Biking

The 7 Best Folding Bikes – [Reviews & Guide 2019]

When your looking for the best folding bike there are several considerations. The main one being where you will be using it.

A folding bike for an urban commuter may not be the right bike for the person using it at a camp site or riding it off road.

We narrowed it down to 5 folding bikes that were great all around choices with one being a dual suspension mountain bike.

For more of my top gear recommendations, have a look through these popular Outside Pursuits guide links: Bike HelmetsHeadlights, Phone Mounts.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Folding Bikes For 2019

  1. Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike 
  2. EuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike
  3. Columbia 26” Folding Bike with Shimano 18 Speed
  4. Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike
  5. Stowabike 26″ V2 Folding Mountain Bike
  6. Dahon Speed D7 Street Folding Bicycle
  7. Schwinn Adapt Folding Bicycle

Our reviews of the top rated folding bikes with our guide and comparison table will help you choose the right bike for you.

Best Folding Bikes

 Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding BikeEuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding BikeColumbia 26” Folding Bike
editors choice
Weight: 34 Pounds28 Pounds34 Pounds
Folded Size:30" X 32" X 11" 27" x 33" x 13"38" x 14" x 29"
Speeds:7 Speed7 Speed18 Speed
Weight Limit:225 Pounds240 Pounds200 Pounds

Folding Bike Reviews

The Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike is ideal for city commuters. When folded up it measures 30”x32”x11” so it will take up very little space in your apartment or office.

The low stand over frame is perfect for quickly and easily getting on and off of the bike and the 7 speed drivetrain allows you to take this bike over hilly terrain.

For quick stopping power, the bike has alloy linear pull brakes, full fenders, and a rear cargo rack. The Schwinn Loop includes a nylon storage case for easy carrying and safe storage.

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The performance of the Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike is excellent. The gears are smooth and the frame is durable and has a solid feel even though it is one of the cheapest folding bikes on the market.

I found that the bike was easy to fold and unfold and provides a ride just like a normal solid frame bike. The bike performed well over gravel trails and sharp turns, and the small size, once folded down, will fit in most any trunk, closet or cluttered garage.

Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike
Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike is Available 3 Colors

Like most folding bikes, this Schwinn model is built for those of a smaller frame and the suggested weight limit is 230 lbs.

The bike is meant to be folded and stored and but not necessarily carried around, as it does not feature a locking mechanism. If transported without the accompanying storage case, the bike can unfold while carrying, so I would always use it to prevent that from happening.

The only problem I could find with the Schwinn is that you cant adjust the handlebars forward or back, only up and down.

The Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike is our top pick because it has just about everything you would want in a folding bike and is the best folding bike under $200.

 

Schwinn Loop Folding Bike at a Glance:

  • 7 speeds, enough for most terrain
  • 20 inch wheels for small size and easy transport
  • Includes nylon carry bag
  • Weighs 33 pounds

EuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike

The EuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike is a BMX style bike but unlike a BMX, it has 7 speeds for a comfortable riding experience.

It has 20 inch wheels like the Schwinn Loop and is built on an aluminum alloy frame that weighs in at 28 pounds. This is on the lighter side for a folding bike.

The EuroMini Campo has tires that will work well in off road trails as well as street riding. The Shimano Revo gear system and has 7 speeds that you can switch between with a grip shifter on the right handle bar.

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While the Revo is not Shimano’s top of the line gears, they are of good quality and made from stainless steel so they won’t rust.

Unfolding the bike is a simple matter requiring no tools and is held in the folded up closed position with a strong magnet.

The Campo has a “V” style brake setup, I would have preferred a side pull for extra braking power but they stop the bike quickly enough.

Video: See how easy it is to fold and unfold the EuroMini.

Even at what I consider a bargain price it comes with a kickstand, reflectors and a water bottle mounting bracket.

The Euromini Campo is an extremely versatile bike, its perfect for the urban commuter or take it camping for riding around the trails.

This is an amazing sturdy bike for the price. It can comfortably fit anyone from 5ft to 6 ½ feet and has a weight capacity of 240 pounds.

