One of my favorite reads in the whole wide internet is the A/V Club’s “Great Job Internet” column. There, they bring to light, the most unusual and obscure behavior from the nooks and crannies of the internet’s (in)human condition. They basically pull the spare change from the internet couch, and then toss it on the floor for everyone to see.
Because let’s face it, the internet is a museum of bizarre sub-cultures and activity.
But strange behavior (and questionable use of time) is nothing new to the web (including this post), but it also extends to social platforms too. That’s right, in a tiny little corner of the social sphere exists this weird phenomenon of humans creating Instagram accounts, then acting like “legitimate” humans by reposting other people’s pictures and videos. Then, while seemingly legit, these folks weave (pretty terrible) t-shirt designs between those shared posts – all intended to get you to buy their t-shirts on their Sunfrog.com site.
I’ve been following this phenomenon for quite sometime now. It’s bizarre (though totally inauthentic) but if it wasn’t so bad and funny, we might actually have a problem with it. Instead, we’re just going to offer some commentary on a few gems we dug up. I randomly picked (picked on) four of these “social profiles”, though they clearly come from the same source due to the overlap of designs (I could have chosen a dozen).
Here, we’ll take a look at some designs from @kayakmylife, @ilovekayaking, @kayakinglove and @kayaking_is_mylife – again none of whom actually post anything original to his/her own Instagram (besides these t-shirts for sale, of course). (See also: @love._.kayak, @kayak_love, @kayak_gram, @kayaking_s2 – if you don’t believe this is a thing – it’s just the tip of the iceberg – oh, and watch @kayaking.challenge – it’s happening real-time and soon, they’ll post some bad t-shirts).
Now, you may be asking yourself, am I really suggesting that there’s a group of people that create Instagram accounts just to hawk generic t-shirts? That seems like an extra step to just selling t-shirts! Totally. Yes, I am. In fact, it’s really easy, and it takes no time or real dedication, especially when you’re using stock vectors and preying on passions by simply removing a popular activity and swapping it in with another.
(Sidenote: By the way, if you think that a kayaking blog pointing out how insulting a super-niche activity it is to try to sell super generic t-shirts to the same niche audience we cater to, yeah we’re aware that we’ve just gone super-meta).
What’s kind of funny (depending on where your sense of humor falls on the spectrum) is that most of these t-shirts lack basic design and typography knowledge, and sometimes even punctuation or grasp of the English language. But what’s most disturbing is how they all seem to touch on some really negative themes like alcoholism, aggression, and even murder (seriously!). It’s as if nobody that created these has ever actually met a kayaker before.
Basically, these shirts make kayakers sound like real assholes. But hey, if you’re going to exploit a niche sport like kayaking, thanks for making it humorous (but mostly bad).
T-Shirts For Kayakers With a Drinking Problem:
So… let’s start with a drink. Because this is usually where it all starts, right?
A functioning alcoholic who can operate a paddle – wow, amazing insight here. Via @kayakinglove.
This shirt is perfect for the boozing paddler who likes to keep secrets. The biggest being, you’re really into Game of Thrones. Via @kayakinglove.
Here’s a Southern take on, well, drinking beer and kicking ass – on the water, of course. Via @kayakinglove.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers With Anger Issues:
Here’s a proper segue after a few drinks… let’s get angry. Because, you know, most paddlers I know are the angriest people I’ve ever met.
Barbarian says, “Me man. Woman yell? Kick woman! Go kayaking! Itch self. Me hungry. Where woman to make me dinner?” Via @ilovekayaking.
When has the idea of a kayaker, let alone a “super kayaker” ever brought about any fear whatsoever to any other human? It’s kayaking people, not martial arts. Via @ilovekayaking.
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T-Shirts For Kayakers Who Give Zero F**ks About Responsibilities:
Most kayakers I know are pretty irresponsible so I’m really glad there’s a whole line of t-shirts for them.
Alright, this is a fair statement but my question here is, is this really a kayaking shirt? Or is this the shirt you wear during the week before you actually go kayaking? Because if it’s the latter, it renders the title of “kayaking shirt” besides the point. Via @ilovekayaking.
If your job is a constant barrage of stress caused by phones and the boss riding you about timesheets, you don’t need to get out and go kayaking. No, you need to get out and go job hunting. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Cue the tiny violins because it sure is tough to be an adult. Via @kayakinglove.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers With Fragile Egos:
Here’s a bunch of threads for kayakers with sensitive souls.
