Saturday, 28 April 2012

Running On Water

The Vibram, FiveFingers barefoot running shoe, is one of the most unique innovations in footwear produced in the last ten years. The FiveFingers shoe mimics the motion of running shoeless and allows the wearer to feel and respond to the surface they travel over.

But it takes some time to get used to. Wearing soled shoes for your whole life makes you walk a certain way. Adjusting to the FiveFingers is a process, not an overnight transition.

The reward is worth the awkward first outings. A shoeless jaunt to the store can easily become the highlight of your day, as your feet experience the dynamic surface changes between your home and your destination.

'FiveToes' Seems More Appropriate

Moving from a fiberglass kayak to a skin kayak can hold a similar feeling of trepidation.

Fiberglass owners are separated from the water surface they paddle over, so it is natural to feel overwhelmed when transitioning to a skin design. Some paddlers may experience a need for the security that a rigid hull provides, but the aluminum framework provided by a Feathercraft is just as strong or stronger than a hard bottom boat.

The thrill comes from feeling the motion of the sea beneath your kayak. The skin actively responds to varying sea conditions, cutting through swells and absorbing wave energy.
If you haven't tried a skin kayak, you haven't really kayaked.

See for yourself!

Test-paddle a boat at our Feathercraft Factory or approach one of our worldwide kayak dealers. We promise you won't want to ever go back to the hard 'sole' of a fiberglass boat.

The Highways of Venice

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Wash After Wearing

A Feathercraft kayak is an amazing boat, from its traditional Inuit design, to its ability to fold, to the welded skin that eliminates water seepage. BUT, like any boat, car or bicycle, it does require basic maintenance.

It is important to rinse your kayak after ever foray into the ocean. The easiest method is to leave your kayak assembled and use a garden hose to completely wash the outside skin.

If any seawater has pooled inside the kayak, use a sponge to dry and then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.

You can also use a mild detergent and a soft scrub brush to clean the welded urethane skins.

Allow the skin ample time to dry before storing.

If you plan to disassemble your kayak, rinse the frame separately after removing the dry skin. 

You can lubricate the spring buttons and inserts. We suggest using a Boeshield T-9 lubricant.

Take care of your boat and it will last you a lifetime.

Don't Forget to Sponge the Interior

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Skin Welding

The largest organ in your body is your skin. It wraps around your skeleton in a seamless weave of cells that protect your inner organs. At Feathercraft, we wanted to replicate the same seamless characteristics in the design of our boats. Fabric welding technology has allowed us the opportunity to create an exterior skin that eliminates water seepage completely.

The outer skin of our kayaks is made of two parts: the deck and the hull. In the past, Feathercraft stitched the Cordura deck layer to the hull.

With the advancement of urethane fabrics, we are now able to weld our Duratek hull layer to a polytech deck layer, using radio frequency welding technology.

Radio frequency welding joins polyurethane fabrics by exciting the molecules and creating a permanent bond. This bond acts like a gasket creating a water-tight seal between the two fabrics.

The end result is an exterior skin that is completely waterproof. Pretty amazing eh?!?!

Exciting the Urethane Molecules 
(Like Dancing - Without the Awkwardness)

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Connect with Feathercraft

I hope you are enjoying reading our weekly blog.

We are trying to cover a wide breadth of topics, from local classes being offered, to environmental concerns, to kayaking functions, to our own product line.

We feel a blog is an unobtrusive way of supplying information to the kayak community.
So far, it has been a pleasure to contribute to. We appreciate all the positive Feedback that readers have shown us on Facebook and on Google +.

If you have any kayak related events that you would like us to share on our blog, you can email us at We would also love to hear about any recent trips or expeditions, especially if they involved a Feathercraft kayak. Send us your photos and your stories and we'll publish them on our blog.

For day-to-day updates, follow us on Twitter or befriend us on Facebook

Curious about our skin kayak designs? 
Connect with us.

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Kayak Spotlight: "Khatsalano"

kat-sa-la-no - A Coast Salish term meaning "Lord of the Lake"

If you love speed, graceful lines and Greenland-style paddling, the Khatsalano is the kayak you belong in.

Built around the traditional skin kayak concept, the Khatsalano is intended for kayakers with good rolling and bracing skills. It carves turn with only a slight lean and has a fast cruising speed.

The lines of the boat are reminiscent of a Lawren Harris painting, sharp but fluid angles that reflect the environment they travel over.

With its narrow fit, the paddler and the boat become one.

For the intermediate paddler, Feathercraft has produced the Khatsalano-S. This kayak is cut fuller than its skinnier sibling. The sponsons sit higher, making for a slightly wider beam for increased stability. You don't have to have a black belt in rolling to paddle this boat.