Folded up it measures: H-25″ L-28.5″ W-12.5 and two of them will fit in most any trunk, unless you have a Mazda Miata of similarly small car. The EuroMini Campo is the best budget folding bike with its simple, trouble free design.

 

EuroMini Via Folding Bike at a Glance:

  • Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
  • 7 Speed grip shifter
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Weighs only 28 pounds

The Columbia Folding Bike with Shimano 18 Speeds is the perfect bike for those transporting it with their car because it was the largest and heaviest bike we tested. Its probably not one you will want to carry around.

When folded down it measures; 38”x14”x29” and it fit in just about any vehicle. The bike is recommended for riders who are 5’3” to 6’0”.

The bike is lightweight at 34 pounds and I was able to fold it up in under 10 seconds.

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The Columbia features: A Shimano 18 speed gear system, alloy front and rear V-brakes, removable front handle stem, front/rear steel rims, and a kick stand.

I really liked the high quality, and larger wheels of the Columbia folding bike. It folds quickly and stays secure, and with 18-gear speeds you can find a speed for a comfortable ride on almost any terrain. I would say the Columbia 26″ is the best full size folding bike.

There is some assembly needed, the initial set up is clearly explained in the instructions. I was able to assemble it in less then 10 minutes.

Columbia 26” Folding Bike with Shimano 18 Speed

I found the ride is comparable to a non-folding full size bike and its bargain priced for what you get.

If I was going to nit pick, the gears on the bike can be a bit noisy, and like all of the other bikes we tested it lacks a suspension so its not an ideal bike for off road use.

I also wasn’t crazy about the bike stand design but it works.

The Columbia 26 Folding bike being lightweight and portable is an ideal camping bike. It can take on most terrain with its 18 speeds. The Columbia 26 is the best folding bike under $300.

 

Columbia Folding Bike at a Glance:

  • 26 inch wheels, full size bike
  • 18 Speeds, has a gear for all terrain
  • Easy to fold and store
  • Weighs 35 pounds

The Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike is an excellent option for riding flat, busy streets. The simple design is one of the Dahon’s most lightweight folding bikes.

The Double Lock latching system makes the bike easy and safe to transport by utilizing a secondary lock on every latch. This bike also has no brake or shifter cables, resulting in a simplistic, low maintenance design.

Once you fold down the bike, it is held together by a simple magnetic latching system, so it doesn’t unexpectedly unfold on you.

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At 11.7”x30”x25” dimensions when folded down, this bike is perfect for compact storage.

Dahon is one of the most popular folding bike manufacturers and the one speed Uno model doesn’t disappoint. It looks more like a BMX bike, than the traditional folding bike frame.

It is quick and easy to fold and unfold the bike, making it perfect for traveling on city bus routes and one of the best affordable folding bikes you can buy.

One thing I liked best about this bike is the lack of cables and gears, it makes it a convenient, worry-free, and the lightest folding bike on our list.

Video: See how easy it is to fold the Dahon Uno.

The biggest issue I found is the seat is not as comfortable as other models that were tested, especially over longer distances.

The Dahon Uno had the highest weight limit of the bikes we tested at 230 pounds (105kgs). Which was surprising since it was also the smallest, so I have to attribute it to the solid frame and rims.

This bike will bring back days of riding bikes when you were a kid, its fun to ride and there is almost nothing to break.

In my opinion this is the best folding bike under $500. The Dahon Uno is perfect for commuting around town.

 

Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike at a Glance:

  • Single speed, best for urban areas
  • Magnetic latching system holds bike together
  • Simple, trouble free design
  • Weighs only 24 pounds

Stowabike 26 V2 Folding Mountain Bike

I know what you’re thinking, a folding mountain bike? I know I was pretty skeptical when I tried out the Stowabike.

It’s actually a pretty well-known name in folding bikes and the Stowabike MTB is actually a pretty decent mountain bike.

Now I am not going to tell you can take this down a mountain where you take a “real” mountain bike but it will be able to handle off-road trails with no problem. And quite comfortably at that because it has a dual suspension.

