Does sea kayaking need an image change?^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...

Does Sea Kayaking need an image change?

No, it is fine the way it is, who needs change?
7
15%
Yes, it needs to change to step up and entice new people.
14
30%
Who cares, i just go paddling to get away from it!
26
55%
 
Total votes: 47

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Tim S
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Does sea kayaking need an image change?^

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:07 am

Last week I posted against the UKSKGB Merchandise post offering comment on the design of the logo. My post was then removed. Not sure who by and why, but it did get me thinking about the image of sea kayaking today.

Now I have spent lots of time with sea kayakers, i've paddled a lot of the latest designs, i've written catalogues, websites, press releases and worked at lots of events.... i've even had the original plans to a Hutchinson design on my desk ( had to be careful with the coffee stains that day! ). But i am still as to a loss as to where this wing of the sport is going?

Fact: Sea Kayaking and Touring kayaking are the only areas of 'Kayaking; which are showing significant growth.

Now without a doubt sea kayaking has something to offer everyone, but is this being promoted and published? We are all happy seeing hardcore expeditions around scotland, but where are all the shots of the families paddling in a bay?

Q: Does the average sea kayaker wear wellies and hundreds of layers? Is a beard an optional extra or is it a statutory requirement?

But saying this, do we really want to see change? As whitewater kayakers we can roll up to a river and not find a parking space in the layby...how would we feel if all the launching points were busy and our hidden coastline started to fill up with more sea kayakers 'wanting to get away from it'?

This post and poll is not meant as to a dig to any users of this forum and I'm not offering up an answer, i'm just asking the question. ( i'd happily argue that this forum has done more to promote sea kayaking than all the magazines put together! )

Tim S

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Re: Does sea kayaking need an image change?

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:22 am

Tim S wrote:Last week I posted against the UKSKGB Merchandise post offering comment on the design of the logo.

- - - I've written catalogues, websites, press releases and worked at lots of events - -
Hardly constructive was it Tim? Given the massive amount of time people had to comment and make constructive suggestions about the design quite some time ago (as many did) , and the very considerable effort put in by lots of people to bring it to the point where you can buy one, publicise the largest site of it's type and support RNLI, all at the same time.

You say you're a designer - suppose you'd put in the massive effort the original designer of the logo did, and then read your post? Full marks to him for a) taking on the challenge of producing the design and b) being prepared to adapt in the light of the feedback the original received.

And to cap it all, you link to another T shirt ad!

Go figure.

As to whether sea paddling is being "publicised" enough, I'd have said yes, given all the mags and webspace devoted to the sport. And not all about hard-core expeditions either.

You're more than welcome to contribute pics / articles etc - constructive input and support to the site and the sport is always welcome.

Regs - Mike.

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Tim S
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more more more.....

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:44 am

Ok, i may not have been constructive, i am just not a fan of the design but solely on the basis on the font used. I guess i must have missed the original threads, i should have passed comment then. I apologise if i caused offence.

But i am still interested in knowing what peoples opinions are on the quality and variety of published material as opposed to the quantity.

Before you slate me...the world needs these three paddlers:

Doug Wilcox
- for his images and trips around scotland

Doug Cooper - for all his images from Norway

Mark Rainsley - for his images of his trips around the UK

These three guys offer up three different perspectives of sea kayaking in print and pictures... all inspiriational, but is this a fair representation and does it entice new people into the sport?( who will buy the kayaks, pay the coaches and push the sport forwards ).

Tim S

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Post by andreadawn » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:10 am

Purely my personal opinion of course, but three words which have no place in sea kayaking. Sport. Image. Promotion.

Sea kayaking is about personal experience. For most people, it is not competitive.

It has no need for an image. It is not the latest must have fashion accessory, despite what some of the Sunday papers travel sections might have you believe.

It does not need promoting anymore than does a walk on the beach. You cannot promote a personal experience. People who are looking for the sort of things sea kayaking has to offer, will find their way into it, one way or another.

Andrea.

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Re: Does sea kayaking need an image change?

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:23 am

Tim S wrote:Fact: Sea Kayaking and Touring kayaking are the only areas of 'Kayaking; which are showing significant growth.
Didn't you answer your own question?

