Old gear is fun. Whether its wooden skis or a wooden Greenland paddle, using the old tried and true gear has a very strong appeal to a number of people. I don’t begrudge the high tech skis, boats, paddles, etc. Everyone wants to go faster, lighter and be more efficient. Wood & Wool however, has a much better ring to it than Kevlar & Carbon fiber or Plastic & Polyethylene. Sometimes you don’t want to go the fastest or be the most efficient, you just want some good feel. Wooden classical skis have such a nice smooth kick, compared to the abrupt kick/glide transition of the plastic skis, that they are a joy to ski on. In the old days, my basement used to be the scene of an early November Pine Tar Party. The smell of pine tar as you warmed it in with the propane torch, mingled with the hoppy aroma of several fine pale ales, served as the reminder that winter and the ski season was just a couple weeks away. Kayaks can be the same way. The feel of my Chesapeake LT-17 with its hard chine and no rudder or skeg is much different than any plastic or glass boat. And a skin boat with the feel of the waves alive beneath you is a very relaxing feel that kind of bonds you with the water. I still love my Rossingnol carbon skate skis and my Valley Aquanaut but every once in awhile a person needs to go back to the roots of the sport and just enjoy the feeling.
Congrats again to the Mayor. We’re off to Canoecopia to most certainly not buy anything tomorrow. I am in San Antonio, hoping that the flight delays that plagued us on the way down will allow me to get home and get some sleep before the big event in Madison. A man, of course, needs his sleep if he has to walk around all day and not buy anything.