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The front and rear shocks are pretty solid and provide plenty of travel giving you a pretty comfortable ride on rough trails.

Stowabike 26 V2 Folding MTB Dual Suspension
Stowabike 26 V2 Folding MTB Dual Suspension

The Stowabike folding MTB has a 18 speed Shimano gear system that shifts easily and reliably. Having 18 speeds is more than enough for comfortable riding. I rarely use more than 7-10 speeds.

The bike assembles with 2 tools, a 15mm socket wrench and a torx screw for the handle bars.

Once assembled, you can unfold and fold it in literally a few seconds. Take a few extra minutes when assembling it, make sure you line everything up, you will be happy you did later.

The bike is heavier than most folding bikes because it needs to be sturdier and the extra weight of the shocks. But even with that it weighs only 38 pounds.

Not bad for a mountain bike. Its max weigh capacity is rated at 250 pounds, I think you could probably go over that without too much problem.

It folds up to 29″ high, 37″ long and 13” wide and should fit in most any vehicle and will comfortably ride anyone from 5’3 to 6’2. The Stowabike even features folding pedals, this is a pretty nice feature for a folding bike in its price range.

This folding mountain bike is excellent for camping, it will handle most trails with ease.

I certainly wouldn’t push it by taking it on any expert type trails or downhill on say a ski mountain but I think it’s the best folding mountain bike available.

 

Stowabike V2 Folding Dual Suspension Mountain Bike at a Glance:

  • Full size 26 inch wheels
  • 18 Speed grip shifter
  • Dual suspension, front and rear shocks
  • Weighs 38 pounds

The D7 is similar in frame design to the Dahon UNO reviewed above with some important feature differences. The biggest is the 7-Speed drivetrain featuring quality Shimano RD-TX35 components.

Shifting between the gears is accomplished with an easy to use grip shifter. While the UNO is mostly for riding on flat terrain, the D7 with its 7 speeds gives it the ability to tackle hills that would be difficult with a single speed bike.

It has pretty standard 20” aluminum alloy wheels so it folds down to a manageable compact size of 31” x 13” x 25”.

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The D7 has “V” brakes for quick stopping power and with a cromoly frame it weighs only 30 pounds. Light enough for most anyone to pick up and carry around.

The handlebars unfortunately don’t adjust so you are stuck with that but the seat post has a wide adjustment range and can fit riders up to 6’2”.

Being primarily designed for commuters it has a rear bike rack that you can strap on a quite a bit of cargo. The front and rear fenders will keep most of the water and mud off you.

Being a Dahon, it features a solid locking mechanism that keeps it locked securely until you want to take it for a ride.

The D7 is a great commuter bike, I just would have liked to have seen a carry bag included.

 

Dahon Speed D7 Street Folding Bicycle at a Glance:

  • Weighs only 30 pounds
  • 7 Speed grip shifter
  • Lightweight 4130 light cromoly frame
  • Secure locking mechanism

The Schwinn Adapt is almost the perfect commuter bike with its design and features. The Adapt has Shimano Tourney components with 8 speeds so you can take on hills with ease.

Shifting is easy with the Shimano grip shifter and the brakes use the improved side pull design that give superior braking power then the standaed “V” brakes on most folding bikes.

Being a commuter bike it has a large rear bike rack with a large carry capacity and front and rear fenders that will keep the water and road dirt off of you.

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The Adapt has a easy to use folding mechanism that locks secure to prevent it accidentally unfolding while you are carrying it.

I really like they included a heavy gauge nylon carry bag. Seems like most bikes don’t come them for some reason.

The Adapt has standard 20” aluminum alloy wheels and a lightweight alloy frame for a weight of 29 pounds.

While its not as fast as full size bike, the Adapt will get you there quickly and allow you to take it with you so you don’t need to worry about leaving it outside and getting stolen.

