Saturday, August 9, 2014

Folbot Float Trip - It's In The Bag

David Grubbs and Eric Thome
In searching out a small watercraft to enjoy on rivers and lakes, a modern kayak with a serious history is worthy of the spotlight. The Folbot kayak (pronounced Full Boat) is a foldable kayak that fits in a backpack style bag for transport when not in use. A visit to the Folbot warehouse in Charleston, their home since 1953,  gave a unique look into their current operations before we splashed a Folbot at a nearby kayak access ramp on the Ashley River.
Vintage Folbot float book
Grubbs digs in while paddling in the Ashley River

Jack Kissner founded Folbot boast just over 80 years ago in England. Kissner moved the Folbot operation to New York City in 1935 to tap the American market, eventually settling into Charleston, S.C. in 1953. The company changed owners a few times since the 1980’s with Eric Thome and Scott Peckham purchasing Folbot in 2012. Presently, Folbot is offering nine different models of foldable kayak in nine different colors.

Versatility is what sets Folbot apart, since the boat actually fits in the trunk of your car. No SUV, no pick-up, no roof racks – No Problem here. Summer intern David Grubbs, a local High School student, helped Thome and I load up three Folbots in the back of a Mercedes wagon. After a short drive to a public kayak landing in Charleston County I witnessed the assembly of the 13-foot Sporting Life model.
“The average set up time for the Folbot is right around 20-minutes,” said Thome. The backpack was brought down to the floating dock where all the parts were emptied onto the flat surface next to the kayak ramp. “In the backpack, the Sporting Like model weighs about 39-pounds. This water repellant skin on this model features Realtree Max-4 camouflage, which is our latest offering for those who like to fish or to hunt out of their kayak.”

It’s ironic that the vintage Folbot book includes a passage on page 167 about ‘Swift Folbot Waters in Carolina’ and mentions the saltwater marshes of the Ashley River. So with one eye on the past, and the other on new experiences I paddled the Folbot upriver and found it to be comfortable, easy to maneuver and fishable. In order to learn how to Unfold New Adventure on the water visit the Internet at Folbot.

How 'bout some Behind The Scenes action
To view the entire feature article click on All At Sea.

To view past blog entries about kayak fishing click How To or Forgotten Coast or Beaufort Blueways or Edisto River Flow or Tarpon Lodge.


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