02 May, 2011
We went kayaking yesterday in our folding kayaks. What does this have to do with bikes? Nothing except that I've notice that people who use, and travel with, folding kayaks are a lot like bike tourists, and many do both. And I though at least a few readers might like to know about them.
We've owned two folding kayaks for about 15 years. And in that time we've used them in British Colombia, the San Juan Islands, Lake Powell, along the Maine coast, in Nova Scotia, in the Florida Everglades, and in dozens of other lovely spots. Some times we camp, carrying all our gear. Other times we stay at inns and take day trips. And because the kayaks fold into a few neat canvas bags, we check them as airline baggage and transport them in a rental car. Once on the beach the wooden frame and canvas/hypalon skin can be assembled in about 15 minutes.
Sea kayak touring has a lot in common with bike touring. You move along at a moderate pace with minimal of effort and enjoy the scenery. You can carry more than you would on a bike. And, so long as you are careful of weather and surf landings (avoid them) it's very safe.
The brand of kayaks I like are Kleppers, which are made in Germany and known for their ruggedness and quality. They are the choice of many expeditions to remote regions. At least one has sailed across the Atlantic; yes, they can be rigged with small sails. They are also used by many military "commando teams", assembled on the deck of a submarine and paddled in under cover of darkness. There are several other good brands that are less expensive, lighter, and maybe a better choice for casual use. I've used and liked Feathercraft, Folboat, and Pouch folding kayaks. The French Nautiraid kayaks also have an excellent reputation.
Sadly, Sunday was probably our last paddle in the Kleppers. Our son wants a sit-on-top kayak for fishing and snorkeling and one that's small enough that he can wheel it down to the launch point a few blocks from our house (using a kayak cart). And with VO taking so much time we don't use the Kleppers often. So we decided to sell them and get smaller roto-molded plastic boats. When he is older I hope he wants a folder.
Next post will be about bike stuff. But meanwhile do any readers sea kayak?
Posted by Velo Orange at 1:59:00 PM