Monday, October 31, 2011

Sports Cars

I recently tested out the new P&H Delphin 150. It's the smaller version of the Delphin 155 which has been one of the most popular boats this past year. And in looking around at some of the other 'hot' new boats out there you see a lot of exciting, playful designs. Boats like the Tiderace Xstreme, Sterling Reflection, etc. While it is cool that there are new designs coming out and boats that are really designed to perform in rough and challenging conditions, it's also a bit of overkill.

These boats are the equivalent of sports cars in the kayaking world. How many people really need to drive a sports car? Even if I owned a Porsche I wouldn't get to work any faster. And I certainly couldn't carry as much stuff with me. Even if you're a really good driver are you actually going to need the performance of a Porsche? How often do you need to get up to 60mpg in 4 seconds? Most of us drive sedans, SUV's and minivans for a reason. I take that same approach to kayaking - I want what is going to work for me in a practical way for how I paddle.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the Delphin 150. And these boats are great for the people who have the skills and opportunity to push them to their performance limits. Or for those who can afford multiple boats. But I see more folks with high performance kayaks than I see high performance kayakers. But I guess sea kayaking isn't about what's practical for most people. At the end of the day they are just toys, and I guess paddlers are like everyone else - we want the shiniest, sexiest toy we can afford. Having access to a fleet of kayaks through work maybe I'm not in a position to judge. But as to what I own I'll stick with my Ikkuma and my pickup truck.

Here's some video of both sizes of Delphins. Not even approaching their maximum performance...

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