recycled or eco-friendly kayaks?

Does anybody know of any kayak or canoe manufacturers who make their boats out of recycled materials? Or who have a focus on environmentally friendly processes used in manufacturing the boats?

I work at a kayak retail shop, and we would like to focus more on carrying products from these types of suppliers.

I only know of one such manufacturer, Walden, but they are not in business anymore.

Any tips would be really appreciated! Thanks!

fiberglass - infusion
Making a hull with resin infusion helps cut down on the nasty styrene gases released from polyester and vinylester.

Might want to look at companies that use that method for producing fiberglass kayaks.

I think
the thermoformed plastics can be recycled . . . but I’m not sure. Call Hurricane Aqua Sports they can tell you . . . and it is easy to talk to one of the corporate officers there. Small company that has great customer service. They have a great line of product which would fit into the inventory of any shop easily.


– Last Updated: Mar-19-07 5:51 PM EST –

in the environmentally friendly vein:

Hurricane AquaSports in partnership w. Nativeenergy re wind energy and carbon credits.

from Clearwater Designs - environmentally friendly rotational moulding:

Both companies (one American, one Canadian) are smaller than the corporate entities. Real people w. an ownership stake actually answer phones and e-mails.

Daresay if you were to inquire further they
would be happy to answer your questions.

Walden kayaks is coming back…

Last October I learned a boat manufacturer in Adrian MI is getting set up to make their models. There is little to go on so far so I can’t tell you if recycled materials will still be used.

The high density polyethylene on

– Last Updated: Mar-19-07 7:09 PM EST –

any plastic yak can be recycled or sold to others who can recycle it. In terms of using reycled plastic to mold a boat, post-consumer plastic is often more expensive than prime material.

Phone number
They have been advertising in magazines as back in business. I can’t find a web presence, but here’s their new address and phone:

343 Lawrence Ave

Adrian, MI

(517) 264-6946

I have a Walden Vista–12.5 feet long, 24 inch beam. It is a great general purpose boat for rivers and streams, flat water and protected water. It is light, sturdy, tracks well for a boat its length.

claims their kayaks are virtually 100% recyclable.

There is a shop close to here
that’s selling Waldens on Ebay. I called over to the shop and inquired. He didn’t have any in stock, and kinda got the impression he wasn’t going too. I’ll wait awhile and see if he starts stocking them

Its on the pNet front page.

Perception would take their boats
to recycle. Since they have been bought ,I don’t know if they still do.

I was told
on this site that there is only one manufacture of thermoform plastic sheeting and each boat company attaches its own marketing name to it. Carbonlite, Trylone[sp], and Airlite are all the same stuff coming from the same supplier.

I do not know if that is true but that is what was said here by someone in the plastic buz.

thanks everyone
Thanks everyone for your responses, they were helpful!


Now here is an idea whose time has come!

wood vs plastic question

– Last Updated: Mar-27-07 2:15 PM EST –

sometimes i think i should not use exotic wood (okoume) because of its rainforest origins and all the transportation costs involved in shipping it. then i think that maybe wood at least is renewable so it may not be as bad as using plastic/petroleum THEN i go to the qajak site and they are debating poly vs cotton skins. i'm confused. this enviro thing is complicated. whats a boat lover to do?

How many of you folk
would buy a kayak made from 100% recycled polyethylene with the following in mind.

It will be harder for the manufacturer to spec specific properties, as the powder will come from all sorts of polyethylene chops, etc.

As I understand it you’d only get one color, and it’s sort of a darkish green.

Secondary to that there may be some molding imperfections, and the manufacturer may add weight to compensate for any variation in the powder’s properties.

Assuming the shape of the kayak was good with only cosmetic imperfections, would you buy one for the same cost as a regular boat? I don’t want to assume that the eco-boats would be much less to produce, and who knows, may be more??? I think I would buy one, and this is a subject of interest to me as I look at oil dependancy etc.

wood vs. plastic
it’s kind of a catch 22. Wood is natural and can be regrown. But some countries do it in an unresponsible manner. Companies like World Panel claim to only use wood from responsible countires.

Polyester, vinylester, epoxy, are all petroleum based along with plastics. So there’s oil that has to be refined to make them.

I guess one could argue that a wooden hull can be repaired more easily so you don’t have to buy a new yak if you crack it it.

I think you might be better off looking at how companies handles method of production and how they handle waste/scrap.

Any grad students looking to a paper? Calculating the net environmental cost of various boat materials.

For serious whitewater, one’s life can
depend on the quality of the plastic or composite. I would not risk using a hull made of “recycled” materials unless it could be shown that it met the same standards as one made from “virgin” plastic. I tend to keep a boat a long time, and if it finally cracks up, I know that I can recycle the plastic in my city.

However, for less stressful use, recycled hulls are a positive good.

I had Waldens…
and they were made from recycled plastic. They are out of business now,but someone else has the molds. They were very stiff kayaks,but very light. Had plumb bows,and were fast for their length. I had 2 Vistas,and a Spirit tandem. Health problems forced the wife and I out of kayaks,and into canoes,so we sold them. Good boats.

Happy Paddling billinpa