In honor of the return of our expedition kayaks we wanted to share with you how one Dutch recreational kayaker became one of our international Folbot fans. Kees Toorenaar was looking for a folding kayak to replace his Canadian Ally 15DR, a folding canoe. He spent an entire season investigating which boat fit his needs best.
He settled on a Kodiak. Read his personal account below:
“Two years ago I was thinking about buying a foldable kayak. I already owned a foldable Canadian (Ally 15DR) which I paddled most of the time solo. Now, I wanted a boat that was faster and had better tracking.
I spend a whole winter investigating which boat would fit me the best. All brands were considered. Of course, I had certain demands:
- The boat had to be very stable, have good tracking and be relatively fast.
- I also needed a large cockpit (I am over six feet, have long legs, over 60, and not too lean).
- Putting the boat together had to be very easy.
From the beginning, the classic German Klepper was a contender. It did, however, have two disadvantages: it was too expensive and too heavy. During my research I discovered a company in the U.S., Folbot, which offered a number of good-looking boats for a reasonable price. The Kodiak drew my attention. It turned out to be the boat I was dreaming about and I happily bought it.
I’ve owned the Kodiak for two summers and I am very satisfied with it. Last year, I took it with me on vacation to Norway. The one small disadvantage of the Kodiak is that it breaks down into two bags and the larger of the two did not fit in my (very) small car. I had to carry it on the roof. During my vacation, I went from campsite to campsite and had to put the Kodiak together many times – which is very easy! I had been used to putting together my old Ally, which always made me sweat a little. The Kodiak is a piece of cake! Getting the kayak’s parts back into each bag is easy and they are so roomy you can pack extra gear. My paddles, when broken down, fit into the longer bag.
On the water, the Kodiak turned out to be the boat I was dreaming of. It’s very stable, fast and tracks beautifully. I’ve never tried but I think you would have to put a lot of effort into getting the Kodiak to capsize.
This summer, I used the Kodiak for a four-day trip on the Loire River in France. All of my camping supplies fit easily inside the boat and on top of the deck. The Loire is a usually a broad and quiet river but I did encounter some rapids. Along with the use of the spray deck the rapids were no problem for the Kodiak.
One time there were rocks on my way and I had to make a few quick turns. Using some firm backstrokes the Kodiak surprisingly avoided them easily.
Finally, there are two things about the Kodiak that I am so happy with: the solid construction and the comfortable air form seat, which is great for long day trips.”