Hand candy

Posted by Ken Campbell March 25, 2012 0 Comment 853 views

Working in paddle sports retail, I’ve seen it happen more than once. A person will spend extra money – sometimes a wad of extra money – to get a kayak that’s a few pounds lighter. It makes sense, sort of. A lighter boat is easier to huck on and off the car, easier to carry down to the water. I’m not against lighter boats.
But then what happens is, after the person sees how much it’s going to cost to shave off 3 or 5 or 8 pounds, he’ll start looking for a way to make up that amount somehow. It’s pretty common that what he’ll do next is spend less on a paddle, get one that’s a bit heavier, a bit less comfortable, but one that doesn’t set him back like a top-of-the-line carbon or fiberglass model. And yes, he will save money. But not nearly enough.
Buy a boat that weighs a little more, and spend the money you’ll save on a paddle. Once you get your kayaks to the water, they all weigh the same. Get the absolute best paddle you can afford, which will inevitably be the light one, the balanced one, the one that you won’t even notice as you hold it in your hands. It will feel like it’s not even there which, paradoxically, is the whole point. The best gear is the stuff you don’t have to think about.
I did a private class today. We ended up going to the Foss because, although it was sunny, the wind was hooting everywhere else. I loaned one of my paddles to my student and by the end of class, he wanted one of his own. I believe I’ll see him at the shop later this week. (I have some excellent carbon-fiber Werners on the rack that will not last long.) I don’t feel like I sold him a paddle; I feel like the paddle sold itself.
Thus endeth the lesson.

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