your wish. ( kind of the 'build it and they will come' of paddlesports?)



That was great…
It really does happen…

Thanks for sharing
What a sweet story. It deserves to be published in one of the paddling magazines!

I’m a fan
Great story, absolutely should be published.

romance isn’t dead!