Faces of Folbot: Sarah H. in the UK

We love hearing about (and sharing) your adventures!

This week’s adventure hails from the UK. Sarah H. took a day trip with her Citibot from Ely to Denver. Follow her trip through photographs below.


Mainline train from London to Ely. Bag contains Folbot, PFD, four piece paddle, spraydeck, sponge, camera, GPS, spray top, hat, packed lunch and a bottle of water….


Another pic on the railway, London

Folbot Southery pumping station

Southery Pumping Station

Folbot Sluice

Folbot Littleport sheep

Sheep in Littleport

Folbot leaving Ely

Got pictures you’d like to share from a paddle? Send them to info@folbot.com!

Faces of Folbot: Nancy Jean in Vermont

Nancy Jean Yellow and Purple Citibot

New customer, Nancy Jean, who hails from Vermont, just received her yellow and purple Citibots. Though it’s snowy and not quite “kayak weather,” she couldn’t wait until the Spring thaw to check them out (totally understandable). Love the juxtaposition of the kayaks and the snow (and the snow shovel!).

Welcome to the Folbot family, Nancy Jean! And send us another picture when these babies hit the water.

Recreational Kayaking For Beginners

Here at Folbot, we think kayaking is a great way to spend time outdoors, get a low-impact workout, and explore the natural world around you. For a beginner, learning to kayak might seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually much easier to master than you might think. Your first step is to decide what kind of kayak is right for you. Kayaks are built differently for different tasks—fishing, recreation, touring, expedition, etc—so make sure the kind of kayak you buy is appropriate for the type of outings you want to take. If you’re not sure, visit our website, or call us, and we can help point you in the right direction. We offer two great recreational kayaks, the Citibot and the Gremlin, but you can certainly use any of our other boats for a fine time out on the water.

"Never too Early to Start"

Kayaking is great for the whole family and even the little ones get excited about their Folbot!

What To Bring

  1. Make sure you always wear a Personal Flotation Device (aka PFD or life vest) anytime you’re out on the water. Safety should always be your number one priority.
  2. You want to make sure you stay hydrated, so bring plenty of water. We recommend a BPA-free refillable bottle that seals securely. Opt for one with a carabineer so you can attach it directly to your kayak. If you’re planning on being out on the water for a while, try filling a wide-mouth water bottle (like a Nalgene) with trail mix, crackers, or other snacks so you don’t have to cut your trip short due to hunger.
  3. If you have equipment you need to bring with you that you don’t want getting wet, such as a camera, car keys, medication, etc., we recommend using a dry bag to keep your belongings nice and dry during your trek. Make sure it’s attached to the boat in some way so that it doesn’t float off if you flip over.
  4. If you’re going to be out in the sun for a while, make sure you apply sunscreen at regular intervals to avoid getting burned. We also suggest wearing a hat to avoid burning the top of your head.
  5. To avoid squinting all day from the glare of the sun off of the water, bring a good pair of sunglasses with you. Use a croakie to prevent losing your glasses in case you get flipped over.
  6. Check the weather before you go and dress accordingly. We recommend dressing in layers so as to be prepared for any weather condition. Make sure that you’re wearing lightweight clothing you can swim in, in case you end up in the water. Also, keep a dry change of clothes in your car. You’re probably going to get a little wet while out on the water (whether you mean to or not), and you’ll be thankful for not having to drive home in wet pants.
  7. Have a spare paddle with you just in case anything happens to your main paddle. You wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a kayaking trek without a paddle. There’s a reason the phrase “up a creek without a paddle” has such a negative connotation.

Find A Trail

When looking for a good site to go paddling, start locally. Look for a flatwater lake, river, or inlet. It’s better to pick a spot that you’re a little bit familiar with so you’re more comfortable in the water.

If you want to try branching out a bit, trails.com has listings of flatwater paddling trails around the US. Just make sure to do some research on any site you choose before you go so you know what to expect.

