Visits Round the Industry: Seaward Kayaks

August-September 1998

This is an article from WaveLength Magazine, available in print in North America and globally on the web.

by Sue Handel

While driving along the highway, winding my way through the mountains towards Summerland to visit Seaward Kayaks, I wondered why an ocean kayak manufacturer would choose to locate in the desert heart of the province, 400 kilometres from the nearest salt water!

When I met Steve Ree, the owner of Seaward, he explained that the climate of Summerland is perfect for building kayaks (low humidity) and Okanagan Lake is so big that it often acts just like an ocean, so it's a great place to test out new designs.

Over the years, Steve has built boats with a critical eye for detail. His designs are attractive and functional, and his customers appreciate the innovative special features such as the new Seaward "gas pedal" style madder controls. Because the pedals pivot on a hinge, rather than slide on a bracket, paddlers are able to get extra power by bracing their feet. You can also maintain your foot position during a brace or roll, while still controlling the rudder direction (see below).

Another innovation is the Seaward sailing double with a centerboard that drops down from the centre cockpit. The boat is sloop rigged, with a jib foresail.

A tour of their plant convinced me. So look for my bright orange Seaward "Quest" on oceans (and lakes) near you. That's it on the cover of this issue of WaveLength.

My visit to Seaward Kayaks in Summerland found a hard-working team building good kayaks

1.Justin Stonehill shaping the hatch covers that form the "safe hatch" system.
2.Kayaks standing on end while the reinforced bow filler dries in cold water.
3.The new sailing double and Seaward owner Steve Ree.
4.Gerry Trackel measuring the trim on the Seaward Vision.
5.Kayaks in waiting. The finished product ready for launching.
6.Me and my Seaward Quest cruising Okanagon Lake.


To contact Seaward Kayaks phone 800/595-9755.

Seaward Rudder

The Seaward "gas pedal" style rudder system allows you to steer with your toes while bracing with the ball of your foot. .