When I recently wrote a quick overview of SeakayakingUK's Romany, someone (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) shared with me the thought that the Romany was at least in part based the Shore Line kayak produced by another UK company called North Shore.
I've been paddling or test paddled kayaks designed with or by Aled Williams for some time from the Romany to Rockpool to Tiderace. They all share a heritage that is obvious from the moment you paddle them. There are kayaks out there from many different designers and brands that are impressive and may do this thing or that thing better than Aled's boats, but I've never found one that is truly a better all around kayak.
Now the thing is, LENDAL used to be a premiere brand. Holding a Lendal in your hand was something akin to holding Excalibur. Then Johnson took over and QC went into the dumper. Yeah, they got it under control but everything that the brand had stood for in the eyes of sea kayakers never really came back. Now I can't help wonder if Lendal is about to be saved or on its way to getting tossed around like a _________ ___________. (Creatively fill in the blank.)
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.