Customer Feedback

Here it is,  my feeble attempt at marketing,  this is simply a cut and paste of a bunch of emails I've gotten from people over the years.   For what it's worth...

3 hour paddle on Lake Whatcom today.  Perfect weather for getting comfortable.  About a hundred low braces and lots of time way up on the edges. 
Comfort level with the boat is about as good as anything I have ever paddled.  Physical comfort in the boat is as good as it ever gets, I could spend the day in this boat. 
And, hell yeah it’s so light!



What size cover should we get for the kayaks?  Roy's kayak I believe is bigger.   We are truly enjoying our kayaks,
we have been going to pool sessions in the freezing cold weather.  We both learned how to roll and we are so happy that our kayaks hardly weigh anything.
Hope all is well with you.


I was paddling on the lower Columbia last Sunday with some pals from
eastern Washington. When the wind came up in the afternoon they were
messing with their rudders and skegs and feathering paddles etc. to stay on course.  We then got
into some taller wind waves up to 3 and 4 ft at times at a close set, about a boat length apart. Rodeo time.  
Around the fire that night with full bellies and a Scotch glow they wondered how I made it through
all the confused conditions we had experienced with so little drama.  
Very simple- the F1 and a Greenland stick--The right tools for the job.


We had a lot of fun building kayaks with you and the gang. Well done! And I'm grateful for your offer of the 2nd paddle, too. Fantastic class, dude!
This afternoon, I launched at pacific city to paddle out thru the surf around the rock and then caught a few 4 footers to the beach.
The f1 is so buoyant and even though I screwed up both waves (broached), the f1 side surfed incredibly well with a high brace jammed into the top of the wave.  Awesome!

Thanks again!  Cheers,   Keith

Just got back from my first day out.  Fast, quiet, tracks beautifully,  just stable enough, beautiful,  a work of art.   You're a magician, Brian   


Three years ago I learned about your kayaks and classes.  
My work doesn't allow long enough absences to attend one of your classes and I didn't want to just buy a boat.
I own a Mariner Express and have always wanted a boat like the Coaster.  For many strange reasons, the process of building a wood strip boat from your drawings appealed to me.
Three years later, the boat is done.  It handles just like others have said.  It easily navigates the mangrove trails and narrow flat water streams here in Florida.  Plus it is like an ocean-going mountain goat in rough water and surf.I'd like to make a donation as a way of saying thank you.   Can I send a check?

Steve, Palm Harbor, Florida

Forwarded to me:   I just came back from a lovely paddle today up in Washington.  I LOVE my kayak.  It is an "F1", Brian's design which you can see on the website along with information about all the other styles.  I know people who have chosen a different style, perhaps something more streamlined, but for an all-around, great-paddling, tough-as-nails, light-as-feather sweet kayak, you can't match the F!!!
Since you're going to see Brian, I need say no more, unless you have specific questions...he says he has a class going on this week, so it's probably the perfect time to get a good idea of what you'd be in for:  the time of your lives!  Hard work, fascinating work and the most rewarding project I can imagine.  Too many superlatives?  Sorry.  It's just that the boat-building course has been a life-changing experience for me...sense of accomplishment, extreme pride, astonishment, etc.  And, as Brian says, "you get a kick-ass kayak at the end".
Let me know what your experience was like, will you?  I don't know when I'll be back paddling, but possibly Wednesday..

I have also gotten out in my beautiful F 1. A long paddle down the Hanford Reach on the Columbia River started as a float, and turned dicey when the wind came up from the opposite direction to the current. Boy, I loved how secure I felt in that boat. Have continued to master the turning maneuver you showed us. It astonishes me how well she turns. Also,  it is always the envy of any and all other paddlers...tho.they haven't seen Caitlin's....which is crazy beautiful. I have it hanging on my living room ceiling like a work of art...which it is I guess.


