In my mind a kayak is a thing of beauty. No matter the condition, be it brand new without a scratch or old and battered from years of use. Skin on frame or wood stripped, the natural lines, the sweeping bow, they all grip my imagination and take me to the sea.
They may be simple looking but in actual fact are really very sophisticated sea going vessels. Originally designed as a hunting tool, now used for sport and recreation the basic design has not changed for hundreds of years.
Variations abound and kayak builders produce works of art with every one that gets built.
Each kayak behaves differently but a skilled kayaker will instantly recognise how best to handle a particular kayak and get the best out of it on the water.
The scratches bumps and wear and tear all attest to the perfection of the design. like a good book with signs of repeated readings, bent pages and cracked covers, these signs all make up the character of the kayak and prove its worth year after year.
I can never just pass a wooden kayak on the beach without spending a while talking to the builder or owner. There is an instant bond made by the love and appreciation of a well built kayak between us.