Old man take a look at my life / I’m a lot like you
I need someone to love me / the whole day through
Ah, one look in my eyes / and you can tell that’s true.
– Neil Young
I was sitting here working on an article about a couple new kayak models on their way to market and in the midst of a sentence, a bit of rational, clarity came to mind. Old is fine too. Just as we would expect in our consumer driven society, companies become hard pressed to find something new and exciting to rabbit on about in order to sell their products. Regular business cycles and short attention spans make it challenging to keep churning out “awesome, game changing, amazing, paradigm shifting” wonders. Most of it is BS of course. There’s nothing wrong with selling products.. but let’s be honest here, new is rarely all that much different from old other than there is a bit more shine. A shine that will go away in 6 months when today’s “new” becomes tomorrow’s “old”.
I was thinking we need to start having kayak shows at symposiums. Something like the car shows so popular here in the mid-west. People could show off their stock boats.. old Nordkapps, Acutas & Explorers.. not to mention some of those little known west coast producers. There could be a hot-rod class where we get to see all the fancy glassing and paint jobs, cool mods, and awesome one of a kind and kit boats. The sport is certainly getting mature enough to show some love to the classics. Something for Canoecopia 2010?
Pictured above as many of you know is my old Warhorse. It’s a 1996 Nigel Dennis Romany Explorer. My first “real” sea kayak. Pre-SeakayakingUK, my Explorer has still got that old map of the earth graphic peeling away on the side & displays a ASSC sticker on the back deck. The poor beast is losing it’s once robin’s egg blue deck, going white and getting flakey (just like me, as a matter of fact). Yet I’d be hard pressed to find a kayak that was as tough, serviceable and adaptable to all situations as an old Explorer. Give me a rope skeg and 10 extra lbs of gel-coat any day!
Tomorrow I’ll get back to telling you why you need to trash your old kayak and get the latest amazing thing.. Like I said… Flakey.