Sensational Sectional Kayak from PaddleYak (29/8/2020)
In 2009 Johan Loots of PaddleYak SEA KAYAK PRODUCTIONS cc traveled to Madagascar to meet Riaan Manser upon his 5000km long circumnavigation of Madagascar, the remote and exotic island off the coast of Africa, the fourth largest in the world after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. Always mixing work and pleasure, Loots had arranged to explore St Marie Island by kayak after Manser's arrival. It's a lush, unspoilt island on the north-east coast of Madagascar and seemed ideal for a new kayak route. Access is by ferry from the mainland, or a cargo plane converted to carry passengers. Loots needed to take his own kayak which could fit on the available transport and his solution was to cut the smallest touring kayak in the PaddleYak range into three sections and to prepare it for re-connection on arrival. All worked well and the result of his subsequent exploration led to the setting up of a sea kayak operation on the island. This necessitated the delivery of double touring craft and to this effect Loots set about to also split his commercial double, the PaddleYak Tango, into four sections, for re-connecting once the craft arrived on the island. In this way he was able to build a small fleet of craft on a very remote, but beautiful Indian Ocean island. The experience he gleaned from this inspired Loots to set about developing a marketable sectional, or split, kayak. His third craft, an adaptation of the fast touring PaddleYak Fusion led to a trial run in Zanzibar. Lessons learned on the trip led to further innovations, including having the parts nest into each other, a first for sit-on craft, enabling Loots to travel to the South Pacific to test his fourth split kayak proto-type. He traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Moorea, testing the craft in some of the world's most revered sea kayak destinations, not only paddling select routes, but also checking the portability of the craft, its major quality. He flew on various airlines, used public transport, trains, taxis, busses and rental cars to cover thousand of kilometres with his craft in tow. On his return, Loots put what he had learned into a fifth version of the split craft. In 2017 he was on his way to paddle the kayak route he had helped to establish along the famed Camino de Santiago in Spain and was ready to deliver the first commercial version of his split and nested, sit-on sea kayak, by now named the PY TravelYak Split, but decided at the last minute that the craft needed further adjustments. He duly set about making the changes, which morphed into more, but the craft is finally nearing completion and according to Loots, will be sensational. With such a history already, it just has to be! For more about the craft and pre-orders, ph +27(0)825562520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact pPaddleYak through its website at www.paddleyak.co.za .
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