Canyon Lake offers spectacular views and plenty of wildlife to observe. Matt took this shot the first time he took out his RazorLite™.

Paddling Arizona in a RazorLite™ 393rl

This side canyon off of Warm Creek Bay on Lake Powell is just one beautiful place Matt explored during a 20-mile paddle in his RazorLite™.
This side canyon off of Warm Creek Bay on Lake Powell is just one beautiful place Matt explored during a 20-mile paddle in his RazorLite™.

Being an avid outdoors person, I’m always looking forward to my next adventure. That’s especially so when I’m heading off the beaten track. To reach those quiet, secluded or out of the way places where memories are made I rely on my Sea Eagle® 393 RazorLite™ kayak. It’s easy to transport, really durable and inflates in a hurry.

I live in Arizona and love hiking. In fact, I’ve covered over 1,500 miles in the past three years alone. In an effort to expand my explorations off terra firma and onto the water, I searched for a kayak that could cover long distances quickly but still fit in the trunk of my Mustang. I wanted something that was stable, tough, quiet and capable of carrying gear – and I wanted it all without the transport nonsense of a hard shell ‘yak.

The 393 RazorLite™ proved to be the perfect choice. It has a sharp-tapered, hard nose bow and stern. It’s drop-stitched hull helps it cut straight and true through a chop and it has a top paddling speed of about 6 mph. – faster than other inflatables I’ve tried. It’s a tremendous choice for intermediate and serious paddlers and I couldn’t be happier with it. Now I can explore amazing canyons and waterways tucked way back in areas that require a high-clearance 4 x 4 to reach by land.

These days I usually combine my love for hiking with my new passion for paddling. In less than a year I’ve covered over 200 miles on the water and have seen some truly amazing sights. I love taking pictures, too, so I always carry my camera along in a waterproof case. There’s plenty of room in the RazorLite for this and more gear as well.

matt-soeffner-canyon-lake-bighorn-sheep-4491
Quiet, sleek and fast, the RazorLite™ can get in tight places without spooking every critter on the horizon. Matt took this close-up shot of a big horn sheep at Caynon Lake from his ‘yak.

Among my favorite areas to paddle, hike and explore are Canyon Lake in Maricopa County, Arizona. The towering canyon walls are immense – some reach up over 1,000 feet! I’ve seen bald eagles here and even managed to quietly paddle within 10 feet of a big horn sheep. The lake has several small inlets that are inaccessible to boats but perfect for a kayak and several of these lead to great hiking. One even offers a slot canyon – that’s a deep, narrow canyon formed by the wear of water rushing through rock – pretty uncommon for the desert. Once I got caught in rough weather here but my RazorLite™ had no problem muscling through the two-foot waves. It’s extremely strong and stable for the size and design.

 Canyon Lake offers spectacular views and plenty of wildlife to observe. Matt took this shot the first time he took out his RazorLite™.
Canyon Lake offers spectacular views and plenty of wildlife to observe. Matt took this shot the first time he took out his RazorLite™.

The summer months in Arizona are notoriously hot but I’ve found several amazing lakes on the Mogollon Rim in Yavapai County that offer respite. Blue Ridge Reservoir, for example, is a kayaker’s dream. It’s narrow with steep walls, great fishing and spectacular scenery. Boats on this waterway are restricted 10 hp. so it’s both fun and safe to paddle. I had a fish actually jump into my kayak here one day. Clear Creek Reservoir, just outside Winslow, AZ, is another place that’s underutilized by the public. This sandstone-walled reservoir is second only to Lake Powell in beauty and size.

 Blue Ridge Reservoir on the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona is a delightful place to paddle and take in the scenery.
Blue Ridge Reservoir on the Mogollon Rim in northern
Arizona is a delightful place to paddle and take in the scenery.

As I paddle about in all these great places, I get plenty of compliments on my Sea Eagle® RazorLite™. Some people fail to even realize it’s an inflatable. Like me, they marvel at the fast setup. With a little practice, you can get this ‘yak out of the trunk, fully inflated and launched before others paddlers have their hard shells off the roof rack. It takes only about five minutes to inflate with a hand or foot pump, although I’ll probably still upgrade to an electric pump eventually.

Packing up at the end of the day is easy, too. Just take a few minutes to deflate, fold it up and put it back in your trunk. Since the RazorLite™ weighs only 33.5 pounds there’s no heavy lifting. Loading it into the truck instead of having to strap it to a roof rack is just icing on the cake.

Next up on my adventure list is a seven-day camping trip on Lake Powell. It has a ton of open water and plenty of tall, narrow canyons to explore. I’m confident my RazorLite™ will be up to the challenge. In fact, I can’t wait to get started.”

– Matt Soeffner, Arizona

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