 

Schwinn Adapt Folding Bicycle at a Glance:

  • Weighs only 29 pounds
  • 8 Speed grip shifter
  • Heavy gauge nylon storage bag
  • Secure locking mechanism

Folding Bike Comparison Table

Folding Bike Wheel SizeWeightSpeedsBest ForWeight Capacity
Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike20"31 lbs7 SpeedGeneral Use / Commuting220 lbs
Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike20"24 lbsSingleUrban/Around Town230 lbs
Columbia Folding Bike26"34 lbs18 SpeedGeneral Use / Commuting200 lbs
EuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike20"28 lbs7 SpeedGeneral Use / Commuting240 lbs
Stowabike Folding MTB26"38 lbs18 SpeedOff Road200 lbs
Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bicycle20"30 lbs7 SpeedGeneral Use / Commuting230 lbs
Schwinn Adapt Folding Bike20"29 lbs8 SpeedGeneral Use / Commuting240 lbs

How to Choose the Best Folding Bike For You

Best Foldable BikeA folding bicycle is designed to fold down into a compact and easily transportable mechanism. The convenience of carrying a folding bike in a suitcase or vehicle allows cyclers to get in a little extra exercise without committing to a whole day of riding around town.

It is perfect for those who may want to take a leisurely ride during a lunch break at work.

Folding bikes are a great investment for travelers who want to keep their bicycle with them at all times. They can be easily compacted and toted around in an RV, making it perfect for enjoying a ride during a vacation—without taking up a lot of space.

Folding bicycles are great for storing in small homes or apartments, and can easily be carried onto airplanes or buses.

A major benefit regarding folding bicycles is that they do not require traditional car racks during travel, saving you time and money when using your bicycle on the go. The portability helps bikers avoid theft issues that traditional bikes have to worry about.

Folding Bike Considerations

Folding bicycles are offered in a variety of sizes and designs. They are generally made for small to medium built riders as their lightweight frames cannot easily support a larger individual.

However, some manufacturers do produce frames for larger riders, though these bikes are typically custom made.

Fitting For Your Size And Weight

It is essential to find an option that suits your height and weight. This can be done by sampling a variety of different bikes and adjusting the handle bar and seat heights.

The seat-post and handle bar range adjustment is typically more inclusive than a traditional bike.

Folding bikes have an adjustable seat height and the correct size will allow you to sit with your foot on the pedal with your leg almost fully extended straight when the pedal is in the lowest position.

Once you have a general idea about which size and style is best suited to your body type, you can focus on more specialized features within that range.

Wheel Size

 

lightweight folding bike

Folding bikes include a variety of sizes when it comes to wheels. Wheels range from 16 inches to 26 inches, however most models include wheels that are 16 to 20 inches. These are smaller than traditional bicycles.

Transitioning from a full size bike to a folding bicycle may be difficult at first, as the smaller wheels require a different riding technique.

Choosing a wheel size that you are comfortable with is one of the most important features you should consider when purchasing your bicycle.

Small wheels, or those that are at or near 16 inches are perfect for emphasizing the lightweight, highly compactible effect. The smaller wheels serve as an ideal space saver, and allow you to have more control over the bike during riding.

One thing to keep in mind with small wheels, is that they require more rotations to cover a set distance, thus wheel replacements will need to be done more often. You will also feel bumps, potholes, or uneven terrain more easily than you would on larger wheels.

Medium sized wheels are considered to be around 20 inches. This size encompasses most varieties and models of folding bicycles; thus it is easier to find a bicycle that fits your needs.

Similar to the smaller 16 inch wheels, the 20 inch sizes tend to take some time to get used to, since they are smaller than traditional wheels and lower to the ground.

Larger wheels are roughly 24-26 inches and are most closely related to traditional bicycles. These wheels provide a smooth ride, and most easily resemble the riding experience on a traditional road bike.

However, when it comes to folding bicycles, the larger wheel size can be difficult to find, which will limit your available options. In addition, these models will be heavier, and do not fold as compact as smaller wheeled models.

Where You Will Use It

full size folding bike

It is helpful to consider the type of terrain you will be traveling on when deciding which features or wheel size to purchase. For example, flat city streets will not require a lot of gears, but uneven terrain would require more gears.

