Saturday, June 27, 2009

Culture of Fear

I've heard stories and have had first hand experiences. It seems to me that some of the staff and trainers at Water-Venture (Changi) are spreading a Culture of Fear amongst the paddling fraternity.

Here are some of the highlights.

There's an escort that brings you to the equipment when you do a rental. For fear that you might take a boat other than the fiberglass slaloms. For some reason, they dont like renting the plastic whitewater kayaks.

Here's an interesting story. A fellow paddler was told not to venture out of the demarcated area even though, he was allowed to do so, according to Water-Venture rules. He is at least 2 star certified. The staff on duty at that time told him not to go out because it was drizzling. Some weird safety precaution perhaps? Acid rain may burn into the paddlers skin and it would be good if they were near shore to seek shelter.
He ignored the instructions and ventured out. Soon after, he recieved a phone call and was told to come back immediately. The staff on duty was watching them!
Probably has some control issues.

On another occasion, one of the trainers was wearing a helmet to teach either a 2 or 3 star certification course. Maybe he was afraid of swimmers kicking his head when he tries to demonstrate the eskimo bow rescue or the eskimo roll?

I've also read comments left online and heard the Changi trainers exaggerating the conditions at Changi. If you didnt know better, you'd think you're up against 5foot high waves and unrelenting seas that will toss you around like a washing machine.
Currents and tides? Big deal. I think the biggest danger out there are the swimmers near the beach.

Kayaking/Canoeing is a safe sport, especially in Singapore. Perhaps they are trying to make the place less inviting so it becomes exclusive to them?
Or is it just one-upmanship? I paddle in Changi, therefore Im more experienced! You lower echoleon paddlers dont waste my time.

Most annoying is how they seemingly "worship" some of the old birds. Gushing like little school girls when talking about their idols. But only false gods give bad intel about their own playground.

Oh btw. I just did a trip through the Ubin mangroves without having to back track. No need to worship any false gods...

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