More Trial Than Error: A Short History
Adam made the first Bellyak out of an old Perception 3D kayak back in 2004. While running Cane Creek in the Eastatoee Valley of upstate South Carolina at flood stage, he found the only way to paddle down a certain section was to crawl on top of his boat and paddle on his belly. Thus “Bellyaking” was born.
In 2010, he came up with his idea for rapid prototyping by casting the inside of kayaks with expandable foam to create a plug he could shape, fiberglass and paddle. He did this for two years in an old meat freezer in Greenville, SC, working a few days a week and paddling his designs on the weekends.
Finally, in 2012, Adam founded Bellyak, Inc., in Asheville, NC. Along with Evan Solida, CAD driver extraordinaire, Adam digitized the best features of 24 different designs to create three models: The Frequency, Play 35 and Play 45. Each boat was cut on a CNC machine and shaped by hand. Three aluminum molds made from the models for the rotational molding process enabled production to begin.
By 2013, Bellyak had distribution deals across the US and in Europe, Canada and New Zealand. The company introduced adaptive paddling in 2014, and the following year, the American Canoe Association (ACA) adopted prone kayaking as a sport within the paddlesports curriculum.
For the full history, check out the HISTORY OF BELLYAK: PART I