For short travels around town you may want to opt for a small wheeled option, longer trips you will be better off with a larger wheel size.

Determining your individual needs and level of comfort will be key in finding the right bicycle for you.

Once you have an idea about the best model for your build, the needs of your wheels, and the type of terrain you will be riding on frequently, you can begin considering additional features like suspension, latching systems, or optional carrying cases.

Suspension features are great if you have a more generous budget and plan to ride on rigorous terrain. Often times, suspension features are not necessary, especially when sticking to traditional city streets.

If you do not require suspension features with your folding bicycle, it is wise to focus on more practical features for your money.

When narrowing down your purchase options you will also want to consider details like weight, ease of folding, performance, and durability.

These more subjective features will be important considering the main focus of the bicycle is easy transportability.

How Easy Does It Fold Up

best budget folding bike

Folding bicycles have a variety of folding methods available including models that fold in half horizontally or vertically. Triangle hinge and magnet folding systems are available as well, and some bikes even manually disassemble into accompanying suitcases.

Consider options that have quick release features and swing hinges. Folding methods vary by style, and it is important to remember that just because the bike can be folded into a more compact design, does not necessarily make it more lightweight.

Look for options that are easy and quick to fold, and are not too heavy.

Performance

When it comes to performance, it is important to remember that with a folding bike you are trading off some quality for convenience when compared to a traditional bike.

Folding bicycles are typically not as stylish or easy to repair as road bikes, and depending on your budget may lack some features you would normally find on a traditional bike.

In addition, while they are well suited to commuters, if your looking for speed and comfort over long distances then a folding bike is probably not for you.

Keep in mind that if you are used to riding a traditional road bike, purchasing a folding bike will require a bit of a transition. The smaller wheels result in a less comfortable ride, and the more expensive prices of folding bikes do not necessarily reflect their quality or performance.

The number one thing to keep in mind when opting for a folding bike is portability. If you are looking for a bicycle that can withstand a reasonable commute, be carried and traveled with, or needs to be stored in a safe, small place– a folding bike is an ideal fit for your needs.

However, if you want to travel longer distances, need to sustain high speeds, or are traveling on rough terrain, a folding bike may not be your best option.

Overall, when selecting a folding bike there are many things to consider; frame style, wheel sizes, gear speeds and weight limitations are your primary considerations when selecting a folding bike.

If you take into consideration what you will use the bike primarily for, you will select the best model for your needs.

Folding Mechanism

While the most popular type are those that fold either in half or mid-horizontal, there is some concern with how much stress this puts on the frame after regular use.

The triangle hinge vertical fold bikes are always gaining popularity. The main reason why more people are purchasing these is because you don’t have to worry about stress points like with the others. They also often come with built-in suspension.

Perhaps the least common type are the swivel fold, although there are also break-aways, where the frame can essentially be disassembled into two separate parts.

Weight

While it’s important to consider your own weight in these situations, also consider how much your new folding bike is going to weigh.

Take this even more into consideration if you’re planning on folding it up and carrying it with you on the train or bus. This is going to be strenuous and a hassle if it’s heavy for you.

In contrast, there are those that weigh under 20 pounds, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for more expensive materials.

Transport

This is kind of tied into the last point, but there are some bikes which can be wheeled around while in their folded position. This is a huge bonus for you, as you don’t have to carry it around; simply roll it.

These are particularly useful if you’re going to be going up platforms or inside buildings. Rather than carrying it up ramps, just roll it like you would a stroller or shopping cart.

If you plan on taking it long distances, be sure it will fit in your trunk or hatch area. Most of the bikes reviewed should fit in most any size trunk, but if you have a very small car it’s best to take some measurements.

Suspension

Most of the folding bikes out there are made of aluminum or alloy. While they’re relatively lightweight, they’re not so great at absorbing shock the same way traditional steel frames would. On top of that, most do not have a suspension. Some have front or rear suspension, while others have both!

