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Custom Kayak Hitting the Waters

By Sharon Ko

MERLIN, Ore. — This summer, a new kayak developed by two local companies is hitting the waters. Orange Torpedo Trips is bringing in its custom kayak for riders.

Working alongside another Merlin-based company, orange torpedo trips created a new inflatable kayak and it says it’s changing the experience of rafting. Orange Torpedo Trips is introducing its custom design kayak this summer. Since 1969, the company used a Sevylor Tahiti Kayak, but its life span was at most half a year.

Both companies went to the drawing board and a new kayak was born. The material made out of eurothane is stronger and more durable, and the kayak is all one piece. Orange torpedo trips says just ask the experts to see if the new kayak is better.

“The hardest person to convince was some of my guides, the old ones that have been in it for 30 years,” explains Orange Torpedo Manager Erik Weiseth. “After a trip and a half on the new ones, none of them will go back.”

With the new kayak, the company says it’s anticipating more rafters, Memorial Weekend into the summer.

“Months ago, if you asked us, we were all a little nervous about the snow pack,” Weiseth says. “But it’s come in, we’ve got a 100% snow pack and we’re obviously having some warm weather to start with. I think we’re looking at the best summers.”

SOTAR will not be selling the kayaks to the public, but the boats can be rented.