Friday, November 23, 2007

My Tuppence Worth
(If the title makes no sense to you, replace tuppence with two cents)

Photo by Jens Klatt

It has come to my attention that several paddling forums like people to declare ones sponsors when replying to threads questioning said products. Cynically, members of these forums seem to think we, sponsored people, are biased, corporate whores who will say anything to promote the product regardless of its real quality, merits etc. So here I am to set the record straight, partly because I have come across this situation several times recently and partly because I am bored at home with little to do besides court controversy on the web!

Photo by Lilli Winter

I am sponsored by Esquif canoes because I think they make the best canoes in the world, and I want to paddle the best canoes in the world. Luckily/cleverly I don't have to pay for this pleasure and Esquif is more than happy to give me canoes to paddle. Personally I would not sell my soul to get a cheap/free canoe that was not the best canoe for me or not as good as one I could buy. That would be dumb and would lead to people not respecting my opinion or my decisions, which in turn detracts from me being a sponsored representative for a company or generally speaking a respectable member of society, which I am, nearly!

Photo by Jens Klatt

When somebody on a forum asks about the performance of an Esquif Taureau and I reply, as my sponsor would expect me to, saying I think that the boat tracks well, is easy to roll , turns responsively and boofs with ease, people assume that I would say that because I am sponsored not because it is actually true, shock horror! It is my responsibility as a sponsored paddler to be sure that the canoe is a good as it can be, this involves hours and hours of testing, development and thinking to get a product that is as good as it possibly can be before it goes out to the consumers. We, the sponsored people, could turn this around and say that because you paid £1000 for a canoe you are bound to say it is good, highlight it's plus points, after all you wouldn't admit you purchased a lemon would you, it would make you look like a fool. I am not saying that my opinion is worth more than anybody else's just that it is equal and should not be discounted purely on the basis that I am a representative of said company, we are all in the same boat, so to speak.

Photo by Lilli Winter

I am fairly sure there aren't any professional paddlers out there who paddle with substandard kit just for the kudos of being sponsored, we all just want to have the best things in life and like it or not we all have to work for them, you in your office saving money for a new canoe or me on the river trying to work out how to make a canoe turn quicker and still track well, we all put the hours in to earn our toys. So rant over and I hope a few people read this and think about how they form their opinions on sponsored people and will maybe have a little more respect for our opinions in future, after all we are professional paddlers, this is our trade, our livelihood.
So on that note I am off to ride my snowboard, I mean cross training.

Peace out,


Blogger Unknown said...

I'm curious how you compare the Taureau and the Salsa?

Great pics, btw.

11:50 PM  

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