Folding Kayaks Forum

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:21 am 
forum fan

Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:40 am
Posts: 12
I think there is a large group of people who have disposable income and who appreciate quality and are willing to pay for it.

I agree with the Nautiraid people that there is a market for retro styles.

I do a lot of bicycling and I can tell you the market for high end bicycles is booming. The prices for many of these bikes are well north of the most expensive folding kayak on the market.

The problem with folding kayaks is that there are not enough of them out there, at least in the US. People looking to kayaks don't understand them. We need to revitalize the Ralph Diaz advocacy and publish a new book.

Not to mention the fact that if you want to consider buying a folding kayak, it is very difficult to arrange a test paddle.

Folding kayaks offer advantages to the older, less experienced would be paddler. They are more comfortable, more stable and safer than hard shell boats.

In the Pacific Northwest there is a wealth of resort type locations where you can go and stay for a few days or a week by the water. Transporting a folding kayak by car or suv is pretty simple, no roof rack transport trauma. When you get there assemble the boat once and use it every day for short trips of a few hours or longer.

For those into car camping a folding kayak is also ideal. You can get all your camping gear and kayak into the vehicle. Again, assemble the kayak when you get there and either do day trips from your campsite on the water or paddle to an island and set up camp there.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:25 am 
recent arrival

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:11 pm
Posts: 4
Like any part of the population there are those who love the retro look and feel of a kayak that seems to be one with the water and paddler. It has been mentioned in the forum previously the heyday of the folding kayak was and I quote from the Klepper website

(1907 Johann Klepper testing his first model prototype on the River Mangfall in Rosenheim, Germany. Klepper's production-model folding kayak was the right product at the right time. Germany and the rest of Continent were embarking on the "Wanderlust Years" enjoying the thrill of adventure and discovering the beauty of nature.)

The right product for the time. No poly boats or fiberglass boats at the time. The boats were based on the Greenland type of boats, SOF. The early Klepper boats Slalom 58, T 65, T66 were river running boats. No air sponsons You could edge the crafts like a Greenland boat, and even do rolls. With the sponson's they became more stable and the cockpit became larger. You lost contact with the boat.

The newer boats can carry a heaver load but have lost the feel of a Greenland, or Aleutian kayak. There is a growing movement of people building SOF kayaks. They want to get back to a more natural connection with the water and nature. I believe folders still has a place due to the fact that the built SOF boat still can not be transported by air or train as well as a folder. Klepper, Longhaul and Nautiraid have military contracts and they can carry a heavy load, they still have a place, for military and expeditions. I would like to see the wooden folders manufactured without the air sponsons to get the feel of a folding Greenland type boat.

The Trak boat is high tech and pricey. I use my Klepper T65 (no air sponsons), for touring, using a Greenland paddle with a Feathercraft sea sock and strap on skeg, and it tracks and edges great.

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:27 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:51 pm
Posts: 621
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hi Karl,
The Nautiraid Narak range can be ordered without sponsons if you wish. My 550 didn't have them. It’s also worth adding that just because of a kayak hads sponsons, it doesn’t mean that they have to be inflated. I have often paddled my wooden-framed Nautiraid 416 without them inflated; it’s less stable but narrower so a bit faster as measured by gps, despite the skin being looser.


Pakboats Quest 135, Nautiraid Narak 460, 416 & K1 (sold my 550), First light 420, Feathercraft Wisper, Fujita Alpina AL-1 400, Incept k40 (for sale)
Non-folders: Cape Falcon F1. Beth sailing canoe, 2014 Hobie Adventure Island

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:09 am 
recent arrival

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:11 pm
Posts: 4
Hi Simon,
Thanks for the info on the 550. I am interested in finding one to paddle. Are there any 550 paddlers on the west coast? I have only seen a few of the Klepper boats with the Sponsons around Lake Tahoe. I talked to Mark at Long Haul Kayaks, He does not plan on building any boats like the 550.

Klepper T65
Advanced Elements Expedition hybrid
Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T

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