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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    12,314

    Did kayaking fall back into the fringe?

    I started paddling in about 1986/7. Boated a bunch and had a great time. By the time I moved to Montana in 1991 I was hooked and paddled as much as my time would allow. At that time there were still few kayakers in Bozeman.

    By around 1996 it seemed that everyone I knew was getting into boating and the Gallatin (local run) was crowded every evening and it was a cool scene.

    Driving home tonite ( I drive along the whitewater stretch every day) there was no one out on a beautiful sunny afternoon with the level near perfect.

    So, did kayaking peak?

    Is it back to being more of a less popular sport where you live?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    BTW all the folks I used to paddle with? Most have moved on to something else.
    Ooof!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    501
    I'm in the same shoes. I would say all the guys I used to boat with moved on. I think the issue is there are new kids doing it but the back fill numbers aren't as big as those moving on. I think in the hay day people were moving on too. But the in rush was huge. And most of that in rush were from weekend warrior types who have moved onto other things. Bike ski sup whatever.

    I still get out about once every other month and I would say all the class 3 or 4 rivers are less crowded than they used to be.

    I will say that the top end rivers 4+ 5 see more regular traffic. I think that is due to improved equipment and tons of beta on line. I remember when the green was this crazy mysterious death trap that you had to go with a long time local to survive. Now you can watch a thousand head can videos and know exactly what you are getting into.

    I live in the southeast for reference.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,953
    Where I live in Central Colorado, it seems that every 4th vehicle has at least one boat up top. Almost as much as skis on racks in the winter. The SUP phenomenon has taken off like a rocket as well. Granted I live near Dowd Chute, Eagle River, Shoshone, Colorado and close to the Ark. A central mecca for whitewater boating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    15,317
    The death of kayaking was predicted many moons ago.

    20:24 for the answer

    watch out for snakes

  5. #5
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Patagonia bought Lotus Designs in 1999
    Patagonia exited paddling in like 2006-8

    a nice summary of the boom years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    80
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh

    Short answer: yes

    Conway;4003078
    Patagonia bought Lotus Designs in 1999
    Patagonia exited paddling in like 2006-8

    a nice summary of the boom years.
    Nailed it...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    18,441
    well no wonder its a cold/scary/wet/high skill lifestyle sport requiring huge amounts of time but not really that much money

    where lots of people can jump on a sup or in a canoe and have fun the washout rate on ww kayaking is BIG and the sucessful paddlers the sport does attract are a fairly wierd personality type ( puts hand up) and frankly I am suprised every year that I find I am still doing it BUT we got a club with a cool play spot/fire pit /sauna and a local paddle shop so in spite of being in the middle of fucking nowhere the local scene up here is still pretty strong
    Last edited by XXX-er; 06-07-2013 at 03:01 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    878
    ' used to paddle as much as possible --
    Gas was $1.20/gal.

    I travel a lot less with Gas at $4.25/gallon ...

    I am fifteen years Older -

    I Miss floating the rivers . . .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    ECO
    Posts
    4,197
    I am looking to get into it, minus the theatrics. Have always loved the river and it is pretty accessible.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,556
    I was talking about this with my wife the other day. I definitely think it peaked, and it seemed to have had something to do with innovation. A lot was changing during the late 90s in terms of boat design that reinvigorated those who were already paddling and attracted a lot who were getting into it. It definitely seems to have peaked. I used to paddled at least once a day during the summer when I was in college. Gas prices have definitely hampered that, but I no longer work on the river either.

    I also miss running rivers and the mystery/newness that it used to bring. Excited to introduce my son to whitewater when he's older...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    453
    Quote Originally Posted by sethschmautz View Post
    I also miss running rivers and the mystery/newness that it used to bring. Excited to introduce my son to whitewater when he's older...
    Amen Seth, for me its been a mix of being new to the kid scene and some poor water levels have just given me justification for missing the roadtrip and day on the river. My long time river pal and I were checking river flows this morning and it's sad to see the flows so low for June. Slow flows can make for a really long day and sometimes a walk to the car has proved faster and more exciting.

