Water Always Wins: Why Kayakers Are Nice People

Butch Vision on Lava Falls, Grand Canyon (Photo by Steve Burger)

Butch Vision on Lava Falls, Grand Canyon (Photo by Steve Burger)

I was talking with my friend Maureen Nolan, who surfs, the other day and we were trying to figure out why it is that people who hang around water are so often really fun to be around.

This is something I’ve noticed ever since I started doing the Washington Kayak Club paddles back in January because, frankly, it’s unusual for me to run across a group of people who I find pretty universally likeable.  I’ve heard other people comment about what a good group the kayaking community is too, and Maureen says the surfing crowd is similar.

So why is that?  I think Maureen put it best when she said that it’s because in the end, “Water always wins.”

You HAVE to stay humble when you play around in water, because no matter how good you are it’s only a matter of time before you receive a massive butt-whomping.

If you think about it, you could be a star basketball player and actually be unbeatable, since you’d always be up against another human being.  But kayakers are always beatable – up against (or at least, playing in) a natural element that is stronger than they are.  Eventually the river always reminds us of that – and apparently it’s really good for the soul. :)

(By the way, Butch Vision, pictured above, is a really good kayaker – I just had to use that photo because it’s such an awesome shot.)


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