Interesting Fact: Greenland-style paddling reflects the original needs of the Inuit people. 
In case of a harpoon line entanglement, Inuit paddlers needed to be able to roll their boats with ease. 

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Hope in the Salish Sea

Whales fill us with hope. If something so big can flourish here, maybe in time the smaller and less obvious parts of the puzzle can too.
-Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun

This quote is taken from a recent article in the Vancouver Sun. The article focuses on the surprising resurgence of marine mammals in the Salish Sea.

The Salish Sea is a 7,000 square kilometer body of water that includes the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound. Within this territory is a complicated ecosystem that has seen a considerable amount of damage since the arrival of European settlers. Overfishing, commercial whaling, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change have all affected the region.

Concern for the marine mammals in this area began nearly 50 years ago when scientists started tracking and recording the dramatic dips in population. When the alarms sounded, measures were set in place to increase the numbers by limiting and in some cases banning commercial hunts.
Management of fish stocks, in regards to whale population, became important. Habitats were protected and pulp and paper mills that bordered endangered marine habitats were shutdown.
Marine life became a major concern for not only the scientists working on the West Coast, but also the residents living here.
And now for the good news.
Since the 1960s, the population of harbour seals, which once numbered as low as 15,000, is now over 100,00. The number of humpback whale sightings is up. The stellar sea lion population is thriving. And while the number of resident killer whales is down to 88 in the Salish Sea, the number of transient killer whales passing through our waters is up dramatically.
An increase in large mammal numbers means the smaller marine animals, further down the food chain, are increasing as well.
There are still 113 species of marine organisms that are threatened in the Salish Sea, but the increase in the larger mammals gives us hope. 

Interesting Fact: It takes 660 chinook a day to feed the resident killer whales in the Salish Sea. 

Feathercract. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Navigation Lessons

Navigation is an important tool for sea kayakers of all abilities. From recognizing landmarks, to studying tidal charts, to using a compass, any paddler who intends to leave shore should have a basic navigation tool set.

If you're looking to upgrade or start from scratch, there are a variety of courses available to improve your nautical precision.

Here are two options for those living in Vancouver, Canada:

  • David Dreves Kayaking, a tour, rental and instruction company, is offering a variety of courses both on the water and on land. 'Coffee shop' sessions offer information on marine forecasts, compass work, chart reading and trip planning. Each session is $20. The spring schedule has not been posted.

  • Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak is offering a theoretical and practical navigation course for intermediate paddlers. The course is a full day lesson, running out of Whytecliff Park, in West Vancouver. The first half of the day is spent learning the skills, well the second half is spent putting them into practice. This course costs $120. It is being offered on June 30th and again on August 11th.

Hope to see you in the classroom!

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide. 

Friday, 13 April 2012

Sit-On-Top Kayaks

Feathercraft has designed three unique sit-on-top kayaks for warm weather paddling. We have coined this line of boats our Airline Sit-on-Tops.

Our sit-on-top boats are built for speed, open storage and partner kayaking. They use an aluminum frame that is similar to the frames in our standard folding kayaks. Between the frames of the boats, are four large sponson chambers that give the kayaks buoyancy. These chambers are sealed with a welded urethane skin; they provide the body of the kayak.

Sitting 'on-top' means your center of gravity is higher. This creates a unique paddling experience. It might feel tippier at first, but you will soon notice that the raised position allows for amazing views of coral and other sea life below. The raised position also allows you to enter and exit the kayak with greater ease. You can tether the boat, jump off and swim with the turtles and then climb back on.

The Airline sit-on-tops, like our standard kayaks, all collapse. The components fit easily into a Cordura carry bag for smooth transport.

Each sit-on-top also comes with a double-action hand-pump for easy inflation.

Airline Sit-on-Tops
  • Java: The Java is a wide and stable sit-on-top. It has a drop-skeg and can be converted to a recreational double with an easy add-on second seat. For longer paddles, there is storage space for dry bags in both the stern and bow of the boat.
  • Gemini: Our double is a longer, wider, roomier version of the Java. A drop-skeg and rudder are standard features.
  • Jet Stream: For those who want to go fast! A skinnier version of both the Java and the Gemini, the Jet Stream is the fastest folding kayak on the market.

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Started in 1994 by the Vancouver Aquarium, The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is a national project aimed at mobilizing the public for a weeklong garbage pick-up along Canada's sprawling shorelines. 

This week, the call went out for previous participants to register for  this year's event. By registering early, companies or single participants can claim sections of local shoreline that they want to be responsible for. The 2012 cleanup is scheduled for the third week in September.