“There’s no way you could understand how exclusive this kayaking thing is. Even you, Mr. Canoe, nah, you still wouldn’t understand – it’s so beyond your ability to comprehend.” Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Fair enough, I may not like you but it’s not because you kayak. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Again, when do you where this? Also, what is an ID OTS? Kidding, I’m no idot! Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
For the tantrum-throwing kayak brat in none of us. Via @kayakinglove.
That awkward moment when you realize you wasted your money on a “that awkward moment” kayaking t-shirt which actually makes no sense if you actually read it. Via @ilovekayaking.
This is just dick-ish. Via @ilovekayaking.
I want to be offended but instead, I’m just confused by this statement. Via @ilovekayaking.
Alert! Dad Shirt! Warning: No Dad that might think they have an ounce of cool in them should ever wear this. Via @ilovekayaking.
Kinda just like the Dad shirt, but catty-er. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
What the hell is “kayak hair?” Like, wet? Like, when you get out of the shower? Whoa ballsy. Via @kayakinglove.
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T-Shirts For Kayakers With An Inspirational Edge:
Here’s a couple shirts with far too many words that may or may (probably) not communicate your passion properly.
First, most people, if not all, can be a kayaker. Second, would anyone actually read this mess of a diatribe to understand the “real you?” Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Well isn’t this anti-judgment shirt rather judgy, dontcha think? Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers Who Like to Confuse Others:
Some of these are just confusing as all hell.
I’m pretty sure this is suppose to end with “my game”, but what do I know? Via @kayakinglove.
T-Shirt + Kayak Math = Dumpster Fire. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
I kinda get this but then again, I kinda totally don’t. Via @ilovekayaking.
Yes, men can sure become real kayarers can’t they? Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Howbow WTF? Is this suppose to be referencing some regional dialect I’m not aware of? Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers Who Are a Little Techy:
For the geek squad.
A different kind of dorky. Via @ilovekayaking.
For the almost-talented paddling nerd? Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Go Your Kayaking? Via @ilovekayaking.
Combing both kayaking and an iPhone screen is a disaster on so many levels. We’re just going to decline this call altogether. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Lady Kayakers:
Because for some reason, most of the other shirts were made for dudes.
No Mom should ever have to pay for any part of this disaster. Seems Via @ilovekayaking.
Seriously, when has anyone thought that a girl kayaker was abnormal? Via @ilovekayaking.
Do you get the sense they just replaced something else with “Kayaking”? Via @ilovekayaking.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers in Relationships:
Silly shirts about your significant others are always funny, right?
It took me a few reads to understand who should actually wear this t-shirt. Apparently, it’s a dude living vicariously through his girlfriend (however, I thought girls didn’t kayak, so I’m still confused). Via @ilovekayaking.
Truth police here: there’s no such thing as box three. Via @ilovekayaking.
A lying husband? What next? Via @kayakinglove.
Oh, I get it… Women with bad breath turn men into kayakers? Via @kayakmylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers Who Celebrate Sexual Wellness:
We’ll try to keep it PG here…
Whoa boy – watch out! Via @kayakinglove.
The shirt that says, “I like boobs, beer, and dudes in kayaks” – a little confusing, but no judgement. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
There’s a reason the dude in frame 5 is sleeping alone. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
If you’re getting horny while kayaking, you’re either doing it wrong, or you’re not really kayaking (are you?). Via @kayakmylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers With Mental Health Issues:
Because mental health is always funny, right? (Crickets).
Fun fact: Dr. Google is usually wrong. Via @ilovekayaking.
“I know that one of your problems is the shirt you’re wearing. Now I’m worried about the other 98…” Via @kayakinglove.
It all gets better with a little fresh air – and some meds. Via @ilovekayaking.
A clear sign of mental instability, Bro. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Sketchy Kayakers:
Things go real downhill from here….
Fun fact: Kayakers are really good at entrapment, and/or disposing of bodies? Via @ilovekayaking.
Again, I need to remind people that not one paddler I’ve ever met has given me the impression that I’m in danger by being in their company. But maybe I’m too trusting? Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Punching and kayaking are so similar in no many ways. Via @kayakinglove.
This has escalated quickly. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
Murder? Really? Seems like we’re being a little dramatic here… (and I’m not convinced the replacement is on equal footing either, frankly). Via @kayaking_is_mylife.
. . . . .
T-Shirts For Kayakers Who Bought Any of the Above:
In conclusion, if you bought any one of the previous 49 shirts, you might as well just buy this one:
Because it says it all. Via @kayaking_is_mylife.