DESIGN KAYAK - kayak unplugged

The good entry that never ends 

Tailoring a safe and positive experience for new paddlers

At DesignKayaks one of our goals is to make sea kayaking much more accessible to new paddlers. Both in terms of getting a high quality sea kayak at a reasonable price, but specifically to get a sea kayak that gives you a good and safe first experience on water – with the possibility to grow and hone your skills.

The challenge of finding the perfect sea kayak for new paddlers

While there are a lot of great sea kayaks out there, we found it hard to find the perfect sea kayak that could double as both a great kayak for our beginner classes but also a perfect purchase for new paddlers.

With our combined experience of teaching beginners classes spanning more than 20 years, we decided to address that issue. And that was actually the beginning of DesignKayaks and the concept idea of our first sea kayak called Unplugged: To take all the feedback and experience we got over the last 20 years and transform it into a sea kayak that takes beginners and the challenges they meet seriously! 

A great start that does not get boring over time

We wanted to create a sea kayak designed specifically for the needs of new paddlers enabling them to have an easy entry into the world of kayaking and empowering them to quickly improve their skills and truly experience the joy of paddling. That meant that we wanted to move away from the perception of a beginner kayak as just being big, bulky and cheap. 

Søren Telling is the mastermind behind the design of our Unplugged sea kayak. And the criteria that needed to be addressed were quite a few:

  • Easy entry and easy exit to eliminate the fear of being stuck when capsizing
  • A great initial stability that gave reassurance that balance is not an issue
  • Easy maneuverability to give new paddlers a sense of quickly improving their technique
  • Edging capabilities that feels more safe than most other sea kayaks
  • A hull shape to meet the perfect balance between stability and speed
  • Create a sea kayak that does not get boring when you surpass entry level

Design your own dream kayak

In addition to the functional design our Concept Captain Hanne Groth applied her many years of working experience with consumer insights and made sure that we had modern colors and a unique possibility to choose different colored rubber hatches. DesignKayaks is the first and only brand to bring this option on the marked. And to top that we gave users the opportunity to configure our six base hull colors with 5 different hatch, bungee and line colors and threw in add-ons such as rescue system, extra day hatch, lock brace and rudder. And suddenly it’s okay to look like a million dollars on water – and not having to pay that much for it. 

Storytelling and storydoing

We of course needed to give new paddlers extensive and easy accessible advice and knowledge about the world of sea kayaking. And that meant building a whole universe on our webpage with detailed information about sea kayaking in general – but also inspiring stories with well described tours combined with info on how to row safely in beginner friendly waters.

In combination with all the stories and knowledge from the world of kayaking we continue to teach beginners classes – of course using our Unplugged. The synergy between teaching in the very kayak you sell is nothing less than powerful. All our instructors use Unplugged when they teach and that gives us the opportunity to show what the kayak is actually capable of. Because not only is the Unplugged great for beginners but it has proven to be quite amazing for teaching as well. We do not only tell the story, we actually walk the talk and do the story to prove ourselves and our product on water.

A great experience at an accessible price

With Unplugged and the universe around it we have created a full experience package where beginners can get their intro class and all the information they need in one spot. And they can buy a great kayak perfectly suited to their needs, in the colors they like and at a very low price. And we know that one of the major challenges of selling sea kayaks to new paddlers is that they are often not yet sure if paddling is actually for them – and that makes them very price sensitive for sure.

Buy in from schools, clubs and rental businesses

We quickly saw how Unplugged gives new paddlers instant success in our own classes and got very positive feedback from our customers. In addition to that schools, clubs and rentals are buying into the Unplugged concept as well – and even though we have mainly concentrated on our home market in Denmark until now, Unplugged has already found its way to destinations outside of Denmark including Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Iceland and Faroe Islands.

We continue to pursue our quest to make it easy to get into the world of sea kayaking

With all the great and positive feedback on the kayak from our customers we know that we filled a need in the market – and we will pursue our quest to make it easier and more accessible to get into the world of sea kayaking. Both in terms of a safe first experience, an accessible price tag and a kayak in which new paddlers can hone their skill set for years to come.

Words from our paddlers

“Our new paddlers almost always fight over the Unplugged kayaks we have in our fleet. They just give them a better experience on water and an impressive learning curve”

Ham fra Vallensbæk roklub

“We aim to replace a huge number of our kayaks with Unplugged. They are amazingly suited for teaching and our new paddlers always feels safe in them”

Ham fra Københavns roklub

The numbers and characteristics that make up a great kayak for new paddlers

Unplugged is a sea kayak with a medium rocker and a shallow V hull shape that provides the perfect balance between speed and stability. It has a prominent but rounded chine that makes edging a dream and a large easy access and exit keyhole cockpit.


Length: 505 cm
Width: 54 cm
Weight: 24 kg
Front deck height 30 cm
Rear deck height 25 cm
Material: 3-layer PE
Designer: Søren Groth Telling


Length: 515 cm
Width: 56 cm
Weight: 26 kg
Front deck height 34 cm
Rear deck height 27 cm
Material: 3-layer PE
Designer: Søren Groth Telling

  • A perfect balance of speed and stability: With medium length and width Unplugged gives you just the right balance between speed and stability.
  • Low wind sensitivity and easy paddling: With its low front and rear deck Unplugged tracks amazingly well even in windy conditions. The low profile also gives you a kayak where you can paddle unobstructed and really hone your skill set.
  • Lightweight yet strong: Unplugged is a 3-layer PE kayak. The 3 layer structure provides a sturdy, strong and rigid kayak and reduces weight.
  • Easy access and firm control: The medium sized keyhole cockpit and relatively wide front enables optimal paddling technique and makes it easy to get in and out. The thigh braces are padded and carefully placed giving you full control when maneuvering your Unplugged.
  • Easy maneuverability: Unplugged is easy to maneuver thanks to the hull shape and rocker. Unplugged has a so-called shallow-V hull and medium rocker giving it a good balance between tracking and maneuverability.
  • Unique hatch colors: With the custom designed hatches in 5 different colors there is no doubt that is a DesignKayaks. Should you doubt we have put our logo at all hatches.  
  • Make it your own: Unplugged allows you to choose extras based on your needs. Add a lock to secure your kayak or a rescue system helping you get back in your kayak in case you capsize. It is also possible to add an extra storage compartment in front of the cockpit with space for snacks and other stuff you need easy access to. Unplugged comes with a skeg as standard, but if you prefer a rudder Unplugged is prepared for this.

Comes in two sizes: No matter how great the kayak is it needs to fit the paddler why we have chosen to make it in two sizes.

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