JIM

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Tim S
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a future without promotion?

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:30 am

Nice sentiments, and i wholly appreciate where you are coming from...

however, if sea kayaking as a sport? hobby? passion? is going to continue it needs promotion.

So i offer up two scenarios....

1) The current crop of passionate sea kayakers take charge of it's future and keep the heritage of sea kayaking true yet adapt the image to keep new people entering and hold on to people once they have tried it.

2) Sea kayakers sit back and enjoy! keep paddling the 10 year old composite sea kayaks, wonder why you can't buy a sea kayak made in britian in a few years time.....

Clearly not the only options, but i would argue both likely.
Didn't you answer your own question?
B*gger maybe! in my defence i am going to suggest that this growth is currently only taking up 'the slack in the system' i.e. the over production which is occuring globally in plastic sea kayak designs.

Tim S

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Post by atakd » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:40 am

Andrea says it all. I don't want to end up paying £80 for a copy of Kayaking's "David Beckham's" rash vest.
Andy

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Re: Does sea kayaking need an image change?

Post by Mark R » Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:48 am

Tim S wrote:I'd happily argue that this forum has done more to promote sea kayaking than all the magazines put together! )
Funnily enough, despite being the person who actually set the forum up, it has subsequently effected my interest in sea paddling. For various reasons, I have got back into sea paddling in the last year or two, to a much greater extent than ever previously...certainly the things I've learned about and discussed through this forum have played a huge part in that.

I will respond to the original post in depth later when I have time, but will leave you with this...I agree with Andrea Dawn's comments about how we don't need a PR makeover. But my concern is about the accessibility of the sport to newcomers. I get really concerned when I see people try to 'mystify' sea kayaking, or suggest any sense of exclusivity. I often read expressions here - made innocently - using phrases like 'real outdoor people' which nonetheless start ringing alarm bells all around...?


PS Agree that Comic Sans MS looks very naff these days. My fault, I thought it was cool when I first chose it.
Last edited by Mark R on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by RichardCree » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:06 pm

Tim, you seem to be looking at sea kayaking with your marketing head on. Why does it need direction? it isn't going to stop because it doesnt have an image.

I love introducing new people to the sport as much as i love going out on my own in crappy weather, i love paddling nice new shiny boats but not anymore than paddling an old shabby boat. there is something for everyone.

The only people who care about direction are the people set to make money from the sport, be them coaches or manufacturers, i have my own opinions on both, but here is not the place to air them. People with passion for what they do dont do it for the money.

And if you really dont like the logo, then believe it or not you have the right not to buy one.

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yep i am biased....

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:18 pm

..i am looking at this from a marketing perspective, but hopefully an informed one?

I'm not suggesting that sea kayaking's days are numbered, far from it, but what i am suggesting is that to be sustainable in it's current set-up, some image issues need to be addressed.

British designs and companies currently lead the world in sea kayaking, that is without question. But how long before the rest of the world catches up? If something doesnt change, then expect a whole world of sea kayaking marketing from across the pond...and you certainly won't like that!

MarkR wrote:
But my concern is about the accessibility of the sport to newcomers.
I guess this is what i am trying to say in some of my comments!

Tim S

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Re: more more more.....

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:26 pm

Tim S wrote:Ok, I may not have been constructive, I am just not a fan of the design but solely on the basis on the font used. I guess I must have missed the original threads, I should have passed comment then. I apologise if I caused offence.
Noted. It wasn't constructive. If you don't like the design, don't buy it - there's little need for you to take the opportunity to knock it. I didn't see you, with your design skills, jumping up and offering to do it in the first place.

On the broader subject, I'm all for getting people on the water, in whatever way, and anything that demystifies is good. Andrea raises an interesting point though, whether it's a sport or something else.

I suppose the definition of sport includes the idea of competition. And as with other folk, I certainly don't see competition within sea kayaking, although of course it does exist.

For me, sea kayaking is a replacement for hill-walking. IS hill-walking a "sport"? Frankly, it's a "who cares" - we enjoy it, lots of people are clearly taking it up and I'd suggest that's in stark contrast to the situation even as little as 10/15 years ago where it was something of a highly specialised activity.

