Stand-up paddleboarding has been one of the fastest growing outdoor sports in recent years. It's been growing so fast that even general interest publications like Time Magazine
and The Wall Street Journal
have taken notice. New start-up outfit Nocqua believes it has a way to make paddleboarding even more fun and popular, empowering paddlers to get out in the dead of night.
Compared to human-powered watercraft such as canoes or rowboats, kayaks are certainly fast, plus they’re easy to paddle. Should you try to stand up and fish or scuba dive from one, however, it’s quite likely to capsize. With that in mind, California-based TrueRec has designed the DFP (Dive-Fish-Paddle) sit-on-top kayak. It features spring-loaded pontoons that fold out to the sides and lock in place for added stability when stopped, but that otherwise stay tucked in and out of the way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
. 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.
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.
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.