Alv's Blog
Kayak Portage Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 July 2016 14:31


Todd Schwartz has come up with a very functional way to portage kayaks like those made by Pakboats. Below you will find pictures and information about his portage yoke as well as his experience with the PakPod. Click here to see his experience with the XT-17 on Lake Superior.

Greetings Alv,
Laura and I very recently returned from a 15 day kayak trip to the BWCA; about 60 miles of paddling, quite a few lakes, and too much portaging (chuckle).

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 July 2016 15:08
Lining a Canoe with a Single Rope Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 11:59

On a recent Lapland canoe trip we did a lot of lining because of high water levels. Some of the "lining" waslining up and down mountain sides, but that is a story for another day. We had a group of solo canoes, and it was obvious that we could make much faster progress if each of us could deal with his or her own canoe without a partner handling a second rope. The group covered a range of experience with lining, and I could observe what worked well - and not quite as well.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 September 2015 15:26
Lapland Canoe Trip 2015 Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 15:19

I am looking forward to a really special canoe trip. We will spend 3 weeks this summer, paddling 3 rivers in poroeno-watershedLapland. Starting in Norway, we will cross into Finland for a few days on the Poroeno watershed .

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 11:10
PakCanoe Seats Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 13:24

A few years ago, Pakboats changed over to traditional bench type seats in all PakCanoes. The change was driven by customer demand and has been well received. I have to agree that bench seats (spanning the hull and attached to the sides of the canoe) are more comfortable - but I still use the old pedestal seats (supported on the bottom of the canoe) for my own trips. You may wonder what is wrong with more comfort. My answer is "nothing", but there are paddling situations where a pedestal seat is simply more functional.

I like to paddle small rivers in the Lapland area of northern Scandinavia. Those rivers are often steep, rock infested streams, and I am in and out of the canoe a lot. We get stuck and have to get out to move the canoe into deeper water - then back into the canoe and start paddling instantly to keep the canoe in a narrow channel.

With a pedestal seat I can step into the canoe next to the seat and sit down - and I am already in a kneeling position, ready to paddle. With a bench seat, I'd need to step into the canoe in front of the seat, sit down and maneuver my legs into position under the seat. This takes longer (sometimes too long), and I'd find myself on another rock. Of course, the pedestal seat also makes it quicker and easier to get out of the canoe.

The pedestal seat works well for kneeling in the center (solo) position and in the bow. It does not work in the stern because there is not enough space for your legs between the seat and the sides of the canoe.

If you don't paddle small, rock infested streams, you may be better off with the standard PakCanoe seats. I am looking forward to my next Lapland trip this summer - on my pedestal seat!

Alv Elvestad

Family Canoeing Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:45

The following is a discussion that was prompted by my previous 'Family Canoe' post. The discussion covers canoeing with kids and how PakCanoes can fill the particular needs that kids have. I think you will find it interesting.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 13:45
Family Canoes Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 January 2015 15:45

PakCanoes for the Family

Looking at RapidMedia's Paddling Buyers Guide for 2015, I came across an article on Canoeing I was happy to find that "though participation rates in canoeing have remained static for several years, manufacturers and retailers are seeing an increase in young families getting on the water and purchasing canoes". That certainly makes sense. Canoes really are the only paddlecraft that can accommodate a family with kids.

PakCanoes from Pakboats have always been focused on the expedition market. Unfortunately, the expedition crowd is getting older, and the expedition market is shrinking. Even though PakCanoes are gaining market share, it is barely enough to keep PakCanoe sales stable from one year to the next. It seems like a great idea to make a family canoe.

Actually, it turns out that we already have that canoe. The 16 ft PakCanoe 160 comes as close to the ideal family canoe as any canoe on the market. You don't believe me? Then, consider the following:

1. With its tripping type hull, the 160 is very stable.

2. Unlike other canoes, built-in side flotation makes the 160 float level and stable if it is ever swamped.

3. With its somewhat flexible hull, the 160 is more seaworthy in rough conditions than traditional canoes.

4. Built for expedition use, the 160 is rugged enough to survive years of family fun, and at only 53 pounds, it is easy to handle.

5. The PakCanoe 160 comes prepared for a center seat.

6. The 160 can stay assembled indefinitely, and it can be transported assembled just like any other canoe. The advantage of a folding canoe is that it can be packed whenever needed.

The PakCanoe offers a combination of space, performance and safety that no other canoe can match!

Loving the Puffin Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 June 2014 10:19

A few days ago, I included a little story in my e-mail newsletter. The newsletter was about something else, but I received some nice responses to the story. These responses are from people who have had Puffins for several years, and you may find them interesting.