Turning to Mark's specific comment about "real outdoor people", thats a recurring theme for him I think - for me"ROP" are those who want to use the outdoors, preserve it and enjoy it. There are plenty of people who want to use the outdoors and who wouldn't dream of doing the things they do outdoors in their own gardens.

(Fires, cr@pping on the lawn, leaving rubbish etc). Then again, maybe they would. Now, if a bit of education helps people to understand their responsibilities, thats great. I'd prefer to educate than legislate.

People can acquire Skills and Knowledge, but only if they have the Attitude to do so.

TimS - I think that's happening, as it happens! My impression of sea paddling a few years ago was of the bearded bloke, with boiled sea-gull - that's not the impression we have today - witness the large number of people pushing the boundaries, bringing folk to sea paddling, sharing their experiences here and elsewhere and the much wider scope of what we do.

Long may it continue.

Mike.

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Post by Owen » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:35 pm

Q: Does the average sea kayaker wear wellies and hundreds of layers? Is a beard an optional extra or is it a statutory requirement?


Not that old boring chestnut again!!

Maybe if you took the time to get to know the people in the kayaks instead of churning out the same offensive stereotype. You might just find out why Sea Kayaking is happily growing away on it's own without any interference.

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Re: more more more.....

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:43 pm

Tim S wrote:Ok, ...the world needs these three paddlers:

Doug Wilcox
- for his images and trips around scotland

Doug Cooper - for all his images from Norway

Mark Rainsley - for his images of his trips around the UK
Actually, the world needs anyone who is prepared to put their head over the parapet and produce material which helps illustrate what's out there. Some of that may be so poor it doesn't actually see the light of day, that's the job of an "editor" although of course forums such as this allow a much broader scope for people to express their creative talents.

You've chosen three names, people who do indeed produce quality material. Earlier though, you actually argue against exclusivity - what is this, but the same?

In terms of the overall quality issue you mentioned earlier, I'd suggest that (as with all things) those people who provide a quality product, and one which adapts to changes in style and need, survive. Those that don't, die.

In terms of hard-copy publications, of those I look at, it seems there is a mix aimed at different market segments adn interests, and they appear to do well enough to continue being published. Which suggests they fulfill the needs of their target audience.

In terms of web material, I'll not "judge" UKSKGB in any way save to say that numbers speak for themselves. I am always interested in idea, suggestions, and constructive comment to improve our site, especially from people who are a) in full possession of all the necessary facts to make constructive critiicism, and b) are also prepared to help improve things by producing material for inclusion.

That the UK / World / Europe has a number of other sites suggests that the considerable effort that goes in to providing the resource must make some form of sense for the folk who run them. It's certainly not for the money, as there isn't any, except for the obviously commercial.

Mike

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putting it to bed...

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:45 pm

MikeB wrote:
Noted. It wasn't constructive. If you don't like the design, don't buy it - there's little need for you to take the opportunity to knock it. I didn't see you, with your design skills, jumping up and offering to do it in the first place.
If i had have noticed the original posts on the design, i would have offered up my opinion, and i would be more than happy to have designed it or offered up ideas for the design for someone else to take it further. I just made a comment on the design of the logo....it wasn't rude or vulgar, it made no personal attack, though granted it was a little juvenile, it just made fun of the font. ( i won't link to the site i used, however tempting to redeem myself )

Yep, i dont have to buy one, and maybe i should keep my opinions to myself, but you know the popularity of this forum and the strength of the message it can deliver...hence i have developed my ideas and arguements into this thread...if it promotes discussion, it must be a good thing?

now back to the poll....

Tim S

p.s. sorry it that reads 'like i have bitten' - at the end of the day it is only a t-shirt design and i wholly support the dontations to the RNLI

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Post by Mark R » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:54 pm

Owen wrote:Q: Does the average sea kayaker wear wellies and hundreds of layers? Is a beard an optional extra or is it a statutory requirement?

Not that old boring chestnut again!!

Maybe if you took the time to get to know the people in the kayaks instead of churning out the same offensive stereotype. You might just find out why Sea Kayaking is happily growing away on it's own without any interference.
Well, here's the funny thing. A very large proportion of my WW paddling friends still have precisely that negative impression of sea paddling, and for this reason won't go near a sport which I believe they would really enjoy.

