Wild Adventure Kayaking Alberton Gorge — Class IV Rapids in a Sea Eagle 420x

What’s a kid from New York City doing ripping down Class IV  rapids in some of America’s wildest, most remote rivers, with the foam flying and the adrenaline pumping? Meet Matt Corritone — backpacker, hiker, camper, kayaker, and Sea Eagle® Explorer™ Kayak owner.

“I go kayaking all the time — it’s my favorite thing to do, especially here in the Northwest. This is big sky country that’s graced with so many rivers, creeks, lakes, and waterways, plus a network of forest roads to access them. By now, I’ve kayaked every big-water river in Montana, Colorado, and Washington State. My Sea Eagle 420x kayak is an A+ dependable boat. I have no issues at all. I’ve been in Class IV rapids, streams, lakes, and flat water, too. No problems.

No previous boating experience

I grew up in New York City and moved to Montana 10 years ago. I’ve worked seasonal jobs I found online for the National Park Service; they’ve helped me travel throughout the Northeast United States.

CU1gorge6Growing up in New York, I’d never gone kayaking but I wanted to try it. I’d never owned a boat before and was pretty apprehensive about getting in a hard hull kayak for safety reasons. About five or six years ago, I searched the internet and found Sea Eagle®  inflatable boats.

I bought my first Sea Eagle, one of the smallest ones, an SE370. It looked a lot safer than a sit-in hard hull kayak. I loved the SE370 so much I wanted a bigger one.

A big upgrade

So I bought a Sea Eagle 420x Explorer kayak. I was impressed with its gear-hauling capacity; the fact that it holds three passengers easily; and that it’ll handle higher-rated rapids than my 370. All in all, it was a big boating improvement and upgrade for me. I don’t have a roof rack on my car; the 14’ 420x rolls up and packs in the back of my little Ford Focus hatchback. That’s a big plus.

Matt enjoys calmer waters in his 420x, too. He and his fiance, Chelsey, go boating and camping at Lake Como in Montana.
Matt enjoys calmer waters in his 420x, too. He and his fiance, Chelsey, go boating and camping at Lake Como in Montana.

My 420x Explorer is very stable in the water. It’ll float through anything. It’s easy to use, portable, and fun. As soon as the snow melts, I’m ready to go kayaking. This boat has allowed me to have many fun adventures I hadn’t done before, like deep-woods camping.

You couldn’t ask for a better, hassle-free boat. You don’t need a boat launch, just inflate it and go. My fiancé, Chelsey, and I go boating, back country camping, and back packing with the 420x. She prefers flatwater paddling but she went through white water rapids recently and that’s a big step in the right direction!

Crystalline blue glacial melt water

Owning this boat has enabled me to see so much of Montana, all the way up to Glacier National Park on the Canadian border. I’ve explored Glacier’s Logging Lake, Quartz Lake, Kintla Lake, and others. I’ve kayaked to the Continental Divide and hiked up onto glaciers. It’s been great! You can’t beat paddling in melt-water from the glaciers. The water’s crystalline pure, glacier blue. I’ve only seen water this strikingly blue in glacial waters.

When Chelsey and I go camping, we’ll drive on forest roads to get to the edge of a lake — for example, Lake Como, in the shadow of El Capitan. We’ll set up our base camp, inflate the Sea Eagle, load it with all our gear for a day trip, paddle out, and go boating and camping for three or four days.

Boating’s humbling, fishing’s great, too

Why do I love boating? I find it’s a beautiful and serene experience. Without a boat, you don’t get to experience the greatness of our country. Boating is a humbling experience when you see how water has shaped the Earth. And the fishing’s better than on shore!

For anybody else who’s thinking about adventure kayaking in a Sea Eagle, do your research. Get the one that’s tailored to your needs. And be safe — wear a lifejacket.

— Matt Corritone, Sea Eagle 420x Explorer Kayak Owner

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