Waiting for my Pakayak

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.

Image taken from pakayak.com
Image taken from pakayak.com

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.

pakayak
Image taken from pakayak.com

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.

Trying out a Pakayak at the Burlington demo in September 2017

12 thoughts on “Waiting for my Pakayak

  • March 19, 2017 at 3:06 pm
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    That is so cool. I got two Pakayaks in the Kickstarter, and like you, am eagerly awaiting their arrival. I’ve only been recreational kayaking for a couple years. I wanted something to get out and about, and I got an extra kayak if friends, etc want to tag along. I had a “traditional” recreational kayak last year, but the storage and transportation made it so that I only used it on the weekends and it took up way too much space. My ideal is to be able to store it in my car at work to go out during the week to explore locally, and then further afield on weekends.

    Like you, I spent a lot of time researching and getting comfortable with a purchase sight unseen. I posted on reddit and facebook to see if folks (especially engineers) had any thoughts to share. I got overall positive reaction, and so I went for it.

    It has been great to see all the progress reports come in from the team as they work towards delivering the end product. I appreciate the passion they have, and I believe that will be infused into the end product.

    Anyways, just wanted to say cool posting, and good luck on that trip. I’ve seen that area in Quebec on maps and always wondered what it was…interesting idea to circumnavigate!

    Reply
    • March 19, 2017 at 3:51 pm
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      Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for the nice comment. Hopefully we’ll have our kayaks in a couple weeks from now. I have backed a couple projects on Kickstarter and pakayak are by far the best ones for updates and communication. Happy paddling! 🙂

      Reply
  • April 18, 2017 at 10:11 pm
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    I’m looking to hear an update on this. You mentioned that you are expecting your kayak April 2017. Have you received it yet?

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    • April 19, 2017 at 1:10 am
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      The planned delivery date is now May 2017! I will try to post a review after I have used it a couple times. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 16, 2017 at 12:34 am
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    I funded this project also and now, for the first time, am seriously concerned about their ability to deliver. How are you feeling about the situation? Looks like this won’t be delivered until sometime in 2018 now!

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    • July 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm
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      Hi David,
      I know the delays are frustrating… but I have followed a couple Kickstarter projects up to now and it’s part of the deal… They have had bad luck with their clamps. Since when the project was funded they did not have the clamp prototype yet, it was a bit risky. I am optimistic and still confident that I will eventually get my kayak. I am disappointed of course, especially since I wanted to use the kayak for a trip in the fall, but still excited about the product. Hopefully time does not prove me wrong!

      Reply
  • July 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm
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    Hi! Wondering if you ever got an update or your Kayak?
    I’ve been following them since Kickstarter, though I didn’t fund enough to get a kayak I sent what I could afford at the time. I am seriously thinking about a pre-order, but they seem to have hit a production line snag and a couple of weeks ago had no date on their website as to when pre-orders would ship.

    Now they have a date of Dec. But it sounds like they had dates once before… It makes me nervous. This Kayak would be the answer to my dream of being able to kayak into work instead of commuter slog. But it’s so much money, I don’t want to waste it if I will never get the product… Are you still confident in receiving one?

    Looks like your trip will be coming up soon. I hope you have a wonderful time!

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    • July 18, 2017 at 4:04 pm
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      Hi Dennis,
      Yes there is more delays in production. They have had issues with the clamps and needed to go out and find a new supplier, which is always a lengthy process if you are quality-oriented. I am still confident that the final product will be eventually delivered and will be great. The pakayak team has done a great job at keeping their backers updated. I prefer to stay on the optimistic side of things 🙂

      Reply
  • November 17, 2017 at 4:35 pm
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    Your latest blog was in July. It is now November. Why would a company in hope of sales, not provide ANY information on their website regarding availability, etc.? I have a phone call into them, and am waiting for their return call. As much as I love the concept, and would buy one if they were already out in the market, such delays and lack of information concerns me to the point that I cannot move forward.

    I am curious what you are being told? Does Kickstarter have something to do with the delays?

    Regards,
    Tony

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    • November 20, 2017 at 1:00 pm
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      Hi Tony,
      Most projects on Kickstarter encounter delivery delays and a product like a kayak is no exception! The company does a great job at keeping their backers informed, we have received regular updates during the whole process. The scheduled delivery is now December. I went and met the team during one of their summer demos and was very impressed with the product! I don’t think the Kickstarter platform has anything to do with the delay. When backing a product on such a platform, you are buying something that is being developed and I feel like delays are part of a normal production process of a new product for a new company… I hope this helps.

      Reply
  • December 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm
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    Ahoy Marilyne , Gosh , your Pakayak must almost be in your hands , now . Have you been given a ship date from Zinelle yet , or will you drive down to CT and pick it up ?

    Where will your first launch and paddle be ?
    Will you invite guests to attend the launching ?
    Are you going to christen and name it too ?
    Are you back home from the Colorado River trip ?

    Reply
    • December 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm
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      Hi Douglas! I don’t have a precise date yet but it will be in December. No idea where and when the first paddle will be, it depends of when I get it. It will get a name after I have paddled it for a while! 🙂

      Reply

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