A sneaky peek, and more than a sneaky suspicion that innovation is being stifled

Away to look at kit today, samples and prototypes for next year and beyond. I am excited.

More excited than that obviously.

It’s something we’re always about, what’s next, what’s everybody else doing in other countries? Usually more than here. There’s a few brands here that are still innovating, focused on the sport with a middle finger up at the lifestyle easy buck. But it’s not easy for them.

I was talking to one company during the week who have a stunning new lightweight product in the R&D stage, it’s total genius. Their confidence is wavering as they are convinced it’ll get trashed from all over if they release it, it’ll be compared to bog standard versions, used out of context, broken by the uninformed, misunderstood and passed over by dullard chain store buyers. I hope not as it will work if they put a swing tag on it with a brief explanation, everybody from lightpackers to adventure racers will use it if given the chance.

The actual item doesn’t matter because it’s a familiar tale as it turns out. The UK brands are scared of bad press, they fear the word “durability” as it is an instant sale killer.

The Americans and Scandinavians don’t care for such trifles, they’re streaking ahead regardless and continually catching the eye of us all, using and making stunning kit to make our lives lighter, easier and more filled with joy.

We really need to get a grip in this country, it’s always the same excuses to perpetuate the status quo of attitudes. There’s a wealth of enthusiasm, skill, the will to implement it and performance hungry users waiting for it, with a big wall of indifference in front of them. The door in the wall is guarded by two heavily armed old men, Corporal Convention and Sergeant Safety.

Corporal Convention retired from active duty in 1989 and has no interest in anything that’s happened since. Sergeant Safety spent his whole life in the quartermasters store and learned all his opinions from a book published in 1968.

I think my boiler may be getting back up to pressure.

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