    I still love the river and playing in the same swell section for hours in WW kayaks. I hope to do that with my two boys now 3 & 6. I got Fun1 from JACKSON kayaks last summer and the little dudes loved it. I just bought another Fun1 so they dont have the fight each other for boat time this year. I cant wait until the can graduate from the pool, pond, lake scene & experience surfing Whitewater. Nothing better than spending the day on river with your friends & family.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using TGR Forums

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Posts
    11,873
    Yes, definitely.

    There used to be four stores in Missoula where you could get a boat, and now there is one. The wave used to have tons of people every day at 4:30, and now there are more surfers than kayakers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    15,317
    I do not paddle as much these days as I used. Now I like to get out on the class III and IV stuff I passed over in my younger days of hair boating.
    watch out for snakes

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    crown of the continent
    Posts
    13,933
    it's still a pretty vibrant scene here in jackson. I still have 4 boats leaning against the house, the Pirouette gets out for the occasional flat paddle, that's about it. But i'm thankful that i got to learn in the 90's from bunion and others...
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Splat's Garage
    Posts
    3,363
    Video games & high gas prices.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    8,188
    Maybe just people I know, but it seems like a lot of river rats are gravitating towards rafting. It's easier, more social, and better for longer, overnight trips. I'm not really into either though, so I could be way off base.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,565
    Unfortunately, I'm falling into this category as well. Life is busier and I have a third kid on the way and just haven't been able to get out much. I can still do couch to class IV and feel comfortable on it, but feel class V dwindling away.

    Started paddling in Bozeman during the TGR movie days which coincided with the peak, then lived in Colorado, now been in the PNW for seven years. The scene is smaller...especially here. It's weird how much whitewater there is here year round and how few boaters there are getting after it.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,556
    Olympus,

    Just put those Fun1s next to the Lotus that I have dibs on and I'll pick them all up next time I'm going through SLC. :-)

    My son has a few years before he's going to be ready to get in a kayak, but I'm excited for it. Keeping my eyes out for a good raft for the meantime. . .

    Seth

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    453
    That sounds like a plan to me. I'd love to see these kayaks go to good home when these little dudes grow into a bigger kayak.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using TGR Forums

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    DAWGnation
    Posts
    681
    In the SE kayaking has been growing a lot the last few years. I'm in my 2nd year of boating right now but everyone I've talked to that's been in it for a long time has said it's getting way more popular. Maybe the year round boating season down here helps, or something.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    931
    Former SE boater that hasn't paddled in 2 1/2 years, but still hasn't sold gear.

    I cranked it way back when the daughter was born. 3 years ago.

    1. I just can't take a full Saturday to paddle when my wife's been home with the kid by herself all week, plus I want to spend time with them.
    I could take an occasional weekend to go, but I really don't have the desire any longer. I keep telling myself ill get back into it. There is also the risk factor.
    2. I've gotten more into fishing, which still gets me out on the rivers. I'm able to do it after work in the summers when I'm on the road, anyway, so it's not stealing family time.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
    Posts
    15,317
    The main issue with kayakers is that they are so dang flakey that getting them to do anything is a miracle.
    watch out for snakes

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    600
    Quote Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
    The main issue with kayakers is that they are so dang flakey that getting them to do anything is a miracle.
    I think it is still pretty strong in the SE (maybe because we don't have good snow and winter is prime creeking season). I've backed off some (at least the class V stuff) the past year or two, mostly due to enjoying mountain biking and some other things....and you just can't stay sharp paddling class V unless you do it every weekend (for us mere mortals that is). If you want a mix of things you enjoy in the outdoors, you gotta back off the paddling some, and it's hard to do.

    Actually enjoying paddling some III-IV again though, forget how fun that stuff was until you try to go scare yourself shitless every weekend until it gets old.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    931
    Flaky, yes...especially the old people.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    18,441
    Quote Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
    The main issue with kayakers is that they are so dang flakey that getting them to do anything is a miracle.
    All the people I have ever connected with are eclectic to say the least so its not really an issue for me rather it is why I have the friends that I do ... we are all fucking nuts
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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