Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Where's Nemo?
As it turns out, everywhere. I would have considered this a racing boat. In fact Gary, our local racing maven, was the first in our area to own one of these crafts. He liked the way it handled and was particularly impressed by how it handled bigger water. Quite a combination of speed and stability.
Now there are more of them in the local fleet, and they are not all owned by racers. In fact, I see more and more paddlers in what I think of as "go fast" boats, and these are folks who do not race. There is no question that in most activities it is fun to go fast and even more fun to go faster. In kayaking, however, speed (so it seems to me) is only important in covering distances faster, and that is assuming you are going somewhere. Most outings, however, are day paddles...at least around here.
There is quite a difference between taking a curve on the highway at 30 mph v. 60 mph. There is, on the other hand, little difference in the "thrill" of going 4.2 knots v. 3.8 knots. This is especially true in open water where you do not pass near by structures and get a sense of how fast you're moving, In fact, most of us cannot tell how we're doing unless we have another boat along side or a GPS to measure our speed.
So why the love affair with the go fast kayaks? Is it just something different to do? Has the sport matured to the point where the old hands are bored and need something new to hold their interest? Or, perhaps, some do it because they can. They have the bucks, so they get the latest and fastest boat out there. A few may be doing it for ego (although I don't see that in any of the folks around here).
I don't know the answer. I just know that more people are going no where slowly but faster.
Paddle safe...

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