I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your class and bring home such an amazing boat.  The day after I got back I split up some nice beach cedar I had and built a second paddle.  After a few trips out I am quite comfortable in it (it was much tippier than my plastic barge style kayak I have been using) and I love how it carves turns and glides along.  I was coming back across from Canoe island the other day and some native crabbers slowed down, kindly, to make it easier for me to reach the point I was crossing too, and as they passed I waived thanks and they just stared, slowly, until they were out of sight distance.  They were obviously taken by the sight of the setting sun glowing through my skin boat.  I couldn't help but wonder if they thought they were dreaming or something, cause other than my red pfd, I could've looked like I was paddling right out of the past.  Anyway its been lots of fun.



Just finished my 3rd summer with my F1 on Lake Erie in Canada.  I am now in FL Panhandle for winter paddling.
Taking your class and building the F1 was one of the best things I have ever done. 
Thank You so much.


Hi Brian and fellow workshop builders,

The Greenland float bags arrived yesterday along with gorgeous sunny weather, so today I went with a couple of friends for my SOF's first official "journey". My primary and preferred means of kayak transport here is a bike and trailer. Our driveway is slightly elevated at the street and with my fiberglass boat, I have to walk the bike up the incline. Not today!! I made it to the launch in record time, too, without having that extra 25 or 30 lbs. We left from the Back River and followed the course of the Little Tybee Challenge (an annual kayak race for the local marine science center); it's about a 7.5 mile course that, as described in the race literature, passes "through narrow tidal creeks, broad tidal rivers, open coastal areas, and two surf zones". The kayak handled remarkably well in all areas. I stayed warm, comfortable, and dry the whole time. As we entered the first surf zone, I took a couple of big waves; I'm not used to seeing the deck so easily washed over. Once, I  was picked up and unexpectedly capsized by a large wave (large by Tybee standards...). Rolling was a breeze and felt completely natural and much to my relief, my spare paddle stayed secure in the deck lines. The spray skirt stayed tight and there was no water in the boat when we arrived back at the launch. We didn't have to fight a lot of current or wind on this trip, but I felt that the boat handled very well and was responsive to correction. I was able to keep pace with my companions (in a Valley Nordkapp LV and NDK Explorer) who assured me they were paddling at their normal speed (though not their race speed). It was just a beautiful morning and I couldn't be happier with the boat.


Hi Brian,
I couldn't wait to take my brand new F1 out this morning.  I absolutely LOVE it!  It is so stable and comfortable, yet light, fast, and nimble.  I had no problems keeping up with Steve in his Valley Aquanaut.  It is really quite effortless to paddle.  I love how it turns so easily.  You did a great job with the kayak.  Thank you so much!  I know that as I gain more skill in kayaking that I will grow into the F1 and be able to use it to its full potential.


Hey Brian,

Jenny from your March class - greetings from Seattle!  The boat is awesome.  I've been paddling all over the lakes near Seattle and a bit up in the mountains too.  A lot of people ask about the kayak and a bunch of them know about you - they only have good things to say about your designs.  I took a skills course this weekend from George and Barb at Kayak Academy before I head out to Puget Sound and the islands, and the kayak rolls super easy!  Barb also said the fit of the boat is the best she's ever seen, so good job you and lucky me :]

Hope you're doing well,


Hey Brian I just wanted to shoot off a quick email to show my
appreciation.  I thought your class was awesome and in my opinion
raised the bar for all the other companies that do similar classes in
the shop.  ------- and ------- could take a few notes from you that might
benefit their operations.

Let's keep in touch about future classes.


Hi Brian,  wanted to tell you that the F1 is great.  I use it as much or more than my Grand Illusion.  the Grand Illusion is 17 feet, with lots of rocker...The F1 is as fast or faster, according to my GPS.  I have been using the F1 for crab fishing.  I use a CrabHawk.  I can comfortable carry 3 of them on the front deck.  Set them out with buoys, wait about 10 minutes, then start hauling them in, like running a trap line.  I usually manage 9 to 10 keeperr Dungeness in less than an hour.  I learned to use your technique of stowing them inside, this is after attempting to put three in a large onion sack...not great idea.
We have a Black mouth fishery(small Chinook Salmon), here in the islands. I want to troll with the F1.  My question is how do you position your pole as you troll?
Thanks again

Love the boats Brian!! I'm really excited to have a ouple of F1's in the fleet,
also I came in 2nd place behind Nick at the surf Jam this past weekend surfing the F1


hey Brian -
 I love your "Farewell September" update on the website. Sometimes, life
feels like such a rat race; it's good to know (when I'm scrambling around
losing my mind) that someone is out there living purposefully.
  Orion and I have been having a lovefest in
Gloucester, MA and out on Walden Pond since the end of August. The F1 is
seductive in every possible way, there's no other way to say it.