Thinking about why that stereotype still persists, strikes me as a very worthwhile point of discussion.

Or we could just discuss Kelly kettles and GPS units.
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Re: putting it to bed...

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 12:55 pm

Tim S wrote: Yep, I dont have to buy one, and maybe I should keep my opinions to myself, but you know the popularity of this forum and the strength of the message it can deliver...hence I have developed my ideas and arguements into this thread...if it promotes discussion, it must be a good thing?

now back to the poll....

Tim S

p.s. sorry it that reads 'like I have bitten' - at the end of the day it is only a t-shirt design and I wholly support the dontations to the RNLI
LOL - I'm a little unsure as to how you make the link between your comments on a T shirt design, and where the future of paddling lies, but whatever.

The poll is looking interesting.

Regs - Mike.

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Post by Jim » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:14 pm

I was going to say more before but had to a bit of work (shocking!).

I think the image of sea kayaking has already changed and that it is already more accessible, I'm not sure that we need to do more.

When I paddle with my friends from Bolton, I am with some of the longest serving members of the sport, proper original seagull eating wierdy beardies - and in fact none of them have beards or eat seagulls! What they do is get a lot of different people out in sea kayaks on trips that are interesting, remote, yet relatively safe. When I paddle with them there is always at least 1 female along, not just a token female, often they are accomplished paddlers, which shows that the male only steroeotype must have been faltering several years ago! We also have youngsters along with their parents (well, usually only one of), and this year we may even have a grandparent on a trip!

Of my non-kayaking friends more of them have asked me about sea kayaking then river paddling. I still haven't managed to get any of them on the water yet but the idea of a relatively easy to pick up activity that offers as high a degree of escapism as you desire really seems to appeal. Yes there are issues with navigation and tides and weather, but as more and more people are finding out there are loads of paddlers out there who can do all that and need people to paddle with, there are also guides and coaches who lead you or teach you the skills to lead yourself in the future. Compared to river running where every member of a group needs to be able to manouver around obstructions, keep themselves upright, preferably roll if they can't stay upright, take part in rescues and so on, with a stable sea kayak, like the Aquanaut, the majority of group members need to be able to do little more than put one blade in front of the other so long as suitable location and conditions have been chosen by the leaders.

That is true only to an extent, but it is certainly the view that 'outsiders' form: "To do that whitewater stuff must take years of practice, but to go exploring the coast, well a couple of lessons should be enough?".

Have you looked at magazine articles portraying sea kayaking? They are often from trips abroad (so it's sunny and pleasant), but tend to feature heavily on the easy going relaxing side of our sport. I really think the image that is portrayed to non kayakers is a good one. In contrast I think it is only other kayakers (inland types) that are even aware of the 'beardy, wild man of the sea image' and it is probably only them that ever portray that image of us!

So no, I don't think sea kayaking needs remarketing. It offers as much or as little challenge as you want, the only point of concern is that the new and inexperienced have sufficient information to get on the sea in safe places in safe conditions - it appears that with all the new guides that are out there now this is the case.

JIM

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Post by Bertie.. » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:41 pm

Sea kayaking to me, is many things to many people, and it's what you get out of it that counts. If you want to head off on long distance touring paddles that's great. If you want to park 'n' play in your local tidal race that's equally great.

Unfortunately, the portrayal of sea kayaking does tend to be more of the touring aspect, I think largely because if you're playing in a tidal race it can be a bit tricky getting decent photography!

Personally, I think Justine Curvengen's 'This is the Sea' videos have done much to change the perception of the sport/hobby to others - particularly whitewater paddlers who have cottoned on that there are big water rapids, with no access problems and no lack of water available.

As for the design, personally, the logo isn't about its look, it's about what it represents to me. But I'm glad there's a hoodie and t-shirt option - I've got enough sea kayaking polo's that I don't wear already in the wardrobe!!

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Re: yep I am biased....

Post by capsized8 » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:45 pm

Qute TimS
British designs and companies currently lead the world in sea kayaking, that is without question. But how long before the rest of the world catches up? If something doesnt change, then expect a whole world of sea kayaking marketing from across the pond...and you certainly won't like that!

