A person often thinks in terms of "I could handle the conditions in this boat, but maybe not that one". And I think there can be some degree of truth to that. An Explorer is so often described as one that takes care of you. My little anecdote. The one time I've called for outside assistance, it was the Explorer paddler that simply couldn't manage the conditions that day. And there was not a large perceived inequity between the paddlers' skill levels, whether or not that perception was correct. Everyone could demonstrate a roll. Everyone had done rough water rescues together. Everyone had been playing in and surfing small waves in inlets together. Two important points I think:
1. The kayak didn't take care of him.
2. It wasn't the kayak.
To a large degree, I think the ability to manage rough conditions, and the ability to manage a kayak with looser stability, often go hand in hand. Maybe to the extent that more skilled paddlers don't perceive the advantages from a more stable kayak the same as less skilled paddlers do?
Touring Kayak Paddles
URCHIN Portable Anchor
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