Weird kayak patents...
Today I found Google patents, a search engine for US Patents. After some random surfing, I entered "kayak" and hundreds of kayak-related patents appeared.
The is a febrile thinking going on out there, with the good intention of relieving us poor paddlers of the tedious and dangerous work that paddling is perceived to be among the uninformed (fx a paddle support, patent no 6763827; that, I presume, is intended to save us from arm fatigue when handling a heavy paddle for hours), introduce some safety (an "Emergency air system for kayaks", patent no 5671694A, consisting of a mouthpiece on foredeck where the weary paddler might fill the lungs mid-rolls while waiting for – whatever the good inventor think he is waiting for – Godot?) or for transforming the kayak to something else that is supposed to enhance the experience: jetski, catamaran, submarine, bathtub or rowboat.
These sites are addictive – it is easy to spend hours surfing from one preposterous invention to another – sometimes laughing out loud, sometimes getting depressed over the perception of kayak and paddling that is exposed. I can't decide what is most laughable/depressing: the inventions themselves, their unintentionally comical descriptions or the fact that someone at the patent office has granted them!
Se also "Invented: A new kayak paddle".