Kayak Adventures
Exploring London by Folding Kayak Print E-mail


Last week when I went to England I was paddling the river Thames through the heart of London in my Pakboats Puffin. Just before passing under Tower Bridge heading upstream a seagull buzzed right by my head. In its beak was a 30" eel. I'd heard eels were coming back to London as the water is getting cleaner, but now the proof was right in front of me. The bird landed about 50 yards in front of me on the water and began to eat its "m-eel".

Bill Longyard

Note: In London, put in at high tide early one summer morning at the last lock on the Thames at Richmond (take the tube there from central London). Paddle for four or five hours and you'll easily reach Greenwich where you should stop for lunch and a tour of the Maritime Museum. When the tide is high again, put in once again and paddle on out to Gravesend which you'll reach in the evening. Have a dinner there, visit Pochohantas' grave, and then take the train back to London. What a great day of paddling!

Gudenaa River, Denmark Print E-mail

Hi Alv
Just wanted to tell you about a recent two-day paddle up the Gudenaa River in the middle of Jutland, Denmark.

Denmark has an enormous amount of coastline in proportion to the land area, but few rivers. The Gudenaa, not even rated as a river in Denmark, starts at Tørring and runs into the Randersfjord. On the way, passes through the picturesque Danish lake district around Ry and then Silkeborg.

I was accompanied by old friend Gunner. He is 62 and I'm 53, and although reasonably fit for our ages, neither of us does any paddling (regrettably) apart from the occasional outing during the summer. This was my first paddle in over a year and consequently the assembly time for the puffin 11 was up from 15 to the 25 minutes it always takes the first time!

Adventure Kayak Magazine Review Print E-mail

Summer 2003 Review of Briefcase Boats.

"Foldables, the secret is in the bag".
Pakboats, Puffin Kayak 12

I could see him watching from a city picnic table. His CCM three-speed leaned against a young maple with a basketful of stale bread for the geese. I had the 12-foot Pakboat Puffin out of its small duffel, hull unrolled at my feet and the frame pieces piled on the grass like Boy Scout's puptent poles.

"I'll give ya' an hour," he yelled, now hobbling my way. I handed him the two pages of instructions, rising to his challenge. "If you read these, thirty minutes tops I'll be feeding your geese from the water." I introduced myself and Bicycle Earl began barking directions.

Insert the keel pole and gunwales and snap in the seven aluminum cross ribs. Check. Inflate the sponsons to add stability and tighten the skin to the frame. Check. Inflate and install the seat. Check. Velcro on the PVC coated woven syntethic spray deck to keep me dry.Check. Load stale bread into the cockpit and launch. Check. In less than twenty minutes I'd thanked Earl and was heading around the breakwall.

The Puffin is a simple, very light, rigid and super-sporty kayak. It's the perfect boat for a traveling business person (like me) looking to explore the harbour after an afternoon in traffic.

Portable Paddling; Backpacker Magazine Review Print E-mail

Enjoy hard-to-reach water with these collapsible boats.

Backpacker Magazine, June 2003.
By Alan Kesselheim

So you want to go paddling this summer, but aren't too keen to haul your boat to remote put-ins? You aren't alone. Traditional, hard-shell canoes and kayaks are heavy, awkward, and expensive to transport. Luckily, folding and inflatable boats have become viable options. Collapsible craft are a significant up-front investment, but in the long run they will save big bucks in transportation costs, and with the performance and cargo capacity necessary for big wilderness trips, they'll pay you back many times over in priceless adventures.

120 Miles camping on the Green River by Folding Kayak Print E-mail

Paddling the Green River, Utah

Dear Linda & all,

Just thought I'd let you know how delighted I am with the Puffin. I just had time for a couple short paddles in a nearby lagoon before heading off to Utah. Managed to stuff me plus 10 days supplies in the little boat. (Had to make some choices - couldn't take warm sleeping bag and warm clothes, so I slept in the warm clothes in a light bag. Took the bivy bag instead of a tent.) We paddled from the town of Green River 120 miles down the mostly flat Green River to its confluence with the Colorado, doing some hikes up side canyons along the way. I was worried that the loaded canoe wouldn't glide well, but it was great. Really, other than myself being somewhat cramped, it felt no different from the unloaded boat.

