Bic Yakka Review - Fold-In-Half Kayak

Bic Corporation, the ubiquitous France-based maker of lighters and ballpoint pens, has a division that sells surfboards, windsurfing rigs, kiteboards and, unbeknownst to me, a line of recreational kayaks. Bic Sport (www.bicsport.com), as the division is called, this year debuted a kayak line designed for boaters with limited storage space.

The company’s Yakka kayaks, which include three models, are nearly identical boats with rigid plastic hulls and inflatable sidewalls. For storing and transporting the Yakka kayaks, Bic Sport added hinges to the middle of the hull, letting you fold the boat in half and tuck it away in the bed of a pickup or, perhaps, your closet in a cramped city apartment.

BicKayak4_big.jpg

Made for urban dwellers and other people looking to take some of the hassle out of owning, moving and storing a normal 10-foot-or-longer kayak, the sit-on-top Yakka boats fold down into 59 × 30 × 15-inch packages that weigh about 50 pounds. The boats come equipped with handles and a wheel on one end to provide a means to move the packed-up boat around.

In my tests, the Yakka 120 model was easy to set up, requiring just a couple minutes to unfold the boat, pump up the sidewalls and position a bar that adds rigidity to the hinged hull. On the water the boat went straight and turned easily, though it was no speed demon. My friends on the river that day, sitting in sleek touring boats, were literally miles ahead of me after an hour of downstream paddling.

But despite its lack of speed, the Yakka 120 was stable and fun. It has foam padding for a seat and integrated foot braces. The boat, which is 9 feet, 4 inches long and about 30 inches wide, would be perfect for fishing or just tooling around a lake on a lazy summer’s day. First-time kayakers and kids would be good candidates for the Yakka as well.

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Bic Sports claims the boat can handle flat water up to class II whitewater. I paddled a swelling Mississippi River in late April with the boat. Fast currents and strong eddies were easily negotiated in the craft, though I am an experienced whitewater kayaker.

The other Yakka iterations — the Yakka 80 and Yakka 120 Explorer — are identical boats, though with different weight limitations and color schemes. All Yakka models retail for $599 apiece. Accessories, including paddles, dry bags and padded seatbacks, are among the available Yakka accoutrements.

Posted by Cindi O Rose - 07/03/2008 08:05 PM

Stephan, Thanks for the review. I saw the Yakka advertised in an old magazine and couldn’t wait to get one—just based on the idea of a rigid-hulled inflatable. I will keep in mind it is not the toy for the thrill-seeking side of me, but I am attracked to the lightweight, storability, and compact size of an inflatable. I was very attracked to the rigid hull and after reading your comment about how that rigid hull is achieved I understand it better. I did view the video on the Bic site, but thanks for the link in your column. See you at the water!
Cindi O. Rose

Posted by Cormac walsh - 07/05/2008 02:54 PM

Hi having problems setting up my yakka when i inflate it the bladder comes away from the rigid base, no matter how i tie it the rope wont bite under the lip. Any advice for me thanks. You seem to know what your talking about here.
Cormac walsh
Dublin
ireland

Posted by J gray - 04/26/2010 12:59 PM

I just used this boat on calm river water i have to say im very disappointed in this product i was sitting in water the whole time balance was a huge issue ive road alot of sit on top kayaks and i have to say this one is lame and to cormac waish i had the same exact problem with mine if ur wanting a floating bath tube then buy it, if your looking for a sturdy dry high performance boat then look somewhere else. i took this back after just riding 2 miles on the river!

Posted by ANDREW JOHN - 06/01/2010 02:17 AM

I am really interested in getting this kayak but after reading your reviews, i’m beginning to wonder. How bad is it really?

Posted by Pedro - 12/06/2012 05:34 AM

Hi,
I was having the same problem that Cornac reported (no matter how i tie the rope, the inflatable part did not bit under the lip…)
A very simple and fast solution…
Just tie the rope while the kayak is folded!!

Posted by CĂ©sar - 06/12/2013 04:40 AM

This kayak is a copy of my invention!
Bic stole this design from me.
And try to stinguish my patent in cesspool brazil
http://members.libreopinion.com/br/vapera/veiculoaquatico/coincidencia.htm

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