By Tom Schlichter
For those who depend on public transportation to get around, lugging a kayak to the water can be problematic. Lasse Jørgensen of Copenhagen, DK, has found the perfect solution in Sea Eagle’s FastTrack series of inflatable kayaks.
“One of the best things about Copenhagen,” explains Jørgensen, “is that we have plenty of water for kayaking. The problem is that most of us depend on bicycles or public transportation to get around, which makes getting your craft to the water somewhat of a hassle .”
Indeed, the capital of Denmark sees nearly 40% of all citizens cycling to work, and more than 2 million a month use the city’s metro system. While going green with transportation is certainly a noble cause, it’s probably the biggest reason that Jørgensen often has the bays and near-shore ocean in this area all to himself.
FITS IN A BACK PACK
“Unless you have an inflatable, it’s tough to get your kayak to the water,” explains this open water fanatic. “I’m lucky because I have a Sea Eagle FastTrack and it’s perfect for my needs. I chose it because I can fully deflate it, put it in my Sea Eagle carry bag or a backpack, and bike down to the harbor with minimal effort. Even better, because it weighs only 32 pounds and is fully portable, I can launch from one place, paddle to another, deflate the kayak and return home on the metro without retracing my route. That allows me to cover a lot more water by taking a one-way tour.”
When it comes to kayaking Jørgensen is well-versed. A long-time paddling fan, the 30-year old is also the Danish dealer for Sea Eagle boats (www.smartkajak.dk.) While he obviously has a reason to tout the many positives of owning a Sea Eagle inflatable kayak, he’s fully sold on them himself having started with a model SE370 and recently upgraded to the new 385ft FastTrack.
“Sometimes, you just want to get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life,” explains Jørgensen. “That’s when my FastTrack really shines. I can take it into shallow waters that other boaters can’t traverse, slice through a light chop with surprising speed and poke around in interesting places. It tracks exceptionally well thanks to a removable rear skeg, it’s stable enough to use in the ocean, and it’s tough so you never have to worry about bumping into the dock or floating debris. For me, though, the best feature is simply that it’s ready to go anywhere at a moment’s notice.”
FASTTRACK ON THE METRO
Jørgensen purchased his first Sea Eagle primarily because he didn’t have a car and the portability of an inflatable made it easy and less expensive to access the water. It didn’t take long before he was getting out on a regular basis using it for fishing, exploring and to share time with family and friends. He even took it on a three-day adventure to Sweden, paddling down long, flowing rivers and sleeping in a streamside hammock.
With his new FastTack, he’s now covering even more ground.
“I like that it is stable and fast, and I’m using it more and more,” says Jørgensen. “I use it to get away from everything. I live just 2K (1.25 miles) from a beach park, so I just head down whenever I want. It’s winter here and it has been really cold for a long time but the other day I just wanted to get out and paddle on the ocean, so I packed it up, got on my bike and headed for the water. Easy as that.”
CODFISH FROM A KAYAK?
One of Jørgensen’s favorite kayak activities is fishing – and you might be surprised at what he hauls up.
“Mostly, I fish for cod here in the ocean,” he states nonchalantly. “In this area, we need only paddle 1.5K (1 mile) to reach them. The FastTrack has plenty of room for all of my equipment, fishing rods and food, plus it’s very stable – which is very important because we have over 300 cruise ships and large freighters that call our waters home port. The cod we catch generally run 7 to 10 pounds and they are no match for my ‘yak. I catch them on metal spoons and jigs.”
Exploring is another favorite kayak pastime for this FastTrack paddler. “I love to discover new things and tour new places,” he notes. “I like to see wildlife and you can get close in a kayak. If I go beyond the cod, there are islands between Sweden and Copenhagen where I can see seals and do a little bird watching. It’s a real treat.”
PLENTY OF PLANS
Looking ahead, Jørgensen has no intention of slowing down when it comes to getting out with his kayak. He wants to pack it into northern Norway where towering mountains surround crystal clear fiords that offer great fishing, and he wants to take it back to Sweden to follow the rivers as far as they go while taking time to relax along the bank of a stream.
“I really like visiting beautiful and interesting places to get away from it all and be close to Nature. When I’m out on my Sea Eagle, I can just relax and enjoy the peace. That, I think, is what I really like the most.”
hey SeaEagle…this is Joe Inman….a rower and we have, over the year had several SeaEagle ‘launches’ as we call them to assist for long rows in the Great Salt Lake. And you know what would be absolutely fantastic…..a SeaEagle Kayak that could be rowed and paddled. As everyone knows no person can paddle and keep up with a rowing shell…..it is legs vrs. arms and shoulders. So what if SeaEagle made a rower/kayak that a person could row to get quickly to an area of interest and then turn around and paddle to get in and out of tight areas, explore a bit closer, etc. and then it is time to go back to base….pour the coal to it and row back. Check out the book…Rowing to Latitudes….this talks about a fiberglas rowing shell/kayak…for just that purpose. But perhaps your engineers and designers could come up with the ultimate water craft…able to row and able to kayak…and hey, don’t forget to have a spot where a person could insert a small mast and hoist a sail.
Thanks for the suggestion. We’re always looking to improve our current products as well as working on new products. We currently do not have a rowing mechanism for our kayaks, but you can find some on the market that will work. One we particularly like is made by Discover Rowing. You can see it on their website, http://www.DisoverRowing.com. It works wonderfully with our kayaks as well as our SUPs.