Sunday, March 20, 2005 - Perspective
The Adventures of a Sketchy Character - Vol.1, No.2

- By: Devon Kershaw

Here we go again! I can’t believe that I am actually going to attempt to write a weekly little column. Yes, it’s useless but I hope it will be entertaining (from time to time). This week’s article is about addictions.

Addictions come in many shapes and sizes, some are very harmful and some are not. The particular addiction that I am going to enlighten you on is mine (and many other outdoor enthusiasts), an addiction to buying useless gear. I have a problem; I buy a ton of gear!! Why? I have absolutely no idea why, I just can’t say no to myself. Somehow, in my sick little mind I really do feel as though I need the item I am looking at.

It’s actually quite comical, I am not a big shopper, I mean in a mall I am dead tired after one store. I can train for up to five hours a day and feel decent at the end of the day, but put me in a mall and it’s a different story. Honestly, I can’t take it, especially shopping in malls with girls. You fellas know what I am talking about, you go to a mall with females (not all, but a few… you know who you are) and in about five minutes you are sitting on the bench outside one of the stores exhausted. You’re sitting there right next to those old guys. The ones that just sit there what seems like all day? Maybe they have just gone to the mall one too many times and have just given up, they have become too tired and have decided to just to sit there all day every day (Shane Steven's granpa is one of these guys!). I don’t think some of them even go home! They are just sitting there unshaven with a coffee and their walker or cane. Ok, way off topic here…

Back to my gear addiction (sorry to get off topic)... There are many of my fellow athletes and friends who suffer from the same disease (the medical term is gearbuyism I believe). They see stuff in magazines, in stores and then BOOM!! Next thing they know they are sitting there at home with a new pair of telemark skis. Yes, this year has been a bad bad year for buying useless stuff. So far this year my gear tally includes a new pair of downhill skis, new telemark skis (actually, two pairs, one without bindings and one with bindings. Anyone want Madshus tele skis???), a new skateboard, an avalanche beacon, climbing shoes, harness, an ice axe (I didn’t buy it.. but I have one as of this year), telescopic poles and a guitar ( it’s my mom’s…thanks!). That is all the gear I can think of at the moment, but I am sure I bought even more stupid stuff. Everyone has to agree that is a wack load of gear, and most of it is useless. I am going to waste your time in discussing the amount of time I have actually used this gear.

I downhill ski maybe a dozen times a year, I have telemark skied 4 times in my life, I bought my skateboard in late October, got my aulie back and 180, then it snowed. I have used an avalanche beacon about 4 times, climbed twice this year and haven’t even started to play guitar. Yes, if that is not an addiction I don’t know what is.

I justify these useless purchases because I hate borrowing other peoples stuff. Nothing good ever comes to me when I borrow gear. I borrowed my coach’s classic poles one day… the next day I gave him three poles back, one normal sized one, and two midget sized poles. Last year I borrowed what I thought was my friend’s poles but in reality were her dad’s. We were out in the backcountry tele skiing and her dad says to me, “Hey Devon, nice poles!” I reply, “Thanks Glen, yeah they are Chandra’s.” He replies in an aggravated tone, “Actually they are mine… Chandra you are lucky I didn’t decide to go to sunshine today.”

Those are just a few examples of my bad experiences borrowing gear. I don’t want to be a burden so I buy stuff! That’s my reasoning anyways. As silly as it sounds, that is just the deal. My storage room in my basement pad is hilarious. I don’t find it to be funny, but my roommate makes a habit of checking it every week to see if there are any additions. If there isn’t he is grumpy all day, but if there is, he laughs for about an hour! Seriously! Ask him! So, this small useless article about my addiction is dedicated to all those with a stupid addiction. Whether you are as I am and feel the need to buy gear, or are addicted to chillin’ in malls, this article was for you!

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