The History Of Foldable Kayaks (And Where To Find Them Now?)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: December 5, 2022
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Then foldable kayak which can be folded for easy transport and storage with maximum performance in water was produced by Oru Company. You will like everything about the foldable kayaks. Here you get to understand how foldable kayaks came about plus other details worth noting.

Understanding All About Foldable Kayaks

Unlike paddle boards, kayaking is easy to learn, and beginners can ride for long in the water. Whether you are an expert or a beginner, there is no doubt that a kayak that is easy to transport with high performance is always the best option. The solid kayak offers high performance and stability in water but is cumbersome to store and carry. The inflatable kayak came in to solve the issue of portability; however, its performance level is low. 

Foldable Kayaks and the Shank Tanks

Anton Willis pioneered a foldable kayak. He was a serious kayaker who had a challenge in storing his fiberglass kayak. There was no problem until Willis moved into a small apartment. He had to put his kayak into storage since there was no room in his apartment. Willis started thinking about how it could be possible to keep the kayak inside his apartment without compromising on its performance. This marked the start of the foldable kayaks. 

Willis read extensively into Origami which sparked the idea of foldable kayaks. He took the time to put thoughts into the paper by sketching various models of the same. Eventually, his plan went through with the creation of five full-scale foldable kayak prototypes. He tested them on different waters which proved incredible.

In 2012 he began a Kickstarter campaign to launch his new invention. Willis garnered support from 700 people who showed there was a demand for foldable kayaks. Assembling the kayaks manually proved to be a challenge since the orders were increasing. Willis sought support from the sharks with a promise of a 25 percent stake. Robert Herjavec, the founder of the shark tank, agreed to invest $500,000. Oru kayaks were therefore pitched successfully on Shark Tanks in 2014. Since then, there has been a continuous demand for foldable kayak.

However, the challenge was the high price tag compared to the solid types. Oru then teamed up with GetOutFitted since Shark Tanks, to rent out the foldable kayaks to make them accessible to many. This increased the popularity of the foldable kayaks with many liking the portability and high performance in the water. You can, therefore, buy one or rent it out through partner organizations.

Do You Need A Carrier Or A Roof Rack While Using A Folding Kayak?

You do not need either. The foldable kayak has proven to be the most portable craft. It can be folded to fit in the trunk, thus is no need of using a rack. You can buy a pack carrying case when using public transport or if hiking and bicycling. Otherwise, with the foldable kayak, you will forget about the carriers and the roof racks.

Foldable Kayak Sails – How To Find A Perfect One?

Like any other type of watercraft, a sail can be added to foldable kayaks for a new and enjoyable experience. Many sails pair well with foldable kayaks, and you can choose to make one yourself. With a proper sail, you got to free up your arms and ride freely with the wind.

Check the factors that you should look for when buying a sail for your foldable kayak:

1. Type

There are three types of sails; circle shape, V-shaped, and Tall L-shaped. The circle shape sail is the most popular and suitable for beginners. They can be installed easily using three clamps. However, it can only be positioned in one direction.

The V-shaped are large in size and are suitable for larger kayaks. The wind quickly drifts the kayak in its direction, this can be a move towards one path at a time. If you are a professional, then the Tall L-shaped sails are the ideal option. They need a high maintenance level, and you might require t adjust the kayak to suit the chosen sail.

2. Material

The material used in making the sail determines its heaviness and durability. Usually, it features a plastic, cloth, or carbon fiber construction. Plastic sails are lightweight, water-resistant, and affordable. Though durable, it may not serve you for a very long time compared to the other two materials.

Cloth is more durable than plastic. However, you may have to put up with its heavy weight, which is more when it gets wet. If you are for sails made of cloth check those with a waterproof coating to protect them from getting wet.

Carbon fiber is the best among the three. It is robust, lightweight, and durable. Due to its resistance to damage, it can serve for a very long time without wear and tear.

3. Rudder

Most people resort to kayak sailing to rest their arms from too much paddling. A rudder blade is a device that guides your direction when not paddling. Buy a rudder and fix it at the back of your foldable kayak to steer in both directions with ease. If you are starting, it might not be necessary with advancement the rudder adds fun to kayak sailing.

4. Width

A kayak sail needs to be wide enough to catch the wind for smooth cruising. However, too wide should be left to experts as it can easily lead to tipping over of the kayak. Too narrow might not drift away easily. Find the ideal size by checking the kayak’s weight and size. 

5. Keel Strip

With a sail, you have little control over the kayak. The wind determines where you go except if you have installed a rudder. The keel strip keeps it more stable for stress-free cruising. It is an adhesive strip usually added to areas with a high risk of abrasion for reinforcement.

Final Take

The portability and the high performance of foldable kayaks make them a perfect option for kayakers. The carriers and the roof racks are not needed once you buy the best foldable kayaks.  You will only need to buy a packing case for easy carrying when hiking or bicycling. When you are tied padding, attach the sail and kayak anywhere anytime!



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