Origami Paddler Review

For many water adventure lovers, the hassle of racking up, lugging around, and cleaning a bulky kayak is a real turn-off.

Chances are if you live in an apartment or don’t own a vehicle you can strap a board onto, it’s pretty much impossible to own and store a regular 12-foot kayak at home with you.

And oftentimes, the best locations might be a little off the beaten path to go trekking into the wilderness armed with a giant boat. There is always the option to rent a kayak but this is regularly a pricey endeavor over the long term and you don’t have the freedom to go whenever suits you.

Origami paddler sup stand up paddleboard kayak
Buy the Origami Paddler directly on their website

Any seasoned adventurer also knows there are more than a few not-so-reliable rental outfitters out there to be wary of. In walks the origami kayak. Foldable kayaks have been getting a lot of press recently due to their super convenient shape, ease of use, and ease of transport.

Normally weighing in lighter than your average kayak and easy enough to be maneuvered through tougher terrain, foldable kayaks, and paddleboards seem like the perfect solution for your weekend wilderness fix.

You’ve decided you want a fold-up kayak because they sound super convenient for your small space but you’re also a keen paddleboarder, do you buy both or risk choosing between your hobbies? Fear not, the Origami Paddler has you covered. 

What Is The Origami Paddler?

Origami paddler folding sup stand up paddleboard

The Origami Paddler is the world’s first and only collapsible paddleboard and kayak crossover. Suitable for both seasoned pros or newbies, the Origami Paddler is a unique board that lets you switch effortlessly out on the water between kayaking by sitting down and stand-up paddleboarding.

Read on to find out more about this handy bit of kit that combines your passions and makes outdoor adventuring a breeze. 

How Expensive Is The Origami Paddler? 

The price of the Origami Paddler is comparable to most mid-range kayaks. But looking closely it has far more flexibility and uses which means it packs a punch in saving your adventuring budget- especially if you consider the price of both a foldable kayak and a paddleboard (not to mention storage or transportation costs such as car racks and straps).

What Does The Origami Paddler Include?

The Origami Paddler comes with a standard seat/backrest and a double-bladed paddle. The paddle comes in 4 parts and can be used for SUP(Stand Up Paddleboarding)  and kayaking. 

It is 82” blade to blade and breaks down into four sections for transportation- two 22” blades and two 24” midsections. The seat is attached with straps and could be upgraded in the future when premium seat options become available.

Both of these standard accessories can be easily stored in the inside of the Origami when it is folded up, adding to the versatility and portability of the Origami Paddler- no more hitting your mates on the head with your unwieldy paddle en-route. 

There are also lots more fun accessories in the works that will be added to the Origami Paddler website on availability.

Origami Paddler Kayak Unboxing Video 

What’s in the box? Take a look as TomyTek Outdoors takes you through unboxing the Origami kayak from it’s cardboard shipping box from start to finish.

Video courtesy TomyTek Outdoors

What Is The Origami Paddler Made Out Of?

yellow origami paddler kayak overhead product photo

Many typical kayaks are made from fiberglass or other harmful materials like PVC. Not the Origami Paddler- it is made entirely out of Grade 5 recycled plastic and is also completely recyclable under the Preserve scheme.

There are also more plans in the works to make recycling your Origami when it’s reached the end of its life even more accessible in the future.

You might be tempted by a blow-up paddleboard for a bit of fun but remember-when your blow-up boat pops, you go in the drink! (Not to mention that these one-or-two-use watercraft aren’t great for the environment). 

Where Is The Origami Paddler Made?

Designed by passionate outdoorsman Tim Niemier, The Origami Paddler is made from recycled materials in the USA, straight out of Kansas. 

Who Founded The Origami Paddler?

Tim Niemier is the founder of Origami Paddler along with his business partner Paul Hoit. Tim is originally credited with introducing the sit-on-top kayak under his old company name Ocean Kayak. I used to have Ocean Kayak’s Malibu model fishing kayak many years back that I fished from in the coves and bays of Southern California, so I can attest to the founders’ ability to manufacture a solid product.