Perhaps you could enlighten me and I am sure most of the people that will read this thread.

Where are you with marketing and or designs applicable to sea kayaking?

What have you done for the sport/leisure activity, where can it be seen?

If there is an involvement, is it generic (for the good of all) or is it of a more self sustaining nature? (your own business perhaps)

For myself, I am pleased to be able to contribute to sea kayaking in my small way. As a club coach, helping to introduce people that have found something that they want to pursue for there own reasons. Not by having seen some sort of "CLUB GB" glossy ad with bikini clad babes and blokes in thongs sitting atride a phalic red sea kayak drinking a martini out of a Sig bottle whilst the sun sets.
People want to sea kayak because they want to sea kayak, usually by being infected with the desire by direct contact with somebody already involved.
It is we the grunts that the sport blossoms from, the marketing is secondary.

I will state that I do manufacture products for sea kayaking and components for a couple of kayak manufacturers. However I choose not blow my trumpet on this site.
Last edited by capsized8 on Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
peace and good padlin.

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Re: Does sea kayaking need an image change?

Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:50 pm

MarkR wrote:PS Agree that Comic Sans MS looks very naff these days. My fault, I thought it was cool when I first chose it.
For clarity, that was in the context of the UKRGB one as I recall - the UKSKGB Logo clearly aimed to maintain the "brand" and indeed branding was mentioned during what I regarded as something of a focus group.

After all, this is a Community.

Mike.

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that hurts....

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:00 pm

Capsized8 wrote:
Where are you with marketing and or designs applicable to sea kayaking?

What have you done for the sport/leisure activity, where can it be seen?
ouch that hurt! but did make me giggle all the same :-)

Tim S

p.s. the major highlight of my kayaking career so far has been seeing Richard Cree in his kilt, not once, but twice!....he has nice knees you know!

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Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:26 pm

I'm sorry, the temptation to delete this is sooooooo strong - the thought of Mr Cree's knees is, well, worrying!

Mike.

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Post by CaptainSensible » Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:34 pm

I am a newcomer on the verge of buying their first comp. boat.

I don't think the image of sea kayaking needs to change (or that sea kayaking actually needs an image). I'm content with it as it is: an unpretentious form of walking/camping on the sea with thrills & spills if you want them.

I am concerned about sea kayaking growing too much/too quickly too (and I wonder who is buying all of these kayaks), but there isn't much that can be done to prevent it; the coastline will either get too crowded or it won't.

I'm not sure that it will though; most people I know think that being on the sea in anything other than a "proper" boat is crazy...
Last edited by CaptainSensible on Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Quest 129 » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:24 pm

Captain Sensible said

I'm content with it as it is: an unpretentious form of walking/camping on the sea with thrills & spills if you want them.



Could not have said it better myself. Paddled with a friend in Loch Awe yesterday which is Scotland's longest loch and we were the only two craft to be seen in the loch all day. What I did notice was all the various car parks on the way up filled with hillwalkers cars.
This site does great work in promoting sea kayaking.

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Post by RichardCree » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:31 pm

Tim, i am touched. However we wern't really sea kayaking at the time, loitering is probably a better description.

Good entertaining thread, maybe we could all meet up in B'ham next week and discuss further ;-)

is that not where you first saw my knees.

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was it there or was it london?

Post by Tim S » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:37 pm

I think it was the London Boat Show where i first gazed upon your manly legs ( didnt really have a choice...i think you were being dragged around on some wheeled contraption built up by the Buff stand? )

Unfortunately i will be missing this years Outdoors Show in favour of the British Ski and Snowboard champs out in Laax.....it would have been a giggle as it is a good place to catch up with everyone, but there will be other times to share a wee dram i am sure.

Tim S

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Re: yep I am biased....

Post by Mark R » Mon Mar 06, 2006 3:41 pm

capsized8 wrote:Perhaps you could enlighten me and I am sure most of the people that will read this thread.

Where are you with marketing and or designs applicable to sea kayaking?

What have you done for the sport/leisure activity, where can it be seen?