Last year, the cleanup netted 147,637 kgs (325,483 lbs) of trash. There were over 50,000 participants working at over 1,600 sites, with a total distance of 3,144 kms (1,954 miles) of shoreline cleaned. Impressive!

Participation in this year's event can be done in two ways; volunteers can choose to take on a role as a cleanup participant or lead a group as a site coordinator. Sites are designated on a first come first serve basis. So if you have a patch of shoreline that you would like to focus on, register early.

If you are a teacher hoping to incorporate some of the lessons from the Shoreline Cleanup into your units, check out the online resources for elementary school lesson integration.
For yearlong cleanup initiatives, try taking responsibility for a section of shoreline and visit it bi-weekly to remove trash. You can also implement gorilla tactics by painting fish symbols above your local storm drains. This reminds the public that all our drains eventually empty into our waterways. Recycling, reusing and respecting the environment are three other ways of helping keep our waterways clean throughout the year.

Shore cleanup is a conservation effort that Feathercraft Kayaks is deeply connected with. We want to protect the wildlife and ecosystems that share our shores. Cleanup programs are an excellent way to help.

Staggering statistic: last year the Shoreline Cleanup retrieved 351,238 cigarette buts. 

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bay Area Paddlefest

Feathercraft is excited to be taking part in this year's Bay Area Paddlefest. The exhibition will take place on April 21st and 22nd at the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont, California.

The paddlefest is California's Largest Paddlesports Expo, showcasing the newest paddleboard, canoe and kayak designs.

It is an opportunity for paddle enthusiasts to meet the makers of their watercrafts, talk about their sport with other enthusiasts and partake in clinics with pro and semi-pro paddlers.

Courses range from introductory on land seminars to master class stand-up paddleboarding classes.

Families are encouraged to partake in the 'Craft For Kids - Get Yours Kids Afloat' seminar, where a variety of demos will be held for parents looking to get their children involved in paddlesports.

The cost is relatively cheap, with a Demo Only Day Pass running $15 US. For a Classes Day Pass, you will need to spend an additional $15.

The gates to the beach grounds open at 9 am and close at 4 pm.

For more information on this two-day event, visit the Bay Area Paddlefest website:

Bay Area Paddlefest  

Other paddle events around Vancouver in 2012:
  • ·      MEC Paddlefest Vancouver July 7, 2012, at the Jericho Sailing Centre 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Iron Mountainwear Leg Armour

We have a soft spot for local innovators. We started with just an idea on how to make a light kayak that could collapse into a backpack. Then we perfected our design and added to our catalogue. Now our fleet includes kayaks with larger storage opportunities, sleeker frames for Greenland style touring and sit-on-top boats, for fun in warmer climates.

But back when we were starting, it was that first product, the K-Light, that got people talking. It was new, light and it got locals excited about an emerging sport.

Iron Mountainwear is doing the same thing with the downhill mountain bike scene.  They've created a new type of leg armour that can withstand the cruelest of punishments. They actually attempted to blow their armour up with 5000 lbs of explosives and were unsuccessful. This stuff is seriously tough.

It allows for a full range of motion from your knee, so you can ride the way you want to. With removable/washable pads, it won't smell like your hockey equipment bag and with vents on all sides, it will keep your leg cool for your entire ride.

Try it. You won't be disappointed.

We're excited for what they will dream up next.

Iron Mountainwear Shin and Knee Protection

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Innovation Rewarded

In 2011, Feathercraft Kayaks was honoured with the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award of Distinction. It was a honour that we received for our innovation in kayak design.

Innovation requires a leap. It builds on a present solution and offers a superior process for engagement. It can be tedious work that leads to dead-ends, long nights and grey hairs. Years of asking, 'what if we did it this way,' can end in, 'well, I guess it can't be done.'

The Feathercraft Company is built on innovative thinking. We began making kayaks in a time when fiberglass boats dominated the market. We knew that the Inuit had succeeded in making skin kayaks, but their design needed a new spin.

We asked the question, "Why can't we make a modern skin kayak with an aluminum frame and a welded urethane skin? And if we can, why not make it collapsible?"

After years of experimenting, Feathercraft created the first modern collapsible kayak.
In 2012, we are still designing new boats. We are the leader in the folding kayak industry because of our commitment to innovation.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who supported our dream and bought our kayaks. We hope you're having as much fun paddling them as we have designing them. 

Former Premier Gordon Campbell, Doug Simpson and Keith Mitchell, 
Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation

-Previous winners of the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award of Distinction include, John Fluevog, Karl Stittgen and Toni Cavelti.

Feathercraft. Made in Canada. Paddled Worldwide.