Im guilty of being a gear junkie. Often I realise after parting with my money, it isnt worth spending so much on all that high tech gear when I won't fully utilize it.
It may be nice to have equipment that the pros use, but in the end, I dont paddle in the same conditions nor do I use my gear as often as the pros.
Check out this blog post from a Malaysian paddler.
In the blog post, a 49 year old teacher paddled 1200km in 15 days. And if you take a look at the picture, the only fancy bit of kit that he seems to have is the rashguard he is wearing.
No carbon paddle, gore tex hat, USCG approved rescue PFD or dry bags. Hell, it looks like he used garbage bags and a nylon net to store his gear!
After reading this article, I'll be slower when reaching for my wallet. But that doesn't mean I'll stop ogling at the Kokatat Ronin or Epic paddles ;)