Interview: David AvRutick – Maker of Folbot Folding Kayaks

In Friends of Yosemite Blog, Interviews

Doing what I do I get to meet a lot of interesting people. David AvRutick is one of them. David is an avid outdoors man and is president/owner of a company that makes a very unique product, Folbot folding kayaks.

Unlike regular rigid kayaks, Folbots assemble easily and in a short amount of time. They break down into one or 2 bags and can even be carried in a backpack. This makes them ideal for visitors wanting to experience Yosemite on the water.

YB: Tell us a little about yourself.

I am not exactly the typical president/co-owner of a kayak manufacturer. My previous jobs include: attorney in Manhattan, senior executive for a major book publisher and being a college president. Not really a standard career path. But, I was also a varsity college athlete and have been involved in outdoor activities my whole life. Folbot is a great fit for me as it provides the excitement of running a venerable company with a product I really love.

YB: There are a lot of kayak companies out there and a couple that make folding kayaks like yours, what makes a Folbot kayak special?

Folbot, founded in 1933, is the oldest North American kayak manufacturer and the premier American manufacturer of folding kayaks. Our expedition quality kayaks, which break down into a backpack or two bags, travel the world and are used on many exciting adventures. We are distinguished from other kayak manufacturers by our long and fascinating history, the quality of the kayaks we manufacture, the value we offer our customers (we sell direct, so our prices do not include retailer margins), our customer service and the fact that Folbots are 100% made in the US. These are serious kayaks and we are the only manufacturer to stand behind theirs with a lifetime warranty. And, of course, with a Folbot you don’t need a roof rack or trailer to be able to carry your kayak, you can check the kayak as luggage on a plane, lock it inside your car and store it in your room.

YB: A Folbot seems like the ideal way for visitors to experience Yosemite on its small lakes and rivers. Is there a particular boat you think would be ideal for the Yosemite visitors?

Folbots are perfect for anyone who wants to experience Yosemite in their own kayak. The fact that three of our models come in a backpack make them perfect for accessing hard to reach bodies of water. The lightest, the Citibot, is only 24 lbs. All the Folbot models would be great in Yosemite—it really depends on the body type of the paddler and what sort of adventure they want to have.

YB: What is your most popular boat?

The Cooper. It is a 16’6” long, fast and sleek. It comes in a backpack and can be assembled in 10-20 minutes. The assembly time varies depending on how many people stop to ask about what you are doing!

YB: Who are the majority of Folbot customers?

The majority of Folbot customers are people who love to kayak and travel. Whether it is checking their kayak on a plane, storing it in an RV or carrying it in their car trunk, Folboters enjoy exploring interesting bodies of water wherever they go. Many of our customers also have storage issues – being able to keep an expedition quality 17” kayak in the closet has great appeal to many people. Of course, many people just prefer a skin on frame kayak over a hardshell.

YB: Have you ever been to Yosemite? If yes, what’s your favorite part of the park? What would you like to see or do?

I have not been to Yosemite since I was young, but have wonderful memories of staying in the Awahnee, being at the top of Yosemite Falls at sunrise and seeing the incredible beauty of the entire valley. I would love to come back and revisit all the classic spots, and also explore the back country.

YB: Do you like to paddle? If so, where is your favorite place to go?

I love paddling. One of the great things about owning a kayak manufacturer is being able to grab a kayak whenever I want. We even have board meetings on the water! Folbot’s home in Charleston, SC is surrounded by some fantastic places to go paddle. Being able to paddle with dolphins and alligators is always a thrill.

YB: What advice would you have to someone just getting into kayaking?

Make sure to be safe and have fun. Taking a course is always a good way to start – learn the basics and make sure you know the water you are going to paddle. All the rest is just having a good time.

YB: Where can people find you?

Folbot’s website is It is a nifty site that is full of information and photos. The Folbot Forum is also a good place to learn about Folbots and meet other Folboters ( Of course, we always love to have visitors at our factory in Charleston, SC.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions, David. David is a great guy and personally hangs out on Twitter to answer your questions about his awesome boats. You can follow him by adding @davrutick to your friends.

Above Photo: David AvRutick stearing the Folbot company.
Video: David shows off how easy it is to assemble the lightweight Citibot.

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