Hey Brian!

That LPB that I built during the June 6-12 class continues to amaze me with its incredible abilities!  I have now logged about 300 nautical miles in it, including a trip from Long Beach, CA to Two Harbors on Catalina Island and back, and about 5 hours of surfing at Sunset Beach in Hunting Beach, CA during a 2 week stay down there at the end of september.  20 knot winds and the resultant chop, along with 3-5 foot swells coming in on the starboard front quarter during the last two hours of the trip to Catalina had no effect on this boat's tracking! It tracks like it's on rails, yet a lean and a paddle stroke and it turns extremely fast for a 16 foot boat! I was able to maintain a Velocity made good of 4 knots on the way out (against the swells), and on the return trip the next day it was 4.5 knots!

The surfing abilities of this boat are amazing when you consider that :
1. It's a sea kayak.
2. it's a 16 foot long sea kayak w/o a rudder.

This is the first sea kayak I've ever paddled that didn't immediately broach and start side surfing. Once you get on the wave, you can pretty much sit back and it will track along the wave face. Once the wave closes out and you do find yourself side surfing, lean back and the bow gets pushed around and you're surfing the soup with the bow pointed at the shore! Not once did I have to muscle the boat to stay where I wanted to on the wave. The only downside to surfing this kayak is turning it around once you decide which wave you want, so I have to line the boat up so that I am looking over my shoulder a bit. Then it's just a lean turn and an extended paddle stroke and I'm ready to go. It punches out through the surf w/o getting knocked sideways, too.Once again, thanks for designing such an amazing boat!




Brian, you the man !  this boat is sooooo comfortable, just love it   





You built an F1 for me back in Aug 2008.  Great kayak.   I was at the beach in Galveston Saturday paddling in the surge from the storm that just hit New Orleans and the 25+ mph winds.  There are 3 bar breaks off the beach, and between the second and third breaks really disorganized water.  Great rough water practice for here, and the F1 handled like a dream.  Fairly neutral to the wind, good tracking, edging turns for course corrections, good at handling breaks on the beam whenever wandered into a breaking wave.  Great kayak.  Keeping my fingers crossed this skin will last another season or two.  I am just amazed at how many beach launches and landings this kayak skin has endured.






Dear Brian:   I built an F1 with you in June 2010.  I know you are too busy to read e-mails, but I am so bloody pleased with my F1 that I wanted to share my pleasure with you.  The F1 fulfills all of my criteria for a good kayak.  It is light, easy to handle, comfortable for day-long journeys, behaves well “in conditions”, carries stuff (like lunch, camera, charts and foul weather gear), pops on top of the car like a dream.  It is just plain USEFUL!   The F1 occasions comment from boaters everywhere….. Did YOU build THAT!?  What’s it made of? I want to do that! (Then I get to explain about Cape Falcon.)  Yes, I have a splendid fiberglass boat for longer trips or trips where I anticipate conditions that might be unkind to the F1’s skin (like barnacles).  And, yes,  I have built a Greenland boat which is fine for straight line purposeful paddling without any baggage and which would be fine for rolling, if I were a “roller”.  But it is the F1 that provides the ideal platform for a day’s exploring new territory, carrying sampling equipment for the monthly water tests on my River,  or an evening’s vigorous exercise starting at the end of my dock.  As I begin to build my own boats, my appreciation of the breadth and depth of the design expertise embodied in the F1 increases! Bravo and thanks!





