I just received my CD of Derek Hutchinson - Master Sea Kayaker today. What
follows is are impressions:
Set to a backdrop of some pretty cool and soothing music, the CD is produced
by EPUB Adventures. After reading a short bio and clicking into the program
a few screens, you get to the main menu. Here you can view a video on paddle
strokes in a pool at the LL Bean kayak symposium, a short video on 'feeling
like a ballet dancer in a kayak' from the East Coast Sea kayak symposium at
Charleston SC, A short video on the restoral of his kayak that he crossed
the North Sea in (which is more an ad for the toksook paddle), and another
short video on the toksook paddle design.
The most informative video, the movie of different paddle strokes at the LL
Bean symposium, is also the one with utterly horrible audio qualities. The
camera looks like it was positioned along with the microphone some distance
from the pool, and the accompanying sounds of slamming doors, people
rustling around near the camera, and mechanical noises from the pool make
most of what Derek is saying almost inaudible.
The Charleston video has MUCH better audio quality, although you can
occasionally hear the wind blow through the mike. The 2 other short videos
have the best quality audio, but unless you are interested in the toksook
paddle, he really doesn't say much of anything else.
A "historical perspective" is just still pictures of Derek growing up around
"Derek's Art" - you've probably seen most of it on the bows of his boats, or
in his books, or online. Not much of it anyway.
A tour through the Current Designs factory - I thought this would be cool,
but to be honest it was pretty boring.
There is a slide show of Derek pictures - not much you can learn from it.
Also a publications link where you can buy more Derek stuff online.
For ~$15 it wasn't too bad, but you probably won't learn anything from it,
and the most informative video was almost inaudible. Since Derek paddles a
Gulfstream in 2 of the videos, it was probably worth more to me so I could
study how much he leans the boat to turn it. If not for me owning a
Gulfstream, I would pass on buying this CD again. Stick to his books and go
see him live if you can, but I can't recommend the CD to others. If they
would run the audio from the first video through a filter and remix it, then
I would probably change my stance on the CD to a neutral bias.
The CD runs only on PCs, although the videos are in mpeg format so MAC folks
might be able to view the videos if they can read the CD file format.