Most clubs share training grounds with rowers and have develloped an intense rivalry with them. Sprint kayakers have to remain fit not just for overall speed but also to fit in the thin boats. New kayakers frequently capsize, and to avoid this they might stear clear of using seats, which brings them lower to the water's surface and improves balance. Many boats use tall spikes to hold seats in place, and as many clubs are fairly poor many boats lack footboards (a board that kayakers use with steering and legdrive) so athletes occasionally have to deal with extreme discomfort. The sport is embaressing if you're caught in public in winter gear, or if you capsize during a regatta on a popular lake. This sport is not to be confused with recreational kayaking; recreational kayaks do well on rough waters while sprint boats are brutal in the wind.
Brad: "Hey, Keith, check out that freaky chick with the layered spandex!"
Keith: "Haha, I hear she kayaks or something, who does that in the winter, she must be crazy!"
Leslie: "Hey, kayaker! Having trouble keeping up with us shells?" (shells referring to rowing boats)
Andrea: "Hey, rower! Having trouble identifying that whale you're heading straight towards?"
Oscar: "Yo, sprint is whitewater's gimped sis, man!"
Tory: "Oh yeah, I forgot that it's wimpy to risk hypothermia 6 months of the year while pulling 200 pounds with my arms and abs."
Gregory: "God, it's sooooo cold out, and I have to walk home from the bus!"
Calvin: "Yeah, I have to go kayak until 7:00."
Gregory: "Serious, man? Are you crazy?"
Calvin: "Nah, just a wee bit suicidal."
FLATWATER KAYAK OWNS