Drove back from PA to NJ yesterday on I80. Saw many kayaks and a few canoes on the roofs of many cars going the other way. Can’t help but steal a glance at what was on the roofs of these vehicles. Did not see any composite boats at all, just short rec boats and aluminum canoes.
Paddled a large inland lake this weekend because of small craft warnings on Lake Michigan.
I was dressed for the water temp, carried a spare paddle, bilge pump, paddle float, and wore my PFD with tactic pack attached.
People I saw floating around the launch site were in SOTs or rec boats with huge cockpits, wearing shorts, T-shirts or tank tops. No PFD or even a water bottle in sight.
I felt like I had shown up at the wrong party.
A lot of " those people"
Everywhere you go to paddle these days you see a lot of “those people”.
They don’t need no "stinkin’ pfds. They can swim, and they never capsize.
They don’t need no “stinkin’ lessons”. They don’t want any instructor telling them what they shouldn’t do.
They don’t need no expensive boat. If what they have floats (at least until it capsizes) they’re good to go.
A t-shirt & shorts is all you need to wear.
Why are you wearing all that gear; are you an astronaut or what?
Don’t believe it?
You can read about a lot of them on pnet, the internet, and in the newspapers every year.
I think it is universal Andy
Down the Florida Keys each winter, we see ten rec kayaks for every high end sea kayak.
As a mater of fact; the only sea kayaks that we see are when the guided trips come by.
How many times I’ve been asked if my boat was for two people. I shake my head no, raise one finger and then point to myself.
itsa big ocean…
rarely. shells, poly boats some tupperware....composites are rare around Florida but there are multitudes of fishing kayaks.
Tybee Island had a small parking lot of composites mainly retirees with $$$$.... parking for the area.
Same with Smallpox Bay: 3 summers maybe 50-75 composites. Now there's a factor. Computer money for Repco Morgans, 911 Carrera commuters but no yakkers.
Pa n NJ doahn add up as the bottoms are shallow n rocky. Your in the worng area.
editedit: left out 2 germans (?) IN 'decked' canvas inflatables at Crawl Key trying to find a way to Key West ( south) across CH 7 at 95 degrees no wind. Yak !
I’m Rethinking My Elitist Mindset.
After reading about the Cuba expedition
I saw more SUPs than kayaks this weekend.
over dressed than under dressed at a party.
Such is life.
I counted people driving while holding cellphones on my trip north, until I lost count. Forget counting the tailgaters and lane-wanderers.
this morning's sky is blue with a thunderstorm rising from the Florida Straits eddy off Naples...see radar.
So, instead of turning into the shop we headed down the blvd 6 miles to old town Fort Myers Beach where we were greeted with a fly over into a palm by one off my migrating birds who whistled greetings good to see you with a huge feather ball bristle and EAT EAT. So, looking over at the beach, a composite at 8AM gliding along across the smooth Gulf water. Nice glide !
Super ! the storm bottom was below the horizon, sharply defined white clouds in a blue sky on light blue waters.
Driving back past n up the Mantanzas bridge, my bird friend came out to the blvd whistling a wistful goodbye.
rec boats don’t bother me at all
Sure, I’d like to see more sea kayaks…so the used market had more to offer.
But rec boats don’t bother me. People using boats improperly bothers me.
Really don’t see…
many aluminum canoes anymore in the Ozarks, and it used to be the aluminum canoe capital of the world with all the rental canoes. The rentals are now mostly plastic, with a lot of kayaks thrown in, a lot of the private craft are now fishing type kayaks. When you see a Grumman it’s almost always a couple of older than middle age anglers.
Waterpark are AAA. take tax money give to your brother in law turn swamp into a money generator.
Like Florida !
Butts in boats
I guess getting people out in the cheap rec boats doesn’t gurrantee they’ll get hooked and upgrade later on. Seems like that was part of the reasoning behind saturating the market with so many entry level options. I don’t really see sup as competition because it’s mostly (for 99% of people) a park and play type beach\lifestyle toy. Better than putting people in jet skiis.
But unless some Hollywood type starts touting the benefits of a 18 foot composite hull, will probably continue to see more recs and sups everywhere, and composites only in very niche settings.
…is this so disappointing to you?
Who cares what people are paddling? The Ozarks on any given summer weekend is just as you describe, and there are many folks whose SINGLE big weekend of the year involves sleeping in a WalMart tent in a campground and paddling a rental Discovery. I say good for them, I’ll choose other times of the year to get out and paddle/fish.
This “culture” is not a new development in areas blessed with good water. It’s something that’s been going on for years. And the Weekend Warriors will always choose a less expensive route.
you’re right, of course
...but I can still empathize, I like to see more composite touring boats and people who can paddle them.
But we've got to recognize the cost. A new composite kayak and associated gear can be as expensive as getting started in golf or auto or motorcycle racing.
Went paddling on Sunday
As we dropped a vehicle at the take out I saw a fleet of about 10 SOTS and a few Rec boats preparing for the 2hr downstream run with 3 days worth of beer.
At the Put in the ramp was covered with about 10 nice Royalex canoes well outfitted for an overnite camping trip. They were shuttling vehicles so we hit the water ahead of them, passed a couple rowing a jonboat with a friend on a SOT. Got passed by a family of four on SOTs while we were lazing on a sandbar.
My wife was in a Swifty, You never would know she had two kayaks worth $4k together sitting at home. I was paddling a 35yr old fiberglass canoe even though I had 4 Royalex canoes in the barn, including 2 bought from the manufacturer.
I was wearing my Tilley so everyone knew I wasn’t river lice.
You can’t judge people by what’s on the roof rack.
Judge them by their hat.
older than yours
Was out in the Mosquito Lagoon New Smyrna Fl in a 1979 Mohawk Blazer this weekend watching the dolphins. While three Bell canoes sat at home. Some times nothing beats an old beat up boat. By the way my floppy brim hat cost three dollars at the local farmers market. Do not judge me by my hat.
Hardly ever see a non rental canoe any more. Composite sea kayaks are rare. Think it is because of expense, lack of need, no cup holders, and that they might tip over. Last time I was in a high end paddle sport store looking at a canoe they were selling a SOT to a lady. She just loved the built in cup holder and how wide it was. They do not go on trips just floats. That is what they enjoy. We like to cruise. To each there own.
The Hub Spins (On a Plastic…
Takalook pulled the skin
cross the bleached driftwood frame,
where a seal without approval
in its last stretch would remain.
Then two Nigels seeing this
quite before a Looksha glass,
Foster'd forms of Dennis menace
where hully rollers formed new class.
And soon those sands of chine
wood release in time gel bait,
but even Kevlar could not armour
carbon forms from rolling fate,
as young extrusions oft amass
in Pompeii circumstance quite drastic,
and Takalook one berg away
gets swallowed in flow gyro-plastic.
in the end we are all just paddlers…
regardless of what hat we wear or what our boat is made of. Some boats work better in certain environments than others but its all good at the right time in the right place for the right folks.
I feel pretty fortunate where I live (WV). No fees for launching, people in the area are tolerant of paddlers, everybody gets along good. Did have one strange thing happen a week or so ago. Someone called 911 on us. Me and a bud were paddling dunlop creek which runs along a popular New River Gorge Park Road (to Thurmond). I guess some tourist got concerned about the downstream waterfall we don’t run, or perhaps the wood in creek. Park service ranger was friendly once we could catch an eddy and chat him up. Turns out he had boated the creek once himself.
Its not bad that the masses want something else. Enjoy what you have!