If there is an involvement, is it generic (for the good of all) or is it of a more self sustaining nature? (your own business perhaps)
I can answer all of that. Tim actually answers some of those questions above, e.g. he put together the P&H website. Tim worked for Pyranha/ P&H until recently. When he was within the industry, he was happy to respond here on the forum to enquiries about their products, and he also regularly used opinions and attitudes expressed here ,to inform his company about the state of the UK market.

I would imagine that now he is working elsewhere within the leisure industry, he can expand more on his personal impressions and opinions. Regarding the last of your questions, the answer depends on whether you see the UK paddlesport industry as an evil cartel or an altruistic love-in, or something inbetween.


There seems to be a surprising amount of barely suppressed vitriol in this thread. Only some of this can be explained by Tim's not especially obnoxious admittance that he doesn't like the logo. I think most of it stems from a reluctance to have the spotlight turned upon ourselves...nobody likes to be forced to see themselves as others see them! But I feel it can do no harm at all....
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Post by jurgenk » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:01 pm

From a Canadian (British Columbian) perspective... I ordered (or have asked Richard about) a beanie and tshirt because I enjoy the site, want to support who you deem supportable, and can tell people that UKSKGB is an elite Canadian unit in which I served during the Anglesley campaign.

In North America, over the last fifteen years that I have been watching and participating in sea kayaking, there has been exponential growth in "British Style" boats. When I bought a Nordkapp HM in 93, there were almost no British boats available in Canada. Now, almost every North American manufacturer makes and markets a rudder-less Greenland-styled boat and I, for one, am well pleased.

I agree with Andrea's viewpoint, in that I participate in sea kayaking to center myself (no crystals involved) and to enjoy the outdoors. I do not consider sea kayaking a sport but a hobby, a passion, and a way of life. It offers the ability to explore areas untrammeled by others and, in the wrong (or right, depending on your desire) conditions enough excitement to raise your heart rate.

I will proudly wear my beanie (we call them by their proper name, toques) around the northwest coast of BC and if anyone asks, I will tell them about this site. As to Tim's point about the sustainability of the sport, how are the manufacturers of boats and products relating to sea kayaking in Britain faring? I see the sport here growing but it is more in the recreational end rather than the, "I'm off to explore the Aleutians" variety and that room for both desires is another thing I love about the activity.

Brad
Restlessness and discontent are the first neccessities of progress. Thomas Edison

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Post by MikeB » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:18 pm

I will proudly wear my beanie (we call them by their proper name, toques) around the northwest coast of BC
Superb!
From Mark - spotlights etc
Plan / Do / Review - essential, so avoiding complacency. Competition is also valuable. If all you do is do, you become a Dodo - and we all kknow what happened to them!

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Post by CaileanMac » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:58 pm

What's the best marketing and the cheapest?

Word of mouth....... Why do we need to promote our sport or brand it? Only people with a commerical interest need to brand or package the sport into someting they can sell. Passionate people will share with other people their enjoyment they get from the sport in what ever context from a half hour's paddle to a month long expedition.

Personally the growth in sea kayaking is a good thing but would echo MikeB's comments and my comments in other thread that this needs to done in sustainable and inclusive manner through education rather than formal rules/laws. From a commerical prespective, I set up my own sea kayak coaching/guiding outfit last year as market research indicated that there was not enough capacity in the industry to meet demand. Winding it down this month due to the need to get a mortgage as bank managers aren't keen on self employed people, also I want more time and energy to go personal paddling :-)

Sea kayaking is what you want to make it - not what's on this site, in the latest copy of Paddles or what's in a manufacturer's brochure. However people being people do what others do a.k.a. the 'herd' instinct.....

As to the beard sterotype - there is a lot's of stuff appearing which combats and is slowly removing that as the sole sterotype of a 'British' sea kayaker. Rather than a structured growth according to the BCU's development plan or a manufactuer's latest marketing campaign, let's just do carry on talking in our social groups, at work and else where and promotion of the diverse sport that is sea kayaking will just happen.

Tim S - this isn't a dig at you but you didn't mention in your original post about whether you own a sea kayak yourself and regularly went sea kayaking (you mentioned lot's of commerical marketing activities)? Might help people to put your comments into context and reach a balanced viewpoint on them.

CaileanMac

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