Hi Brian  ~ plain & simple: I love this boat  lots of fun w/ Chaquita so far on a few outings in local waters, & launching is now a cinch due to the light weight (getting on & off the car & carrying it down to a cove or onto the beach)   two things impress me as outstanding :  1.)  I am so comfortable in this kayak I have to remind myself it's time to get out and take a stretch  -  it's great  I found my good old blue foam camping pad in the basement (1/4") and it fits in there like an Italian glove  -  & it's comfy on the tooshie too 2.)  this thing has the best edge stability I've ever experienced   -  makes handling on the water a joy haven't taken her into the surf yet, but stay tuned, I plan on doing that     -   & then we'll see if I can hit my layback roll in the waves !  totally enjoying the new paddle as well, may do a little tweeking on the loom to round it just a bit more  I'm noticing that the rounded blade tips produce less bubbles on the forward stroke  -  cool !



Brian,  Know that you’re crazy busy, but just wanted to drop you a line to let you know how much we are enjoying our red  F1.  I attended your workshop last fall  (late Aug/ early Sept) with my son Alex.  Not only did Alex really get a big kick out of  the class, but the F1 is great.   Alex loves to watch our Wednesday night practice sessions(“Wet Wednesdays”) at the lake, and I’m having fun with the F1.  (I like the redcolor too, even though it sounds silly.)I’m really impressed by how comfortable it is and how easy it is to maneuver.  I’m now successfully rolling on both sides too.  My poor Baidarka has remained parked in the garage most of the time since the F1 came home.  The only time that I’ve used the Baidarka is at SSTIKS when my husbandused the F1.  He also found it to be very comfortable.   It increased his confidence a lot!  Take care and keep up the great work.



Hi Brian,  I want to thank you again for making a long time dream come true for me.  The double weighs 43.7 lbs on my digital scale without the seat pads, float bags and rear backrest.  Remarkably close to the weight you came up with of 44-45 lbs.  It’s wonderfully easy to carry and impressed the heck out of some kayak friends.  The lift/drive I get off the paddle is another thing that amazed me.  For the last 20 years I’ve been using wing blades of  different styles, ranging from a full racing type to my current favorite, the SRS X-wing, a modified one that will actually do a half-way decent sculling brace.  I think after I get the hang out of it my “fat” Brian Shulz Greenland paddle will easily match it for paddling efficiency and beat it for braces, rolling and everything else except perhaps upwind work; where the feathered wing paddle is probably as good as can be done.  I borrowed a homemade Greenland paddle some years ago, but it was a “thin” one and didn’t work nearly as well as your design.   I was amazed that you could keep so many different things in your mind without reference to plans, lists, etc.  Amazing.   -Joe



Hi Brian,  As I promised at the course this April here are a few pic's of how I solved the pedal pop with a bit of high density. foam.  The F-1 is performing like a true champion and I am truly amazed how well it tracks and surfs on the smallest waves.The weight is amazing and I am getting out  more because it's no effort to load.  I had a great time and appreciated your teaching style.

Cheers,  Ted 




Paddling Phinny  is WONDERFUL.  Wednesday we were on the water about 3 hours in cold, windy rain.  We put in under the St. John Bridge and paddled upstream against wind and current to the Swan Island boat ramp.  The wind varied from in the face to fierce sideway gusts.  I am very pleased with that sweet little boat.  After the first 5 minutes I was able to maintain a straight course with just a tiny lean to correct for wind.  It was great.  It felt like I was just flying upstream.  Next time I go out I shall wear my dry suit, try my Greenland paddle again and do some serious edging.  It is a lot more fun to be less cautious.  Anyway, I want to give you a big THANK YOU for building my boat for me.  It is great to have a boat that doesn't take much effort to handle. . .  on and off the water.





The LPB has been out on the Hudson close to 10 times so far. Here's a little feedback.
- Very comfortable
- most stable boat I own
- does not weathercock standing still or cruising at any angle
- lightest boat by a long shot
- despite 20 yet unsealed holes in the gunwale, it it the driest boat I own!
- handles waves from any angle with
- Quiet ... barely makes a ripple of a wake
- Quick... I calling it's top cruising speed 6mph.. this is not sprinting!
    + twice I've done a 6 miler ( 3 out, 3 back) in a 1mph tidal current in 61 minutes 
    .... here's the math 3miles / (6 -1 mph) + 3 miles / (6+1 mph) = 36 + 25.7 minutes = 61.7 minutes
    + I have also done 12 miles out and back with similar tidal current + wind in 2h5m