Paddling Safety

Although it’s not necessary, it may be helpful to you to take a basic kayaking skills course if you’ve never been in a kayak before. This way you can learn how to stay safe on the water and you’ll know what to expect when you finally cast off on your own. The American Canoe Association has listings of various kayaking skills classes offered around the country. There are probably kayaking schools or retailers that offer lessons in your area, do a search and see what works best for you.

Getting In And Out

To get in and out of a kayak, remember to keep your weight low and centered. If you’re launching from a dock, hold onto the dock as you enter the kayak feet first, and slowly lower yourself fully into the kayak. To get out, you just do everything in reverse order. For launching from water’s edge, place your paddle in front or behind the cockpit opening, across the deck. Lean to one side so that the blade of your paddle is resting on the ground, steadying the kayak as you enter. Quickly enter the cockpit, crouch, and sit and use your paddle to gently shove you off. And to get out, you simply do everything in reverse order.

Basic Skills Techniques

Grip the paddle firmly with your thumbs under the bar, facing the water, at about arms length. Use your core to power each stroke in order to prevent strain on your arms and back. For a basic forward stroke, start by placing one edge of the paddle in the water and dragging it toward you until your hand reaches your hip, then repeat the process on the other side.

There are several ways to turn, but the most basic is to use your paddle as a rudder and drag it close to the kayak. The boat turns in the direction of the blade. This technique causes you to slow down a bit, so to keep your momentum, use a sweep stroke. A sweep stroke requires you “sweep” the paddle wide on one side of the kayak until it reaches the back of the boat (the stern) Alternate a forward stroke on one side of the boat with a sweep stroke on the other. Continue this pattern for a wide arc turn.

And that’s all you really need to get started. There’s plenty of time this summer to put a kayak to good use, so get out and get paddling and remember HAVE FUN!

Rub a Dub Dub

Three Beginners Enjoying a Folbot Rigged up for Sail!

Introducing the Gremlin! The Newest Member of the Fleet!

Today is an exciting day for us at Folbot.  We are formally releasing the newest member of our fleet, the Gremlin!

The New Gremlin

The Gremlin is the newest addition to our Folbot fleet!

Inspired by the Citibot, the Gremlin is lightweight, ultra-portable and easy to assemble.  At 12 feet long and 27 lbs, it can accommodate larger paddlers and payloads and its length enables it to track more like a touring kayak and get up to speed quickly.  The Gremlin rounds out our offering in the Recreation category and its design incorporates everything we love about the Citibot with the added benefits of a larger kayak.

The Gremlin is beautifully designed to fit in a backpack for easy transport and storage and it assembles quickly so it’s the perfect boat to throw in a car or RV, on a boat or to take with you on a hike, bike or camping trip.

How did we come up with the name?  Well, we wanted something that captured the performance of the boat on the water but also spoke to its manageability on dry land.  It reminded us of some characters we once saw in a movie that were well behaved and fun loving…until they got wet!

To celebrate the release of our latest boat we are having a contest on Facebook.  Please check it out for a chance to win a brand new Gremlin!  

We know once you get a chance to learn more about the Gremlin, you’ll love it as much as we do.  To check out the Gremlin on our website click here.

You can also view some new videos on YouTube of the Gremlin by clicking the links below:

Coming out of the bag

Frame being assembled

Sponsons installed 

Skin put on the frame

Finished Product.

The Gremlin Specifications Are As Follows:

Length / Beam:  12’/34”

Height: 13”

Weight: 27 lbs.

Cockpit Size: 30”x16”

Maximum Payload: 250 lbs.

Assembly Time: 12 minutes

We look forward to answering any questions you may have about the new Gremlin!  Please like us on Facebook!


Bill, Eric & Scott

Swim Around Charleston

Here’s a great write-up by Mallory Mead about her victory in the 12 mile long Swim Around Charleston.

There are some nice mentions and photos of Folbot and Mallory’s Citibot, including this cool one of the assembly.

