I rarely get an adverse reaction from most of the people I come in contact with in regard to sea kayaking. Most of them say, hey that looks like fun. In my memory there has been only a couple of fishermen in their fishing boats that expressed any reservations about the ability of my craft to deal with the conditions at the time. They had no knowledge at all about kayaks.
The last thing any politician, or government official need concern themselves with is kayaking. I'm sure they have enough to do with many other issues now days.
Certainly that's the hope. And certainly sea kayakers are not dying en mass. But those of us who have spoken with representatives from the rescue coordination agencies have heard loud and clear their displeasure with a number of salt-water based rescues: paddlers out in conditions getting in too deep, paddlers attempting long crossing in vessels they don't see as appropriate for that, etc. Fortunately, the regulators are the politicians and we do have influence and the appeal of reason.
There's a big push with intermediate fast-tracking these days where instant experts sprout up eclipsing the true bolster of paddlers diligently developing advanced capabilities while at the same time making it difficult to hear the voice of true experts. I don`t fault the effect of phenomena like Justine`s This Is The Sea DVD`s, but the core capabilities to deal with adventurous water takes a bit more than a course or two and a little affirmation that its okay because seeking wild water is now legit.
Even straight forward touring in open water or day-tripping in current-dangered waters requires proficiencies that are sought with time and effort by careful degree. Hopefully Iím on the same page here with some of you who know that good paddlers know their ocean environment really well. I canít believe the times Iíve seen paddlers who are surprised by conflicts of skill and conditions, with those conditions being especially anticipatory with a little sea savvy. What did Chris call it a while back? Waterman, that was it. This applies to the careful kayak mariner with keen seamanship practices to those who seek playtime in the waves.