Are you bulls***ing me?” This is autobody mechanic—and TRAK Kayaks’ neighbor in Airdrie, Alberta—Dennis Paron’s reaction when he sees the kayak he ran over with a customer’s truck, twice, just days after the accident. TRAK Seeker, serial number 2535, suffered only a bent gunwale and cracked coaming—both easily replaced—in the Dodge dust-up.

A week later, #2535 arrives on my doorstep. I eagerly assemble the beleaguered boat. It looks brand new. I search the sleek red and white skin and find a faint tread mark on the hull.

When it comes to TRAKs, disbelief is a not uncommon response. How can a folding boat that assembles effortlessly in just 10 minutes look and paddle like a high-performance composite sea kayak?

The Seeker’s bow and stern frame sections use shock-corded aluminum poles and snap-in crossribs for intuitive assembly. These then slip into the polyurethane skin through a watertight sliding seam in the back deck. Every folding kayak requires some kind of clever trick for expanding the frame inside the skin, and TRAK’s slick hydraulic jacks are the easiest system we tested.

Trak Seeker ST 16 Specs
Assembly time: 10 minutes or less
Length: 16’
Width: 22.5”
Material: Polyurethane skin/aluminum frame
Weight: 48 lbs
Price: $2,799 USD

The hydraulics also allow you to change on-water performance on the fly: pump the keel lever to adjust rocker for playful maneuverability or straight tracking; use the gunwale levers to compensate for weathercocking by adding a slight side-to-side curve to the waterline.

Solid foot pegs, adjustable thigh braces and a padded seat with low-profile backrest combine to provide excellent contact and control for edging, bracing and rolling. With its drum-tight skin and full complement of deck bungees, perimeter lines and end toggles, the Seeker is all but indistinguishable from a hard-shell. Included dry bag-style bow and stern floats can be packed with tripping gear or inflated for buoyancy.

Mimicking Greenland-style kayaks, the Seeker’s graceful entry, hard chines and V hull reward intermediate and experienced paddlers with very quick hull speed and responsive carved turns. Initial stability will feel tippy for beginners, but super forgiving edges make this a great boat to grow with.

Composite performance and durability come with a price and weight to match. The Seeker’s robust, wheeled travel bag rolls easily over grassy lawns, international terminals and exotic ports, but it’s not a package you can simply throw over your shoulder when it suits. TRAK’s do-it-all design, however, means it’s truly the only boat you need.

Ideal for

Tripping, fitness paddling and surfing on all types of water; airline travel or out-of-trunk mini adventures.

This article originally appeared in Adventure Kayak‘s Summer 2014 issue. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here, or browse the archives here.

Your next adventure awaits. | Photo by: Virginia Marshall and Vince Paquot

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