Congratulations again to Mallory for her victory… we are proud to be associated with her.

David A.



Folbot Wins Swimming Race!

Well, the title might be a bit misleading. So here’s the whole story.

The 12 mile open water Swim Around Charleston was held yesterday.

In the field was marathon swimmer Mallory Mead, whose escort kayak just happens to be a Folbot Citibot. In creating this particular Citibot, we used some of our fancy printing technology and created a Folbot Folbot — which is not only eye-catching, but also gives Mallory’s escort paddlers a nice, comfortable ride.

Before the race, Mallory dropped by the Folbot offices for a visit and to check out some of the other Folbot kayaks.

I even got to pose for a photo with her.

But Mallory was here for more than a social call. She was here to do some serious swimming and looked great at the race start.

As did the Citibot, being paddled by Tate Nation.

After 3 hours and 58 minutes of action, I am delighted to report that the Citibot was the first kayak to finish (oh yeah, Mallory won the race by about 22 minutes and set a new course record).

So our hats are off to Mallory and Tate. Congratulations!!

David A.

Custom Kayak

As I had written about before, one of the nifty things Folbot can do with its kayaks is create them with custom decks.

We have the ability to infuse ANY image into the deck of a Folbot. That’s right – into the deck. Your image will never peel or scrape off.

Just last week we created this custom Citibot for a customer. We all agreed it looks pretty awesome.

What do you want yours to look like?

David A.

From The Village to Red Hook – A Citi Paddle

David, our guest blogger from New York City, has submitted another report about paddling in the NYC area. David is paddling a Citibot, uses public transportation to get to and from the water — carrying a 10′ kayak in a backpack on the subway!

We hope you enjoy these first hand write-ups of urban kayaking.


The Citibot proved its worth via an amazing six-mile paddle from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Entering the water a few hours after full tide meant the trip was a breeze.  The Citibot handled the currents, chop and occasional boat traffic with ease.

Here are a few shots of the launch and a few spectators (one with a freedom torch, the other with a camera) Click on any of the pics for a descriptive sideshow of the epic journey.


Guest Blogger — Paddling in New York City

Meet David Goodsmith. Not only is he an experienced paddler of the New York City waterways, he is now acting as a rep for Folbot in the NYC area. He’s been paddling up a storm, so we asked him to join us as a guest blogger and share some of his experiences. Here’s what he has to say.


“Can we ask you a question?  How’d you get that boat down there?”

The couple at Brooklyn Bridge Park shouted down to me as I was about to launch my cherry red Citibot into the East River on a sunny, sparkling Sunday morning.

Turns out, they’ve lived in Brooklyn Heights overlooking the water for the past few decades and never once imagined just how easy it can be to get into the water.

I’ve been paddling the urban waterways of New York City (primarily the Hudson, the East River and the beautiful Gowanus) for some time now and the Citibot is approaching the ideal setup.  No car or storage space needed.

I bungy the folded up boat (fits into a large ruck sack) to a luggage cart, walk to the Brooklyn Bridge Park or take the 61 bus to Red Hook, and I’m in the water.  The best part about the Citibot for New York’s strong currents is the ability to exit at a different launch than where I entered.  I actually take the cart with me on the boat.  My last trip I entered at Brooklyn Bridge after high tide and rode the ebb south, past the docked Queen Mary II and past Governor’s Island, exited at Red Hook, folded up the boat and bused home.

I’ve checked the tide charts, in a few minutes, I’ll take the boat on the F train from Brooklyn to the West Village, have a cappuccino in an outdoor cafe as I get mentally prepared, and get in the water at Houston Street.  The currents will take me all the way down to the southern tip of Manhattan, over to Governor’s Island, and back to Red Hook where I’ll exit.

If you love the water and you live in New York City, its pretty nice having a Folbot in your closet.  For NYC paddling or Folbot questions please be in touch: goodsmith@folbot.com