Randy Washburne - The Kayak Biz

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by chodups, May 21, 2019.

  1. chodups

    chodups Paddler

    Nov 2, 2005
    Read Randy Washburne’s enlightening account of his life experiences in the Kayak Business. His honest, entertaining and self-deprecating account is reminiscent of Mark Twain, Thomas Berger or WCP’s own Philip Torrens. Example below:

    “One year I was invited to appear at a kayak symposium on Lake Michigan. They paid my way to Detroit and a modest honorarium that covered my time at a minimum-wage level. Brits Derek Hutchinson and Frank Goodman were the main attractions, and I discovered that due to the powerful influence of the primary kayak entrepreneur and guru, British style sea kayaks and style were the only ones allowed. He and his sycophants quickly discovered that I paddled something non-British and rolled infrequently, and they ignored me for the rest of the weekend. I gave one seminar on kayak navigation at which both attendees listened politely and left quickly. Otherwise I spent the weekend watching Derek teach elaborate recovery scenarios in which everybody’s kayak has sunk.”

    nootka likes this.
  2. Kayak Jim

    Kayak Jim Paddler

    Mar 5, 2016
    Comox Valley BC
    An interesting read. Thanks for the link.
    Astoriadave and chodups like this.
  3. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    May 31, 2005
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Indeed, this is a great piece. It fills in scads of gaps, and is a humble narrative from one of the founders of upper left coast, West Coast style paddling. Living in the sticks in isolation from mainstream, big city sea kayaking, I can relate to Washburne's shake and bake approach to life and business.
    chodups likes this.
  4. AndyM

    AndyM Paddler

    Mar 20, 2016
    Thanks for posting, very interesting.
    I recall, it was my 2nd year of kayaking, I went to the Great Lakes Symposium, which, at that time, was held in Traverse City (Lake Michigan) (later years on Lake Superior - Grand Marais).
    I think it was '87.
    I wish I remembered names, but I know Frank Goodman was there, and, the 'west coast' contingent of Mike Neckar, Brian Henry, (and Randy?)
    There was a 'bit' of a West Coast Vs Brit back and forth.
    I had with me, my 'Aquaterra Chinook', and inquired about rolling.
    The 'Brits' described the easiest being the sweep (back deck) roll.
    I wonder if it was Randy, otherwise one of the other 'West Coast' contingent, piped in that for kayaks with high back decks (eg Chinook), the forward (or screw) roll would be easier. (for WW paddlers, also safer)
    (These days, with the low back decked boats I paddle, yeah, it's a lot easier coming up back there)
    chodups likes this.