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.., your website and articles are an incredibly rare and impressive source of quality content for IKs.
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The pandemic and its associated restriction on overseas travel and holidays has seen domestic interest in paddling boom. And that includes inflatable kayaks and packrafts. Paddling provides the same health and wellbeing benefits as walking or cycling, but with a liberating feeling of weightlessness as you glide effortlessly across the water. And with an easily portable IK, transportation and storage issues are minimised.
I was never into hardshells, but discovering IKs in 2005 (and later, packrafts) was like discovering mountain bikes back in the 1980s. Suddenly the outdoors became a whole lot more interesting and accessible. With a packboat the hitherto overlooked blue bits on the map become new byways to exploration and adventure.
Portable kayaks and mini rafts are light enough to be backpacked to the water’s edge or even carried indefinitely. Once inflated, you can paddle for an hour or for days, after which time you pull out the plugs, roll up and head home or over to the next body of water. With an IK or packraft you’re paddling on air.
I ‘ve travelled with packrafts and IKs in France, US, Croatia, NW Australia (video below) Turkey, Venice, Sardinia, Iceland and New Zealand. Years ago I replaced my faded Gumotex Sunny with a Feathercraft Java, then an Incept K40 and a Grabner Amigo. After five years with a Gumotex Seawave, I took back my old Sunny to tide me over the 2020 IK shortage, then got another Seawave 2. I’ve also had a few Alpacka packrafts, recently enjoyed an MRS Nomad S1 ‘packayak’, and have also experimented with cheap vinyl slackrafts.
In 2021 my book: Inflatable Kayaking: A Beginner’s Guide was published. More about that here.