To some people, Aesthetics and Design are almost synonyms, and whether this notion is true is debatable, but when boats and outdoor products are concerned, aesthetics is key. But what does it mean, really, when we say that a fishing kayak “looks good”?
This article published on the Wavewalk fishing kayaks blog tries to decode the notion of aesthetics in fishing kayaks (excerpt):
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Aesthetics and Performance in Fishing Kayak Design
What is beautiful?
According to the dictionary, we perceive something as being beautiful if it is attractive to us (e.g. a beautiful woman) or pleasant (e.g. a beautiful day), or pleasant to look at (e.g. a beautiful dress), or if it’s done or made very well (e.g. a beautiful goal in the second half), or with a lot of skill (e.g. a beautiful roast).
Beauty can be associated directly with sensory pleasure, or with indirect, social value related to monetary value, or prestige (e.g. a beautiful diamond), or with both.
In case of a product such as a kayak, the beauty we see in it is a measure of how much we appreciate its performance in terms of what’s important to us, subjectively, whether as something we’ve already experienced with this kayak, or something we believe we would experience, if we used it.
In this sense, the saying ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ is perfectly true.
What’s important in a product varies according to what different people are interested in. For example, if you’re into kayak racing, you’d be interested in kayaks that are as fast as possible, and very fast kayaks would seem beautiful to you, but if you’re into kayak fishing, you’d be interested a number of things, including stability, comfort, storage, etc. offered to you by that kayak. In other words, for a kayak angler, the beauty of a kayaks depends first and foremost on its fishability,…. (read the full article about aesthetics in fishing kayaks >>)