Illusion, your notion of viewing cold-water paddling as akin to technical mountain climbing fits in perfectly with my idea of likening it (and all open-water/tidewater paddling) to blue-water sailing. Other analogs could apply but all imply the need for having an extensive body of specific knowledge of marine conditions, a properly-equipped craft, physical vigor, the skillset for maintaining on-water integrity and stability, and the wisdom to turn back or stay home. I likened the discipline to being a Jedi. The question is---will the sea kayaking industry ever understand this? Or will buying a sea kayak continue to be one's ticket to fun and "adventure"?