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Advanced Elements Inflatable kayaks, inflatable SUPs and paddlesports accessories.
Advanced Elements Inflatable kayaks, inflatable SUPs and paddlesports accessories

The Evolution of Inflatable KayaksAdvanced Elements is trademarked.

Melanie Ford, Adventure Traveler

Amabassador Melanie in South America

Location: Siskiyou Wilderness, Oregon


  • Models paddled: FireFly, PackLite Kayak, and AdvancedFrame.
  • Water that she paddles: Lakes, Coastal/Ocean, Whitewater, Slow Moving Rivers, and Puddles.
  • What she uses her yaks for: Touring, Adventure Travel.

As an avid explorer and puddle jumper, Melanie hops from country to country, seeking out rivers and alpine lakes. Although she travels far and wide, her hometown waters of Puget Sound and the San Juans remain among her favorite places to paddle. When home from her globetrotting, she now stows her paddles in the Siskiyou Wilderness of Southern Oregon where she works as a Park Ranger.

Favorite AE Story:
After an arduous day of paddling in snow and high winds around the largest lake in Chile, Lago General Carrera, a local farmer spotted me pulling out and deflating onshore. Using cumbersome Spanglish and wild gesticulation, we began a fumbled conversation regarding my Firefly kayak and the current weather conditions. I was a bit confused over some of the local dialect however; the term “gringa loca” seemed to be used quite frequently. After a couple of minutes, I had the boat packed up and was bidding my farewells when he expressed interest in procuring the kayak from me. He became very insistent that I trade my kayak straight up for a sheep. I declined the offer and he countered with two sheep. At that rate, I thought it prudent to make a hasty escape before he upped his ante to a cow. Needless to say, I am still the proud owner of a Firefly.


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