I would really like to see a competition for portable kayaks that would include at least 3/4 mile of trail and at least 1.5 miles of paddling.
The goal would be to highlight portability, time to setup and take down and paddling efficiency.
I would think the manufacturers would benefit from such a competition but I don’t have any idea how to organize something like it.
Start with a launch and paddle around Roosevelt Island in the East River, take out somewhere on Lower Manhattan, fold up the kayak, carry it across lower Manhattan (mid day) to the Hudson, assemble & launch, paddle to Coney Island, fold up the kayak and take the subway back to the put in.
Ok, I know that it is a bit of a pipe dream but I do think it would be helpful to highlight the usefulness of folding kayaks and help compare them for real world scenarios.
Apologies for my sarcasm. I dont think such a race is a bad idea. Just need to figure out what you want to test - ease of assembly/disassembly, ease of carrying while disassembled (vs assembled, vs towing on wheels),… carrying on trails or over downed trees, scrub, rock scrambling,…
Trying to put together something that gives a good illustration of why foldables are valuable and enough paddling to make on water efficiency at least an equal factor.
In my imagination it would be maybe a .5 mile trail through woods at the start maybe with a couple switchbacks. (I could see timing and not letting the next competitor start until the previous hits the water to reduce injuries.) Then maybe 1.5 to 2 miles upstream on a slow moving river (flat water but going against current). Then at least. 25 mile again through woods to the finish line.
It might be something that you could do with a hard kayak but the hikes at the beginning and end would give an advantage to folding kayaks.