Monday, October 30, 2006

Don't You Just Love Controversy?

I do. I love that we don't all agree, I love diversity and variety. I'm not too keen on ignorance or stupidity, but I excuse most who I just decide don't know better.

Gordon Brown, a very experienced and skilled sea kayaker from Scotland is about to publish his book "Sea Kayak". Finally, a book supposedly written for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers".

While promoting his book, he was interviewed on a web podcast, and referring to Greenland style paddling, made the controversial statement:

"I have said quite pointedly that there is no place in modern sea kayaking for those [Greenland paddles]...The Greenlanders were a race of survivors. If and when guns came along, do you think they still used harpoons? And when outboard motors came along did they still use kayaks? And when nails came along, did they stop tying kayaks together? As sure as we are sitting here, if they had carbon fiber paddles, they would have used carbon fiber paddles..."

I would have thought he knew better.

Derrick's blog posting last Friday titled "Lynched", is a good discussion on the controversy. I'm just not going to go there. If you've read my blog, you know that I believe more than anything that there are "different strokes for different folks". And though I'm proud of my BCU 4* rating, and I love my British NDK Explorer, which I paddle primarily with a Greenland Paddle, these days I'm loving my Kruger canoe and single blade paddle. And having completed the WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge, a 1200 mile circumnavigation of Florida, I'm not talking flat water canoeing.

Hmmm, I wonder what Gordon would think about the fact that I also enjoy paddling a ruddered sea kayak with the single blade. Course most "real" sea kayakers likely can't picture this, as they couldn't get past that other controversial word 'rudder'.

I just spent the weekend in Edenton with my friend Dan. Dan has years of recovery ahead of him after a very serious shoulder surgery. He is not able to paddle his kayaks, but has been able to get out in his canoe, on calm days. I visited to show him that with a ruddered sea kayak, and a canoe paddle, he could still paddle, and do it in a playful way. What fun we had, 25 kt winds, huge gusts, and Dan paddling a sea kayak.


Wendy Killoran said...

How wonderful to see Dan paddling a kayak! Best wishes to a healthy recovery I send to Dan. Thanks for introducing Dan to a new way to paddle a kayak.


Wendy K.

Gordon Brown said...

I have no problem with what anyone paddles with or in or on or below as long as they are having fun