For years I have been dreaming of owning a sea kayak. I went on my first kayak tour in the Magdalen Islands in 2004 and have loved it ever since, without ever getting the opportunity to do much of it. The costs related to it, mainly storage and getting the rack to carry the kayak around on my car kept me back, as well as the price of the kayak itself. I live in an apartment and there was no easy way to store a 16-foot kayak in my house. I also try as much as possible not to have hobbies that make me too car-dependent.
Therefore, I got really enthusiastic a few months ago when stumbling on the Kickstarter campaign of a new company called pakayak. Pakayak was started by four people from Connecticut. Their main product is called a pakayak, which is a kayak that splits into 6 sections. It is only 3 feet and a half when stored. I had previously seen foldable and inflatable kayaks. The inflatable ones don’t offer the same performance as a hard kayak. The foldable ones were interesting, but their storage capacity kept me back as well as a concern for their durability (maybe I’m wrong on this, I have not thoroughly researched it). I thought the section kayak was a great idea and read all I could on their campaign, development process, company and product.
The pakayak team have done many demonstrations of their products over the summer of 2016 but they were never in a location that was convenient for me. I read the reviews from people who had been to the demos and had actually tried one and that convinced me: I pledged for one. The six sections are attached together with clamps and do not let any water in. Pakayak claims that their product performs like a traditional kayak, which is supported by some of the reviews of people attending their demos.
Anyone familiar with the crowd-funding process will know that this type of “product purchasing” is actually a leap of faith on the buyer’s part. There is no guarantee that the creator you fund will deliver the product or that they will deliver on time. Funders have to base their judgement on the seriousness of the campaign prepared by the project developers, their credibility, and product demos if you are able to attend one. Since the pakayak sells for a substantial amount, I was a little nervous so did a lot of research before submitting my pledge. My very own pakayak is supposed to be delivered in
April 2017 December 2017 and I am very excited! I would forgive some minor delays but as I am planning to use it next summer on my “Around René-Levasseur Island”. trip, so I do hope that I get it before August 2017!
Update from November 2017
I was lucky enough to be able to attend a Pakayak demo not too far from where I live in Burlington, VT in September 2017. We got there early in the morning and the weather was gorgeous. The pakayak team was on a beach by Lake Champlain with three boats for people to try out. I picked the yellow one since that is the color I ordered. 😉 I only took a short paddle with the boat but was very impressed but the way it handled – just like any other sea kayak I have ever paddled. The boats at the demo did not have the latest clamp model but the ones they had worked great. I was psyched to meet the Pakayak team as they are highly-motivated and dedicated people. They convinced me of their desire to bring a great product to the market! I should get my boat in a couple weeks from now.