Shoutout to Xero Shoes (and Jon Sattler)

In Episode 413 of Shark Tank, Xero Shoes demos their shoes in an Innova kayak. We Feel the Freedom Xero Shoes!
Here’s the original photo.
And here’s a really cool video of Jon Sattler running in Xero Shoes. His Helios II is featured in the beginning because it allowed him to get to the point of departure for the run (via Lake Powell).
If you look way back in this blog, you’ll see photos of Jon floating around Venice in his Helios II which he calls the “Crimson Poobah”. In Jon’s most recent email he tells of a friend who kayaked his Crimson Poobah on the Great Salt Lake departing from Antelope Island (not recommended for beginners).

Beijing Paddling in an Innova Kayak

If you were going to spend three months in Beijing, what would you pack? Why not your inflatable kayak? That’s what Chuck Yamashita, kayaking and cycling enthusiast, decided to bring. He bought his Helios II used (on craigslist), knowing that Innova’s quality construction and design could be trusted to last.

See Chuck’s trip report below.

Paddle Tour of Beijing: Summer Palace and Cixi Canal

Bai River

From Chuck’s Trip Report (published on Folding Kayaks Forum)

The quest for paddling venues around Beijing continues…. My everyday rule “Do not paddle where you would not be willing to swim” is put on hold whenever I go to China. The Wenyu River is no exception, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

This morning my friend Fischer, who is a budding kayaker, and I went off to the river. We caught the bus in front of my apartment complex. I had the Helios packed in a GI duffel bag and the paddles, PFDs and drinks in another small duffel. Very easy carry compared to a Feathercraft.

We had a single bus change and the 15km round trip was pretty expensive, about 30 cents each. It was a bit less than a km walk to and from the bus stop to the put in and carrying the 380 was a breeze – 10 minutes from bag to water. We launched near a golf course.

We paddled a section about 4km long between 2 dams. The boat paddled nicely. The water was not stinky, but was dirty. Live fish were seen as well as a few ducks on the water. There was lots of algae as well. Our total transit time was about 45-50 min each way. I am going to try and portage around a dam next time (with felt shoes to keep from slipping). The Helios is the easiest boat I have ever portaged and a pleasant boat to paddle.

Paddling Baja in an Innova Sunny

Paddlesheep traveled from Vancouver, BC to Baja with his Innova Sunny Inflatable Boat…to experience the waters, the sun, and the warmth. Along the way he spent several days on deserted islands where he camped. He prepared his meals on a portable stove. Following are some of his collection of pics. Read his trip report here: http://paddlesheep.blogspot.com/2011/12/isla-espiritu-santos-baja-california.html

Go with the Grizzlies – Innova Inflatable Boats

There’s not much to say when you see two grizzlies hanging out near an Innova Safari. Maybe we ask a few questions…Is the owner OK? How close is he to the bears? Is he nervous?

The owner turns out to be a field biologist in British Columbia. He uses his Innova inflatable boats to study grizzly bears, salmon and their habitat. He purchased them in 2001 from Ocean River Sports in Victoria, BC because he needed boats that would fit in a Robinson R44 helicopter.

Innova Twist Inflatable Kayak on a National Geographic Expedition in Western Egypt

The Innova Twist kayak went on a National Geographic expedition to western Egypt. The writer for this expedition, Andrew Todhunter, is back and sent us this image.  

In his own words:

…the boat was wonderful. While heavy winds prevented using the kayak on most of the lakes, I was able to inflate and paddle it on a lake out in the midst of the high dunes on the edge of the Great Sand Sea, south of the Siwa Oasis. As you suggested, the Twist was almost certainly the first craft ever in that body of water. It worked beautifully, and the small size when deflated made transporting it a dream (by hand and later in a tightly packed 4×4). The Bedouin guides were amazed by the boat…

…With continued gratitude for your enthusiasm and support of National Geographic exploration!

A Bedouin studying the inflated kayak.