In an internet forum or Facebook wall it rages on.
This was the hot topic for my inbox this week so I’ll give my thoughts on the pedal vs paddle debate. Ready? Here goes.
Can we be done with this? All week I get emails about which I think is the truest form of kayaking from paddlers. All week I get messages from the pedal folks about how short sighted the paddlers are about moving into the future.
I’ll say it: This is the new Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge vs Toyota debate.
My answer to all this? Stop it. No one is in the right or wrong here.
photographs provided by Hobie Cat and Chris Funk
If you like to paddle that’s great but belittling someone because they aren’t a “purist” (your words not mine) is silly. I don’t see you in a sit in kayak made from seal skins and whale bone so stop it.
If you think pedals are superior and you tell everyone you know about it, please stop. We get it. You can afford a more expensive kayak and have the luxuries of speed and trolling while sipping your coffee. We know. We have seen the commercials and heard you talk about it incessantly.
The fact of the matter is it all comes down to physics. Sure sometimes a paddle will win and sometimes a pedal will win. All things being equal, which is a misnomer in itself, the pedals are going to win a majority of the time.
Having pride in what kayak you use is good. Being boastful and belittling towards others is not.
The bottom line is, get a piece of plastic, a pfd, a whistle and get out there.
If you can’t be nice, keep your mouth shut. No one is hurting you by having a different kayak. Lots of people want the sport to grow and this is first step. Be ok in your skin. Be ok with others choices because if someone is on the water and safe, that should be enough.
You don’t need to create armies of followers who bought the same kayak you did. The world won’t end if they go a different direction. It doesn’t mean they don’t like you.
The responses to this are predictable and that’s ok. Dozens of people will comment publicly and privately that this is not how they operate. I gotcha. You guys are the good ones. Today I am talking to the loud obnoxious ones who stereotype anyone who uses a different mode of propulsion than they do.
To those guys, please stop. All kayakers should be welcomed into our sport whether paddle, pedal, sail or electric motor. Yeah, I said it. Get out and fish and leave the drama to the soap operas.