While, many may think you’ll never have a problem with recreational kayaks on flat water.. we found ourselves doing our first rescue of the season in just those “perfect” flat water conditions.
I was considering the other day whether sea kayaks were going to disappear, or at the very least slip off into the fringes of water sports. I wondered if it will soon become unprofitable for all but a few specialized companies to produce "real" sea kayaks. I also asked myself.. how many people really need 17 foot sea kayaks? Today there are so many paddle craft options that better serve the needs of paddlers who once had little choice but to buy a sea kayak or canoe to get out on the water.
So, I have this friend who's getting the kayak bug. He doesn't want to do those "crazy" things I do (Isn't it strange how sea kayaking or rolling can be seen as "crazy?), but wants to fish... and maybe cruise around a bit too. Of course when someone asks for this sort of advice and has never paddled before, you have to keep Karma in mind. Whatever advice you give will have repercussions in the end. I find it's best to open doors to ideas, rather than offer my faux-expert advice.
The 2007 Colman Fun 94 kayak is 9’4” feet long, has a capacity of 250lbs. If it flips, the poor bastard paddling it may be in real trouble. It would be hard to design a recreational kayak that could hold more water while at the same time be almost impossible to drain as the “fun 94”. In fact, in my opinion the Fun 94 represents just about everything bad in recreational kayaks. The only thing you could do to make them worse is rent them out to holiday makers who are taking enough risk simply by being in on the water at all.
Ok so some kayakers are simply "out there". Especially Shaun Baker who is considering plunging over Niagara Falls in his jet kayak. But at least Shaun is sort of an experienced and educated kind of out there. Unlike the list of names that seems to be growing every day of paddlers who are meeting their fates on the water making the most basic mistakes. I know they are not intentionally out there. On the other hand, not being aware won't keep you any safer. I'm not sure exactly how or if we can ever reach these folks but it's becoming obvious a lot of paddlers are missing their kayak safety classes.