Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Advice: The "Kmart Kayaker" - Why More People Are Dying from Paddle Sports

In my previous posts Safety is a Mindset and 10 Tips for Which Kayak You Should Buy, I mention the dangers of buying a "toy" kayak - by which I mean a cheap, poorly designed model sold at discount retailers. I recently ran across a post on GrindTV  that describes the buyers of these cheap models as "Kmart Kayakers". This term was used by Jim Emmons of the non-profit Water Sports Foundation, and I think it's an apt one. Jim describes a proliferation of discount retailer sold kayaks, and the access they afford to the water by untrained, poorly outfitted, and sometimes naive paddlers. WSF is working with the Coast Guard to address this issue, and I think that's a fantastic effort. Education of new kayakers and paddleboarders is key to saving lives.

“In the industry we call it the ‘Kmart kayaker,'” Emmons told GrindTV. “As kayak manufacturing processes were developed to make them less expensive, kayak brands found mass merchant places to sell them over the years.”

Take some time to read the full Grind TV post here: Why are deaths in paddle sports increasing?

As always, respect the water, and be safe. You will be rewarded 😁  

 - TB on the Water    

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