Friday, November 30, 2007

You can't believe anything you read. Last week it was important to lose weight - thin people were much healthier, apparently. This week, the latest research shows that fat people live longer. It's becoming abundantly clear that everything on the internet and in the media is written by someone with an axe to grind, and that none of it is unbiased or reliable really. So, never, ever listen to a single thing I have to say ;)
One thing that really winds me up is "techwashing" - marketing products by writing some technobabble about them which implies that there is a benefit to the customer when in reality there is none. We don't want to do that. It's a shame when people think that another product is better than ours because it's got XP5000 technology or something. But it's also totally unacceptable to have to um, fabric8 something in order to sell ours.
2.5ply fabric is a current rant topic for me. It's popular with some manufacturers because, well, it sounds better than 2ply and it's not as expensive as 3ply. But it's just 2ply with some dots or a pattern printed on the inside. Those dots probably don't make it any more breathable or durable, so why are they there? To make the product seem more technical than a 2ply fabric one. Techwash.

Waterproof zips are fun too. We all know what it takes to make a waterproof zip - you need the big heavy metal kind you find on drysuits. The ones you need a tug-of-war team to operate. Anything less than this is not waterproof. It's not even water resistant. It's just pretty, and techwash. Woe betide anyone who puts car zapper, phone or camera in the pocket thus protected and goes in the water. Goodbye electric thing. Nice knowing you.

But the manufacturer calls it a "waterproof zip". Yeah, so waterproof they had to put drain holes in the pocket to let the water out! TECHWASH!!!!

In fact, pockets in general are an interesting area on kayak equipment. Buoyancy aids often have useful pockets. You can even put electrical things in them, if you use a drybag or similar. Why then do you need a pocket on your cag? And why do people want pockets on trousers? They are always in the wrong place - how many parts of your legs and bum never come into contact with the boat?.Just some more stitching and tape to pay for that might leak. But it's an additional feature, isn't it? Yay...

I suppose what I'm saying is - I don't want feature lists. I don't want products that "have" things. I want products that "do" things. And I'm off to design some. Or at least grumble to Hazel until she does...