Quest Touring Kayaks Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:19

We are ready to start production of the Quest series of folding touring kayaks. The Quests are simple, very lightweight and inexpensive. They look great – and they are a joy to paddle! The Quests should be on the shelf about the end of February.

quest155In a way, the Quest development started with a 21 ft XT double. Pakboats introduced the XT series a few years ago as lightweight touring kayaks with excellent hull stiffness. The XTs are all of that, and we did not know at first just how far the XT structure could be pushed. The original 15 ft XT-15 and 16 ft XT-16 double are both very nice kayaks. So is the XT-17. We made a 19 ft XT double to test, and it performed very well. And a 21 ft XT-21 double was used very successfully in an offshore race last summer. In fact, it won its class! We are not sure what we will do with the long XTs. Clearly, the XT frame structure lends itself well to making long and sleek doubles. It is equally clear that the XT frame structure is overkill in a short solo kayak – and that realization was the seed that grew into the new Quests.

The Quest 135 and 155 share the same main design elements. Inflatable tubes along the sides have 3 cells on each side to provide ample and reliable flotation - an important safety feature. Quests inherit the excellent seat from our XT kayaks (a kayak is only as comfortable as its seat). The deck seal is improved with "wrapovers" from the hull onto the deck, deck rigging has been added, and the simple frame structure makes assembly a breeze. Each Quest packs into a single compact bag – it is the ultimate travel kayak.

We are very excited about the new 13 ft 8 in (416 cm) Quest. It is long enough for effortless cruising yet fits into a size range where there is almost nothing else available in a folding design – certainly not with polyurethane materials for $1515 and a weight of only 29 pounds (13.2 kg). The Quest 135 is ideal for smaller paddlers, and it is delightful to paddle even for average sized adults.

The 15 ft 6 in (472 cm) Quest 155 offers more space for overnight gear. It is the ideal companion when you need more boat than the 135 can offer. The 155 is in its element when your travels cover many miles and hours of paddling.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 January 2013 11:45
Paddling the Saco on a River Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:57

puffin-saco-on-the-whiteI went paddling on Vermont's White River in early June with a friend. Usually, we use PakCanoes on this run, but we decided that it would be fun to see how a Puffin would behave on "bumpy" river water. Since I did not have many pictures of the black polyurethane skinned Saco, I made sure to put Juel Victor in it - hoping for a couple of good photo opportunities.The paddling was a lot of fun, quite white in some places without becoming intimidating. We did not bring spray skirts, but we would have been much drier in the end if we had!





From the second picture you might suspect that at least one of the boats was swamped. It was not. Juel Victor paddled out in complete control, but he got a good lapful of water. We both used PakPods as camera bags secured on the deck in front of the cockpit. The cameras were still completely dry when we got back to the car.


Real Greenland Kayaks Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:07
We saw a very interesting kayak at the KanuMesse, a paddlesport trade show in Germany last week. It was not just Greenland style - it was made by a Greenland company. Greenland does not have all that many export items, but this new Inuit kayak really stands out with traditional design and a unique blend of traditional and modern materials.

The frames are hand made of wood, and great care is taken to preserve genuine Greenland performance characteristics. A new material was needed for the skins. After all, the traditional seal hides only lasted a year. The new material blends space age and natural fibers with a highly advanced coating to make kayaks with a real Greenland look and feel. Here is the story of the new skin material as told on the Greenland Kayaks web site

SealSkin AD2010 - the story:
For thousands of years, the Arctic Inuit covered their kayaks with sealskin from local seals. Perfect in many ways, the skin lasted for a year at a time, providing a strong, elastic and waterproof finish.

Then there came sailcloth. The hunters struggled to keep it waterproof and elastic, but its ready availability ensured it stayed in use until the 1960s when fiberglass was invented. Fiberglass killed the kayak's natural flex and so the hunters stopped using kayaks altogether.

Now though, there is a proper alternative. GREENLAND KAYAKS™ has invented SealSkin AD2010™ - a high tech fabric with sealskin characteristics. Supple, compliant and tough, we believe it will last for 50 years. At its core is the world's strongest fiber - Dyneema® - combined with high quality polymer and cotton fibers on the surface. Finished with our own silicone coating, your skin is water, salt and UV proof yet still allows the frame to flex in tune with the ocean.

Unleash your kayak!

The Greenland Kayaks story is an interesting commentary on modern manufacturers who continue to sell hull stiffness as a feature because the materials they use result in stiff hulls.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:19
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