TRAK Kayaks Designer Nolin Veillard

Meet Nolin Veillard, the brain behind the versatile TRAK folding kayak

Nolin Veillard TRAK KayaksWhen did you start paddling?

I grew up in Saskatchewan so I did some canoeing as a kid, but I really got the bug when I lived in San Francisco. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and the rest of the city from the water was such a unique vantage point. Now I paddle often. I paddle the Upper Kananaskis Lakes in the Rocky Mountains, and take the Seeker with me whenever I travel, like I did in the Philippines, Vancouver Island and Lake Titicaca in Peru.

What’s your favorite TRAK kayak?
Well it’s currently our only boat, the Seeker ST 16. It offers portability without compromise. It paddles and feels more like a hardshell than any other portable kayak. It’s really easy to set up. Our benchmark was that we wanted a 13-year old to be able to set it up in 20 minutes or less on their first try. And it’s the only kayak that can shape shift on the fly for different paddler preference or changing conditions.

What challenges did developing this boat present?
It took us years of research to find the materials that could create the system and deliver the reliability we are committed to.

How has the Seeker changed the way people paddle?
It gives paddlers the opportunity to kayak in more environments. Because you can take the Seeker on any airline as checked baggage, it’s being taken to some pretty unique destinations. It’s convenient –you can keep it in the back of your vehicle and are more likely to bring it on holidays because it doesn’t have to be strapped to a roof. Then if a unique opportunity pops up you can set it up in 10 minutes and go for a spontaneous paddle.

What do you like about paddling?
There’s a real joy we get every time we paddle. As humans we’re 70 percent water. When we get on the water I think there’s an energy shift that happens. It’s like therapy. I know the world would be a better place if more people experienced that.

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