Kayaking is a sport enjoyed by many, but many people are cut off from access to their favorite sport because of the equipment. Getting a kayak on top of your car can be a difficult task, and usually requires a $500+ roof rack that may not be in the budget at the moment. Sure, you could try without the rack - foam blocks or other options - but either way the process is usually time consuming and nerve-racking going down the highway. The invention of the Folding Boat Co’s K-PAK has saved many from this hassle and expanded the sport to those who otherwise could not participate. But who is behind this bright idea? We caught up with owner, creator, and Construction Project Manager, Pete Flood.
1. How did you have the idea for the K-PAK?
PF: Well, I spend a lot of time outdoors and enjoys being near the water. I like to hunt, fish, and explore. Canoes are heavy and create quite the task for moving from place to place, and so I saw a need for a boat that would be versatile enough to do these things, be light and compact enough to get to these places, and would have a simple and quick assembly to enable these activities. The K-PAK - which can fold up easily to store in your closet at home and in your backseat on the way to the water - is a 21-lb, skin-on-frame folding boat that comes complete with a backpack for transportation, sets up in 4-5 minutes and offers a stable and comfortable ride.
2. Are you an outdoorsman yourself? If so, what kind of activities/sports do you do?
PF: I enjoy everything outdoors. I have a great appreciation for nature and the science that explains it. I enjoy sailing, paddling, camping, hiking, backpacking, swimming, fishing, hunting, campfire cooking, flying, scuba diving, exploring, gardening, and foraging edible plants and mushrooms, etc.
3. How long have you been paddling for?
PF: I remember catching my first fish when I was about 5-6 years old on a lake in the Adirondacks from a canvas canoe my dad built as a teenager. I like all types of boats; big, little, sail, motor, or paddle. Favorite memories including paddling across Fontana Lake to hike, camp, and fish Hazel or Eagle Creeks. Paddling makes it more about the journey and not just getting there.
4. What space does the KPAK fill for people?
PF: The K-Pak was designed to enable quick, hassle-free access to the water anywhere. It’s a no-brainer if space constraints or love of travel are a consideration. Plus, it opens the door for those in urban settings. You can now have a full kayak if you live in a tiny apartment in the middle of the city.
5. Any fun facts about you?
PF: I used to be a Quartermaster right after high school. Quartermasters are navigators. On my ship I was also a master helmsman and ship diver. One of my duties was to raise and lower the flag at exactly sunrise and sunset every day. I also have one of the sweetest Belgium Shepherds out there – Nahla – who loves to go swim alongside me when I paddle.
Thirsty for more Folding Boat history? Check out some of the early models here!