Founded in 1971, young Tim carved up his fiberglass surfboard with space for him to sit and another space for his scuba gear. After lots of requests for custom-built boats, Tim saw the opportunity for expansion, and Ocean Kayak was born.

Tim sold the company to Johnson Outdoors Inc in 1997 and they continue to be one of the world’s largest producers of sit-on-top kayaks. Since then Tim has been making custom watercraft and various paddleboards for other manufacturers and individuals.

After teaming up with entrepreneur and friend Paul Hoit, they spitballed many business ideas before deciding on the Origami Paddler. They launched a hugely successful Kickstarter for their idea raising over 3.2 million dollars in 2020 and have since shipped over 3000 units with many, many more on the horizon. 

Are There Other Origami Paddlers?

If you’ve had a browse online, you’ve probably seen other watercraft called Origami Paddler. Back in 2012 Tim and other business partners released a different product under this name and this was just a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard).

If you see these previous product reviews it also mentions a few defects and malfunctions. The new Origami Paddler has resolved all these issues, including a new state-of-the-art hinge locking system, and is both a SUP and foldable kayak in one. 

How Big Is The Origami Paddler? 

The Origami is 8′ 11″ long and 32 inches wide. However, it folds into thirds and when fully folded is 35.5” x 31.5” x 13.5” and 7- 7.5” thick. The Origami weighs roughly 45 pounds.

The Origami Paddler can currently hold up to  230 pounds in easy or calm conditions but currently, it is not recommended to use the Origami with more than 250 pounds max.

Bear in mind that standing up reduces stability when paddling and sitting down with increase it due to the lower center of gravity. Origami Paddler also plans to design and introduce a heavier duty model as soon as possible. 

What Is The Origami Paddler Like On The water?

Whilst it is certainly not the widest board on the market, its ease of use and portability means you’ll be far more likely to get out and use the Origami. It’s also far more stable than a racing paddleboard.

In terms of kayaking, it’s incredibly stable and sturdy due to its low center of gravity making it a pleasure to cruise in on all kinds of water. You can also use the Paddler as a surfboard!

Not a great one, due to the folding parts letting on water and it won’t be a fast ride, but it’s another bit of fun to explore with this bit of kit!

What Makes The Origami Paddler Different? 

Here’s a handy list of the pros of the new Origami Paddler:

  • Two in-built fins for a stable ride
  • Footwells for both kayaking and SUP built-in
  • Fully collapsable and adjustable seat that doesn’t get in your way when not in use
  • No assembly required-just unfold and lock in place to get going
  • Stand-up Paddleboard and kayak in one
  • Never takes on water
  • Ultra-durable material and puncture-proof
  • Paddles fit snuggly inside for transport
  • Won’t pop like an inflatable board!

Who Should Consider Buying An Origami Paddler?

A lot of water sports have incredibly high start-up costs to get into which puts a lot of people off. But the Origami is low cost in comparison as there isn’t a whole lot of extra equipment needed to get started.

You don’t need to buy a roof rack or a van to take your Paddler on the water, you can just pop it in your trunk or walk down the beach and you’re ready to go!

The Origami Paddler is perfect for beginners to have fun out on the water without breaking the bank.

For more advanced explorers, even if you have a kayak or board, the hassle of taking it out with you might be holding you back from more adventures in which case the Paddler is the perfect solution. 

Video of Using the Origami Paddler on the Water

Video courtesy The Travel 100

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a handy bit of kit that’s functional and intentionally designed for lots of wear and tear, look no further than the Origami. It’s one of a kind and looks to be serious fun especially if you like switching up your water sporting adventures on the go.

With loads of additional accessories on the horizon and coming in several fun eye-catching colors, the Origami Paddler is the perfect solution when you want everything minus the effort.

Origami Paddler’s tagline says it all. Easy, Awesome, Freedom!

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