Tim S wrote:
British Company 'A' produce a classic sea kayak built in the UK and it retails for £1600. They attend all the symps and sponsor a couple of top sea kayakers. Ultimately they give back to the kayaking community...keeping it real.
Far East Company 'B' produce a classic sea kayak built in the far east and it can retail in the UK for £800 ( exactly the same construction ). They have a nice distributer who sponsors a couple of paddlers and attends a few of the events.
This is obviously a simplified version of events- at the end of the day it depends most on which boat suits me best, and that varies from batch to batch, model to model etc.
Personally, however, I tend to be quite effected by the personalities involved in the design & build of the boats. It is no secret that I'm very fond of both Rockpool and NDK designs, and no coincidence that I've paddled numerous times with both Aled & Nigel. They're both visible
, talented, extremely experienced in their field, and they're available for advice and help if you need it. Ultimately, they care
about the boats they produce. I currently paddle a Valley boat, but needless to say my next boat will be either a Rockpool or an NDK (probably the former).
However if, as was the case with me from Knoydart, I receive truly dreadful service, I will not hesitate to shout about that either. When spending a large amount of cash, why should we be content with third rate service? For me, that's what differentiates the British companies.
Yes, price is an issue- but I do try where possible to support good, small, British companies.
As for the 'playing' thing, I think there are another two factors to remember:
a) Modest as you all are, you & your paddling buddies are exceptionally skilled & experienced. Most of us are not paddling at that level and so what is easy, and doesn't raise any adrenalin for you would, for example, for me.
b) The environment involved plays a big part for me. I love the Stacks area of Anglesey, because it's a beautiful place, and because every time I go there it's different according to wind, tide and weather. I tried out Hurley for the first time on Saturday, and although there are a lot of other factors involved (ie I need a better roll before I can appreciate it fully), the fact that it is ultimately a concrete ditch on the Thames doesn't do it for me. (sorry James, Chris etc...:0( )
Flippin' heck, that was a long one... ;0)