FOLDLITE Portable Kayaks Offer Paddlers Access to Waters Less Traveled

Monday, 16 June 2008
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After dipping a paddle into the market last year, FOLDLITE Boats is taking the plunge with a formal launch for spring 2009. Representing a new generation of lightweight portable kayaks and canoes, FOLDLITE utilizes a unique hybrid of skin-on-frame and hard-shell technology to offer both flexibility and stability on the water. This patented design successfully combines the dual advantages of the lightweight portability and versatility of foldable boats, with the durability and performance of rigid-shell craft - for the first time. As a result, FOLDLITE is striking a chord with paddlesports enthusiasts who want lightweight folding boats that are an exceptional value.
VANCOUVER, Wash.--(June 5, 2008)--After dipping a paddle into the market last year, FOLDLITE Boats is taking the plunge with a formal launch for spring 2009. Representing a new generation of lightweight portable kayaks and canoes, FOLDLITE utilizes a unique hybrid of skin-on-frame and hard-shell technology to offer both flexibility and stability on the water. This patented design successfully combines the dual advantages of the lightweight portability and versatility of foldable boats, with the durability and performance of rigid-shell craft - for the first time. As a result, FOLDLITE is striking a chord with paddlesports enthusiasts who want lightweight folding boats that are an exceptional value.

"Our goal is to create quality equipment that enhances the entire paddling experience," says FOLDLITE President Charles Griffin. "We want to lighten the load so people can access remote areas, and once there, enjoy great handling and performance on the water."

Griffin adds that the company is focused on advancing packable technology while keeping prices accessible. The company tested the waters last summer and saw the opportunity to present a distinct alternative to the portable boats currently offered.

FOLDLITE reinvented the original skin-on-frame design of the first kayaks, by using cutting-edge engineering and materials for easy packaging, and better quality lightweight boats.

Boasting the highest strength-to-weight ratio in foldable craft, FOLDLITE uses polypropylene corrugated panels for a hull that is 10 times stronger than the standard rigid-shell material. This material also provides the safety and durability of a double-layer design, offering the unique advantages of high-impact shock absorption, strength and flexibility.  

Anchoring the deck and hull panels is a series of molded polyethylene ribs that reinforce the structure and provide rigidity and strength to the assembled hard-shell. These modular ribs are then connected by a patent-pending Quick Key® fastener and snap grommet system, reducing assembly time and enhancing overall resilience.

A high-tenacity, 300-denier polyester exterior cover material is silicone-coated for seam-sealed water-tight integrity. This tough "skin," which is 20 percent stronger and weighs 40 percent less than the industry standard, also adds to superior maneuverability of the boat.

FOLDLITE's proprietary design ensures that all boats are fully compact for hassle-free storage and transport. In addition, FOLDLITE kayaks and canoes condense into a custom water-resistant backpack with a total carrying weight ranging between 20 to 24 pounds, and are easily assembled in about 15 - 30 minutes.

FOLDLITE boats deliver superb on-water handling, offer superior stability and durability, and are incredibly buoyant without relying on air bladders or flotation devices. Although designed primarily for recreational paddlers, FOLDLITE craft are technically proficient in any water condition and dependent on the skill of the operator.

Buoyed by a new management and marketing team, FOLDLITE is gearing up for its official rollout at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in August 2008 (Booth # 68021). Key initiatives in process include sales rep agency recruitment, re-branding and creative with a new logo and website, a revamped boat line, as well as innovative products currently under development.

FOLDLITE will debut its Spring 2009 product line at the summer tradeshow, which includes the following watercraft: 10-foot single kayak, 12-foot single large cockpit kayak, 15-foot tandem kayak, and 10-foot single canoe. Every model comes with a collapsible double-bladed paddle and is offered in four colors: Camouflage, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire. Suggested retail prices range from $795 to $1395. Available separately are accessory parts to adapt all modular FOLDLITE kayaks and canoes to different lengths.

"For the ultimate outdoor adventure, we'll continue to provide hikers, fly fishers, backpackers and hunters with multi-functional equipment that won't weigh down these outdoor enthusiasts or their pocketbooks," concludes Griffin.

About FOLDLITE Boats - portable kayaks and canoes
FOLDLITETM Boats creates high-quality lightweight portable kayaks and canoes for paddlesports enthusiasts seeking unlimited access to outdoor adventures on waters less traveled. The Vancouver, Washington-based company has dedicated itself to improving the paddling experience through technology and design advances that reduce gear load while increasing flexibility and stability on the water. FOLDLITE is the brainchild of a group of avid hikers, backpackers and boaters, who set out to design a super-lightweight portable kayak that was easy-to-assemble and loaded with high quality features at an affordable price. The result of their five-year endeavor is a new generation of foldable watercraft engineered with a patented hybrid construction to minimize weight and maximize function. FOLDLITE products can be found nationally and in Canada, through outdoor specialty stores and select online retailers. To learn more, call 888-365-3548 or visit www.foldliteboats.com.
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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