If you’re going to be riding on rougher surfaces, definitely consider some type of suspension. If you’re going to be riding over smooth roads and platforms, this won’t be as essential. There are a few foldies with frames that naturally are shock absorbers, like those made of chromoly steel.

Future Upgrades

If you’re planning on keeping your folding bike for a long time, then you’ll probably end up wanting to add on some upgrades. Even if you don’t think you will now, just consider it.

Is your new folding bike going to work with standard full-sized bicycle components or only specialized ones? If it only works with the latter, you’re going to find your options are more limited.

Consider getting an upgraded bike saddle, it is the one accessory that will determine how comfortable riding the bike is!

Tips For Using Your Foldable Bicycle

#1: Make sure to pack everything you need to repair or fix something on your bike

We highly recommend always carrying along a multi tool, extra inner tube, patch kit, and/or a type of portable air pump. This should hold you over until you can get to a bike shop if it’s something more serious.

#2: Use a bike lock

Now that you have invested money in a folding bike, protect it with a secure bike lock. We reviewed some good choices here.

#3: Choose luggage wisely

Try to find a bag that’s easy to take on and off, that you don’t have to buckle or fiddle with unnecessarily. This is because your hands are going to be tied up a good portion of the time, if you’re not riding it, whether you’re wheeling it around or carrying it.

The last thing you need is a bag sliding off your shoulder. In addition, try to keep your bag as light as possible if you’re carrying your bike. You don’t want to strain your shoulders or back.

Best Folding Bike Brands

Best Folding Bike BrandsThe best folding bike brands are no coincidence are the bike manufactures that have been around the longest.

  1. Columbia – Is a name that should be well known to you. My first bike was a Columbia back in the early 70’s. They make what I think is the best budget and is still a full size folding bike.
  2. Dahon – While they may be less know, Dahon commands almost 70% of the folding bike market. They first started making them in 1982 with a goal of preserving the environment
  3. Schwinn – Probably the best known name in bikes. Who didn’t own a Schwinn bike as a kid? My first 10 speed was a venerable Schwinn bike. Their 20″ Loop folding bike is one of the best value and compact folding bikes on the market.

FAQ About Folding Bikes

Q: Are Folding Bikes As Fast?

A: In general they are every bit as fast as a “standard” bike. However, some of the smaller ones like the Dahon Uno and the Schwinn Loop have smaller wheels so they will require you to pedal faster use a higher gear to maintain the same speed as a Full Size bike.

Q: What are the Disadvantages of a Folding Bike?

A: In general a folding bike will not ride a “solid” as a standard bike. The joints that make it a folding bike are just not as sturdy as a solid as a bike with welding joints. They will be slightly heavier for the same size of a solid bike due to the hinges. This is a very small amount however.

Q: Can I Ride a Folding Bike Off Road?

A: Assuming you are not going mountain bike riding, then yes. Unpaved trails and grass are not problem for any folding bike. The Camp Rocky is designed specifically for off road use and rougher trails.

Q: Are Folding Bikes Easy to Fold?

A: That is depends entirely on the quality of the bike. The ones reviewed here were chosen because they are easy to fold. How easy the bike is to fold is determined by the hinge design. Some bikes have a poor quality hinges that make the bike hard to fold because the hinges don’t slide well.

Q: Are Folding Bikes Safe?

A: As long as the locking mechanism on the hinges are securely locked, the bike should be fine. This is of course again dependent on the quality of the hinges and locking mechanism. This is one of the main reasons to go with a better quality bike.


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best folding bike to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a bike I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Have fun and enjoy the ride!

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Portability
Features
Quality

The Schwinn Loop is our Editor's Choice as the best folding bike with its combination of portability, features and quality.

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Richard Remick

I work part time as an IT security consultant. Luckily I can work from anywhere so I go back and forth between Colorado and Florida. I get my fix of skiing, hiking and camping in Colorado in the Dillion area, and when I am in Florida you can usually find me on the water either paddleboarding or kayaking. My recent passion is scuba diving, I got certified a few years ago and "get wet" as frequently as I can.

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