I don't own an anemometer and knowing exact wind speeds isn't something that is important to me. What is important is seeing and feeling the conditions (wind, waves, water, etc) and then making a judgment call as to whether or not I want to paddle.
In my local area I can guess pretty accurately what the conditions will be based on the wind reports. Whether or not those reports are accurate I don't know, but they are consistent. If I am paddling in a new area I go and check things out in person. Even if I know the accurate wind speed I have no idea what its effects will be in an area that is unfamiliar to me.
Also, it doesn't matter to me what other people can paddle or what they claim to paddle. What matters to me is what conditions I can handle, or what conditions I feel like handling that day.