Traditionally, stand-up paddle boarders have had to choose between stable, versatile solid boards and easy-to-transport inflatables. The Origami Paddler is a new option: a foldable paddle board that transports easily while giving you a solid platform to ride on.
Paddle boarding obviously isn't something that you do in your backyard. You typically have to take a ride or all-out road trip to get to your local river, lake or beach. Unfortunately, at around 10 or 11 feet (3 to 3.35 m) long, paddle boards aren't exactly easy to transport. And when you're dropping four bills on a board, the last thing you want to do is spend hundreds more on racks, hitches and trailers.
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The inflatable paddle board has long been the option for those looking for a cheap in to the sport without the need for extra hauling hardware. Inflatables have their own problems, though, and can be difficult to blow up to full pressure, are less stable than hard boards and less versatile in terms of water conditions. Then there's always the chance of a hole or tear looming over your head - or under your feet.
Depending upon what you plan to do on your board, the Origami Paddler may just be a better solution. The board does something that paddle boards probably should have been doing for a while: it folds. The board has two separate hinged folds, allowing it to pack into a carry case. Not only does this make it easier to store in a regular vehicle, it makes it easier to carry to the water once you arrive.
The Origami works by way of locking hinges and doesn't require any extra hardware. Once you get to the water's edge, you simply fold out the front and rear sections, clip the binding straps, and get out there. Because it's built just like a hard board, it offers more stability and better glide than an inflatable.
According to a comment on Origami Paddler's blog, the board is 11.5 feet (3.5 m) when fully extended and packs down to 10 x 32 x 46 inches (25.4 x 81.3 x 117 cm) when folded. It weighs just under 50 lbs (22.5 kg). However, those are pre-production numbers and subject to change.
The Origami Paddler was designed by Tim Niemier, who invented the sit-on-top kayak and founded Ocean Kayaks in the 1970s. In his own mini version of Kickstarter, Niemier is working to raise funding for production by offering the board at discounted presale pricing. The retail price is estimated at US$1,200, but first buyers can order an Origami Paddler for $1,000. For each $1,000 board purchased, buyers can also purchase up to two additional boards at $600 - so three boards would cost $2,200 rather than $3,600 retail.
Niemier is using the money from the first presales to purchase the molds needed for production and hopes to begin deliveries by June. Shipping in the continental United States is included in the purchase price.
Here's Niemier demonstrating his Origami Paddler in a short video.
Source: Origami PaddlerView gallery - 8 images