Friday, June 16, 2006

Paint it Black

Have you noticed the color black seems to be quite a trend these days in the world of paddling. As in all fads and trends, there are the originals, and then it's a movement.

I remember years back when Dubside, then a student at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston, was the mystery man. He had long dreadlocks and wore black from head to tow. On the pond, you could watch him practicing and learning Greenland rolls in his black Feathercraft kayak wearing a black Tuilik. Now, Dubside is a very well known and respected instructor in the world of traditional Greenland kayaking. Still wearing black, definitely an original.

About three years ago in a training class for BCU4*, I met Nigel Law, owner of Savannah Canoe and Kayak, he was one of the coaches. Nigel was paddling a black on black Nigel Dennis Romany, wearing a black paddling jacket, black hat and black sunglasses. With his black hair and beard, I recall thinking it was a really cool look. More than cool actually, quite a sexy look. Nigel also custom makes black colored (graphite coated) Greenland paddles.

Speaking of black, sexy, and paddlers, there is Freya. Freya Hoffmeister is a German paddler and instructor, who has recently become a big name in the US kayak world. Much of this a result of her skilled fast tracking in the world of Greenland paddling and rolling. Possibly her pictures have helped as well.

She is now a regular member of the Symposium circuit, and her recent days paddling part of Wendy Killoran's Circumnavigation of Newfoundland, reported on 'Round the Rock' in Justine Curgenven's Cackle TV website, have bought Freya into many of our homes. One can argue whether Freya is an original (I suspect she is), but certainly she is part of the movement.

Is this movement to black part of the Greenland paddling movement (all originals)? Though I really think it's more than just those black Tuilik's.

Do you have to be a Kokatat sponsored paddler to own a really cool black Kokatat drysuit?

I'm not sure if Derrick Mayoleth's website and blog is the "original" black paddling website and blog. There are actually quite a few of them, even one that was not of black background last week, but is today.

Regardless, Derrick's site is without argument one of the most professional out there regards paddling. It's artistic, well written, very active (updated almost daily), informative, and very popular. Not only a blog, but a paddlers website and excellent resource. One of the best! A lot of black, it looks great. I'd call his an original.

Dubside has a new website, DUBSIDE, and naturally it's black too, well worth the visit.

It sounds like Derrick helped Freya launch a new blog, Freya Underground, black of course.

Have you noticed another new trend in the world of paddling websites and blogs, commercialism. Of course there were the originals, now it's a movement. Paddling club websites have always sold hats and t-shirts, and many private blogs often sign up with software allowing advertisement on their sites. Now some private paddling blogs have set up shops on their website/blogs. It's not cheap to do expeditions, competitions, or live the world of Symposiums. Derrick's posting, 'first class traveling set' sort of alludes to this.

My personal opinion, support your smaller local kayak shop, and those who have personally influenced you.


derrick said...

thanks for that!. . . and what's worse Reed will be sending me my nice new custom Black cag in just a couple weeks. :) Now, I've got to bug kokatat for my new black pfd as well. . .

derrick said...

thanks for that!. . . and what's worse Reed will be sending me my nice new custom Black cag in just a couple weeks. :) Now, I've got to bug kokatat for my new black pfd as well. . .