Faces of Folbot: A new Flotilla Kiawah

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This past week marked the 13th annual Flamingo Flotilla. Every January, a group of Folboters meet in the Florida Everglades and paddle/hang/eat pancakes. The Flotilla is “organized” on the Folbot Forum and any/all are welcome!

One enthusiastic participant was on her way home from the Flamingo Flotilla and swung by the Folbot headquarters. A veteran Folboter, she already owns a Greenland II and an Aleut. But she wanted something lighter and faster. So we hit the water in a Kiawah. We’re happy to say she liked the Kiawah! So much that she bought one when we got on dry land.

Maybe next year you’ll see another Kiawah at the Flamingo Flotilla!

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Faces of Folbot: Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

Thanks to Michael Salvaggio for sharing his pictures from a recent paddle on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana. Gorgeous!

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One of the best reasons to travel with a Folbot kayak is it packs into a bag and assembles in minutes. No strapping kayaks to your roof or renting a passenger van. Most models weigh less than 40 lbs and can easily be worn to hike or bike to the water. Assembly times varies depending on model, but the average time to set up is 10-15 minutes.

It’s easy. Like Sunday morning.

Faces of Folbot: In the Bahamas with a Kiawah

Don’t be mad. We are not sharing this photo to make you feel colder (especially as half of the US braces for another polar vortex this week). We share Per’s photo today because we’re taking a mental vacation with our Folbot today. Join us!

Kiawah Yellow Per Haavind Bahamas

Isn’t this a gorgeous picture? It’s a yellow Kiawah in the Bahamas with our friend, Per Haavind, in the cockpit. A former marathon kayak racer from Norway, Per stores it on his sailboat as he travels the east coast and Caribbean. He specifically chose the Kiawah to keep an athletic kayak that could strap on his sailboat deck without hampering any lines or could be stored underneath.

Where would you like to take your Folbot today?

Faces of Folbot: The Angler

This weekend, we’re packing up a few Folbots and heading to the East Tennessee Fishing Show in Knoxville, TN.

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With that in mind, today’s “Faces of Folbot” is for the angler. Our Edisto and Sporting Life models are perfect for the paddler who likes to fish and hunt in his/her kayak. The open style provides plenty of space for gear (and a furry friend!) and the outrigger pontoons give extra stability. The low draw provides access to the most shallow water so you can fish until the last drop of low tide!

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We hope to see old friends and meet a lot of new ones at the Fishing Show. Stop by and try out the Sporting Life! And follow us on Twitter, as we’ll be giving updates from the show.

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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.

Faces of Folbot: Warm Days, Low Tides, New Friends

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It’s nearly Christmas and perfect paddling weather in South Carolina. We had the opportunity to hit the water last week with a new friend, Russell. After years on the water with many kayaks (at least one Folbot, a Klepper, a few he built himself) he had given away all of his fleet. Now 80 and traveling in his modified camper, he felt the tug of the sea again and needed a kayak he could store inside his truck. He only had eyes for the long lines of the Cooper and we hit the water with a couple to put them through the paces.

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As always on the water, we get to swapping stories and, as always, the customer’s stories are better than mine. I enjoyed hearing about some sticky situations kayaking in Florida’s Mud Lake and truck issues out in the Yukon.

We followed the tide back to the landing and disassembled our Folbots on the dock. As usual, we had a few curious onlookers. The first had known of Folbot his whole life having grown up in Mt. Pleasant, SC. The next two thought kayaking would be fun but didn’t know where they would keep them (at which point we had a nice conversation about the versatility of a Folbot) and the last simply said, “I don’t know what that is but it sure looks like fun.” Agreed.

Whether Russell makes that Cooper his Cooper, we had a great day on the water. If it’s not paddling weather where you are, come visit us at Folbot and we’ll share some stories.

Faces of Folbot: Shayne Kasai

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Kootenay Lake

Shayne Kasai is up early. I barely fit in a shower before our early morning Skype meeting. It’s 8:00 a.m. for me on the East Coast of the U.S.; it’s 6:00 a.m. for him in Vancouver, British Columbia when we begin our interview.

For the past three years, Shayne Kasai has pursued his passion as an independent filmmaker. His then current project (which is now complete), Sinew and Yellow Cedar, is a short film that examines the current state of wooden boat building in British Columbia. Shayne made the film in hopes of reminding viewers about the importance of working with their hands in a world where most boats are pre-made and plastic.

So, it makes sense that Kasai paddles a Folbot Cooper, a kayak crafted by hand.

Kasai purchased his Cooper for the purpose of exploring, as the folding aspect of the kayak makes it extremely convenient for filmmaking. Though he hasn’t used it while filming quite yet, Shayne hopes to film while paddling in the future.

“I’d like to explore where I’m from,” he explains, specifically his childhood stomping grounds of Kootenay Lake, B.C.

Once, while paddling on Kootenay Lake, Kasai observed petroglyphs in the rock faces that he’d like to further investigate.

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“It gives you that Indiana Jones feeling,” says Shayne of discovering something from the past while paddling.

A close second to Kootenay Lake? The channels of Venice, Italy.

While Shayne’s Cooper makes his filmmaking and adventuring more convenient, it also makes living in Vancouver easier. As a major metropolis, space in Vancouver is precious. According to Shayne, most people live in condos.

“Folbot has a huge advantage over any other kayak,” says Shayne. He loves being able to store his kayak in the apartment instead of in a rental facility, where his wife stores her paddleboard. Living a block away from the ocean, Kasai wanted easy access to his kayak and possible adventure.

“A Folbot to me means being able to explore,” says Shayne.

We’re so glad.

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Shayne Kasai