The LPB is like an 18' boat in front of the cockpit and a 14' boat behind the cockpit.  Everyone who has seen the LPB loves it.  I keep noticing people (mostly college coeds) taking pictures of my while I paddle by with the sunset shining through my boat.  BTW, the color has deepened to tawny pumpkin color (quite in season)... aka dark honey (I love it).  I'll keep you posted,  John



Hi Brian,  Again thank you so much for the wonderful time building the kayak. I've been paddling with it all over Vancouver. It's GREAT!!!  I took the messurement during class and had my students done the rough drawing - see pdf attached.If you need more drawing for your wonderful design, just let me know.  For all kayak builders that I knew, please call 778-896-5442 everytime you happen to be in Vancouver for paddling  Cheers,






I had the two money orders sent to you today totaling $1,222.01.  They’ve been sent expedited post and should arrive within four days (or so Canada Post tells me).    The kayak had dried out sufficiently so that I took it for a test spin and to say the least . . . WOW!!  The kayak is tremendously comfortable, maneuverable and responsive – an absolute joy to paddle.  I can hardly wait for some rough water to play!!  Speaking of paddles, what struck me immediately is how quiet the paddle is in the water and how easily it propels the kayak in any direction.  So much for those mass-manufactured sticks they call paddles, in comparison, they’re nothing but sticks with carbon fry pans on the end.  I am a Greenland paddle convert!!   The snapdragon skirt fits like a charm and kept my lap dry for the first time in many years!!  The attached photos are taken during its maiden voyage and the couple of ducks that decided to tag along!!




Hi Brian,   Just read your update on using the F-1.  Very good info!  I have ordered flotation from Spirit Line before for other boats, but didn't know the baidarka bags would fit the F-1.  I built my F-1 in your class 16 months ago.  I have to say it is the kayak I use the most.  It is so lite; it's easy to throw on the truck and go for a quick work out.  I took it to a kayak surfing class last Oct. (saw Zack there).  The waves were pretty big, so when I managed to get outside and caught one, I pearled.  I obviously need to start small and work my way up.  Only problem is I don't get to the coast very often.I call the F-1 my 4mph boat.  I have a 5 mph and a 6 mph boat.  They are both strip kayaks I built from One Ocean Kayak designs.  I averaged 6mph for the 5 mile canoe race at Odell Lake this year in a 16' strip boat.  I plan on building this boat in SOF this winter.  I have several friends that are interested in skin boats.  I have also referred several people to you at Cape Falcon for building classes.  Don't have a clue if they ever contacted you.I keep in touch with Mark Kulhman regularly and Patrick less often.  I practice rolling regularly, but want to get smoother with the Greenland paddle.  I have managed to do a little over 400 miles paddling this summer and would like to do more.  I saw two F-1's at Sparks Lake this summer.  A couple from Eugene that had attended your class.  By the way I did manage to snag my boat on lava rock this summer and put a hole in it.  It was small and the Aqua Seal patched it up.  I really enjoy reading your updates.  Keep up the good work!  Regards, Chuck Tucker


Brian,   I wanted to sent you a note to let you know how much we enjoyed your
class.  It worked out even better than I expected.  The synergy of the
group working together was exciting.  I think that we all learned a lot.
I know that I did.  It was also wonderful to take home a kayak that is
ready to paddle.  I already love my new red F1!  We took it to the lake this
morning and I paddled it around and rolled it successfully.  It handles really nice!
I especially enjoy how stable it is on edge and how responsive it is.  Thanks again.