I am looking forward to exploring the local lagoons, Humboldt Bay, and sloughs in the little Puffin.

Thanks for a great product.


Pakboats Puffin on Long Island Sound Print E-mail

Long Island Sound  (2002)

I had tremendous fun in 12-15 kts of wind, dying swells up to about four foot and smaller wind chop that was breaking at times. When I let the Puffin sit broadside on to the wind it started to scud sideways due to the very shallow draft. However, broadside breakers don't phase it; although I would have been prepared for a quick high brace into wind and breaking waves if the winds had been stronger, potentially catching and lifting the weatherside of the wide, light hull as the breaker passes beneath.

Pakboats Puffin on Penobscot Bay Print E-mail

Penobscot Bay, Maine  (2002)

Hi Alv,

Just wanted to update you on my Puffin. I've recently moved to Maine, so took the Puffin out into Penobscot Bay at the end of October on the day after a storm. The Puffin was such fun to paddle in the remaining swells and the wind driven waves. It is so maneuverable in the waves that it felt like a duck playing around. And the Puffin surfs amazingly well. While the Puffin isn't a fast boat, it allowed me to comfortably paddle against both tidal currents and wind. I just purchased a British Navy dry-suit to use with the Puffin in Maine in the winter, and with my larger folding kayak in the summer in the arctic. Unfortunately the blaze orange dry suit really clashes with the red and yellow Puffin, but I am highly visible to all the lobster fishermen and the other boaters.


Deborah Walters

Traveling Oregon with a Puffin Kayak Print E-mail

Puffin Adventure in Oregon  (2002)

I've taken too long to get back to you and let you know how much I've enjoyed the Puffin Kayak I bought from you. I took it to Oregon in my motorhome and used it on a beautiful lake there.

Paddling Venice in a Pakboats Puffin Print E-mail

Venice, Italy   2001

The Perfect Boat
by Gino Thomas-Solimando

Non-kayakers are always amazed to hear that I own six kayaks. To the uninitiated, one kayak seems like plenty. Yet, if you think of kayaks the way a golfer thinks of clubs, it’s easy to see that different circumstances require different tools. So nothing less than the perfect boat ever really satisfies us. My long-awaited, and much considered first trip to Italy called for just such a boat.

Paddling a Puffin down the Thames Print E-mail

Puffin in Euro Travels, Folding Kayaker by Bill Longyard (2000)

by Bill Longyard
(Reprinted by permission from Folding Kayaker)

William Stout, one of America's greatest engineers, once said, "Simplicate- add lightness," so when I learned that someone was making a kayak that weighed less than half of what other kayaks weigh, I knew I had to try one on my next trip to Europe.

The Puffin single seater by Pakboats is a 10.5 ft kayak that weighs merely 19 lbs (Editor's note: that's without the full spray deck). How could a boat this light be a real kayak? My doubts increased when the UPS driver delivered to my house a box not much bigger than a large pillow. Opening it, I found a neat little duffle bag into which was packed the entire kayak! Huh? Thirty minutes later the Puffin was assembled on my living room floor. It looked like a real kayak, but still I wondered how something that simple and light would handle on the water, or even survive the normally abusive baggage handlers at airports.

The Puffin has an ultra-simple aluminum frame, rugged synthetic skin, and uses air sponsons for flotation and rigidity. I was impressed with how solid the boat became once I blew up the sponsons with the foot inflator that had been provided. I was even more amazed when I lifted the boat with just my thumb and index finger. 19 pounds! When lifted, there is absolutely no sag anywhere in the boat - it is very stiff.

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