You saw a lot of kayaks on that one day. It could be nothing more than a school or other group. If it were lots of onesie-twosies separate paddlers on many days, that might show a local trend. But not just a bunch of them on one day in one place.
Based on seeing the daily inundation of youth groups from ONE (greedy) outfitter at one of my old practice places, somebody could get a wildly inaccurate view of kayaking popularity there. A lot of people going out once or twice a year does not equal a lower number of people who go out many times each. I *know* that despite those crowds there, kayaking was not popular in that area (except for WW kayaking). Not ten years ago, not last year, or anywhere in between.
There WAS, however, one odd little blip of popularity. It occurred around 2008 when gas prices first hit $4/gallon. That summer, lots of fishermen and some boaters told me they were interested in buying a kayak, to avoid the gas costs. It was a short-lived blip, similar to but smaller in magnitude than scooter popularity or driving at slower speeds--both of which were also motivated by desire to reduce gas consumption. When gas prices came down, however slightly, both trends vanished. There must be an awful lot of barely-used scooters sitting around.
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