Hey  Brian,  just  wanted to let you know that my boat is wonderful !  Took it out  today in high winds  and lots  of small white caps  and the boat  handled  beautifully and turned like  a dream.  While  other folks  were being blown into debris and bushes I was tracking  like a star !   I paddled with Jeff Putterman ( you sold  him the long  boat  that  " the  Boston fellow "  was  making . Forgot  his  name ! )     Anyways,  small world  and all that jazz.  Thanks  again for a memorable  week and for  all the help  and good  advice.  Happy  paddling  !!!  NIcole



Hi Brian, just got the paddle when I got home today. Man is it fun. It seems to make the boat much more responsive than my Swift paddle. Amazingly easy on the shoulders. I really do appreciate you building it for me. I think I owe you another $85.00. is that right, a total of $170.00?  Let me know and I will send it out.  Thanks again it is very cool,





Dear Brian:  The boat arrived safe and sound and I picked it up in Toronto yesterday.  Got some seat padding today and tried it out this evening.  It is perfect in design!  Lively, tracks well (at least on a still evening), turns on a dime and is comfortable.  I’m looking forward to exploring Georgian Bay with it - and am looking forward to receiving the gear/air bags.  Any idea when the bags will arrive?  Thanks again for the marvelous class – and for the boat resulting from it!  Cheers!






Brian,  I launched my boat today.  It got maimed The Floater by Karla, cuase of the brown colour and ordinairy finish.  (some crystals in the goop, and drips on the decks, with a touch of hazing...)  It floats and doesn't leak, as well as looks like a turd, so its all apt.  But crikey it paddles!!  It turns and tracks all in one boat.  Lean turns carve soo well.  It surfs little swell a boat jsut shouldnt..

I fitted one of micks sails and it sails nicely too.    I'm pretty sure I got the design right, cause it just handles soooo well.  Pics at I spent a good while surfing with it.  It was really the first time I have enjoyed surfing a kayak.  most kayaks surf a bit, and then broach.  This thing I can turn on the wave and carve!  Amazing!  So a HUGE THANKS for the excellent design and skills to build it!  It certainly my first boat to be selected off the ever expanding rack of boats.  (now its time to get to the backlog of paddles to earn some money to pay for my next boat...)  THANKS AGAIN :))







G'day Brian, got the drysuit thanks, phew, its hot, took about 1/2 hr to get used to the neck gasket.  Thought it might not fit, it came with Medium feet but is OK.  You'll like this, last Wed fortnight I took along my F1 for the usual night paddle to Taroona-15km return, only small 9" waves & <10kt headwind.  Geoff has a new Explorer & decided he would put the pace on & it developed into the usual race, so I dug in & beat them all down the river, average 8.6kph or 4.68knots, I was impressed.  Also impressed with your F2 & story on your website, bad luck you didnt get better weather.  Glad you have found a new woman to keep you busy.  Whats happening with the yacht




I thought I'd report in after paddling my F! for a while now.   I'm really liking it. Honestly, I didn't expect to, but I do. A lot. Which is saying a lot since my other boat is a beloved Romany.  I paddled it over 25 miles this last weekend in wind, current, and some messy stuff that was continuously breaking over the boat off Point Blunt on Angel Island. It handled itself just fine. It tracks fine, edges fine, turns fine... I can't roll it because I sit too low in it. ( and my roll is really rusty) I've put a couple more layers of foam under my butt to make a total of 3, not counting the ones that are below the ribs, and that has improved my paddling position greatly.   Brian...everyone wants to paddle my boat, and I'm happy to let them. They are all amazed by its light weight (27.5 lbs without the float bags) and how comfortable it is. Hopefully, they will come build one with you, especially when I tell them how easy it really is because you've made all the decisions and all we have to do is cut, saw, hammer, lash and sew. ...and I'm loving my Greenland stick, to my great surprise. I haven't used my euro paddle since I made the GP. Gordon says that makes me a convert. Yup, I guess so.





Hey Brian! Love the kayak it's everything you said it was.. My last time out we went about 3 hours down the coast with a big swell running surfed breakers into the mouth of the little river, fall colours were great saw fishing Kingfishers and about 12 blue heron a couple of hawks etc....nice trip coming back out through the waves (breaking) was great fun I couldn't stop smiling..Your boat kept up just fine with a 17 foot impex which is a pretty nice looking kayak....Thanks again, Eric...  Took the Greenland paddle out for a spin yesterday-it was fabulous! Fit   perfectly, light as a feather. I paddled about one zillion miles. Thanks a ton-can't wait to take a roll class.  Chuck