Photokina 2014 highlights

Kayaking

The Oru folding kayak should soon be heading into commercial production

Just a couple of months ago, we first heard about the Oru – a prototype touring kayak made from corrugated plastic, that can be folded up and carried like an art portfolio. Designer Anton Willis and his team have since launched a crowd-funding campaign that has already far exceeded its goal ... which means that the Oru should soon be available to buy.  Read More

The Oru folding kayak

We’ve already featured a folding rowboat and a folding canoe, so why not a folding kayak? Well, that’s what the Oru is ... and unlike existing folding kayaks that incorporate frames and skins that have to be assembled, it consists almost entirely of one piece of folded corrugated plastic.  Read More

Northwest Hydraulic Consultants principal Darren Shepherd, using a tiny kayak to assess th...

When an architect is designing a building, they build a scale model to check how their design will work as an actual physical structure. What happens, however, when engineers are designing things that will have to be compatible with the currents in rivers ... things like dams, bridges, or pump stations? Well, that’s where water resources engineering firms like Northwest Hydraulic Consultants (NHC) come into the picture. Their work often includes building exact miniature recreations of waterways, complete with flowing water. We recently caught up with NHC principal Darren Shepherd, who guided us through the production process of one of his more exciting models – a one-twelfth scale Norwegian whitewater kayaking park.  Read More

500 feet (152 meters) and 101 segments of kayak

After touring the United States in a bespoke boot-mobile earlier this year, L.L. Bean has turned its attention to the water in its continuing centenary celebration. The 100-year-old outfitter has built what it believes to be the world's largest modular kayak.  Read More

Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is selling his custom-made offshore human-powered bo...

Canadian adventurer Greg Kolodziejzyk is certainly no slouch ... among other things, he has set the 24-hour endurance records for riding human-powered vehicles on both land and water. In 2010, he announced his plan to pedal an offshore-capable custom-built boat from British Columbia to Hawaii. After a series of open-water trials, however, he decided against the 3,000-mile (4,828-km) endeavor. The boat, called WiTHiN, is nonetheless quite the feat of engineering – and it’s now up for sale, should you have the cash.  Read More

Adam Masters enjoys his creation

Ever want to get some of the exhilaration of whitewater kayaking without actually learning how to Eskimo roll or self rescue? Essentially a cross between a kayak and a river board, the Bellyak is hand-paddled craft designed to deliver a new way of enjoying the water by letting you jump in head first ... literally.  Read More

WaveJet provides the propulsion power you need to catch large waves on your own

In order to surf those massive walls of salt water known as big waves, brave surfers usually need to get towed in by a personal watercraft (PWC). This presents some logistical problems (i.e. having to bring a buddy along to tow you around all day). The WaveJet gives you the power you need without requiring a large tow-in vehicle or separate person.  Read More

The StrongArm Kayak Loader levers a user's canoe or kayak onto the roof of their vehicle (...

Sea kayaks are quite possibly one of the finest things ever created by mankind, but they can be rather difficult to load onto the top of one’s car – this is particularly true for people who are trying to do the job single-handed, or who have a tall vehicle. Australia’s Steve Scott identified this problem as an opportunity, and invented the StrongArm Kayak Loader.  Read More

Jetbuster's new Jetrider XL, unveiled this week in Dusseldorf

Surfango is dead … long live Jetbuster! Our favorite powered kayak is back with a new name, a new look and an air-suspended seat unit which will come as sweet relief to anyone who's ever suffered the battered buttocks you tend to get from jumping waves in one of the older models. The new Jetrider XL has been unveiled in Dusseldorf, with a joystick-controlled 9.5hp motor, 25mph (40kmh) top speed and the new Airshox seat unit, for a retail price of US$2,999.  Read More

The Yogakayak allows paddlers to kayak in a reportedly more ergonomic kneeling position

Inexpensive sit-on-top kayaks are great fun for the beach and the lake, although many people maintain that the conventional legs-in-front kayaking position is hard on the back. Not only is a kneeling position said to be healthier, but proponents of the C1 style of whitewater paddling (in which the paddler kneels in a specialized whitewater kayak) also state that it allows for better control of the boat. With these claims in mind, Quebec City inventor Pierre Parant created the Yogakayak.  Read More

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