New @ The Paddle Sports Show 2021 – SOUL WATERMAN, 100% Custom Designed and Built Kayaks

This serie of articles, called “NEW @ The Paddle Sports Show 2021” showcases the products that are competing for the « PADDLE SPORTS PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR AWARDS »

Entry for Special Jury Prize – 100% Custom Designed and Built Kayaks by Soul Waterman

In 2016 I finally brought to market a new kind of method of producing kayaks that I’d been working on for several years – totally 100% custom designed and built kayaks.

Custom you say? But composite manufacturers have been making custom boats for years. Changing the lamination. Adding or taking out height from a boat before it’s assembled, and of course, custom graphics. So what’s different?

Ah, the short reply is EVERYTHING.

We don’t “customize” a boat for you from an existing mould. We design on CAD, from scratch, a completely NEW kayak, according to the customers wants and needs. We CNC cut a “single use” mould from a sort of “ high density foam”, and then manufacture this completely unique kayak from that mould. There are almost no limits to what we can do. Any shape, any size… if you can dream of a shape, we can make it. Just one, just for you.

So why is this so special?

All production boats are a compromise, no matter how good they are. You have an idea for a boat, and then you try to make that boat fit as wide a range of paddlers sizes, skill sets, river environments as possible, so that you can maximize your sales. Even my most ground breaking, most radical boats, were still a compromise in this regard. But if a boat is being designed JUST FOR YOU – how you paddle, where you paddle, what you like and dislike about paddling, there there is no compromise at all for anyone else to like it. It is built entirely and uniquely for you.

Of course, without a decade of experience making “one off” surf and SUP shapes, it would ahve been very difficult to do this, even if I’d come up with the technology to make the mould. There are no prototypes. You discuss the customers needs, and then make a cad file, print a scale model 3D to check the shape, and email it off to the factory. The customer is entirely relying on my accumulated knowledge as a designer to make a totally unique boat, without prototyping, and it be what they were looking for. 

Another cool part of the process, is that the composite boat has no seam. We use an internal bladder with overlapping layers on the inside of the mould to make a seamless shape, eliminating the natural weak point of composite boats. And finally, we’re able to use a sublimated printing process to also make really unique graphics.


This serie of articles, called “NEW @ The Paddle Sports Show 2021” showcases the products that are competing for the « PADDLE SPORTS PRODUCTS OF THE YEAR AWARDS »
It is produced & organized by KS Publishing (publishers of Kayak Session, Paddle World and Sup World magazine).

The Paddle Sports Show, is the world’s largest paddlesport-specific trade show (‘trade show’ meaning entrance is reserved for professionals) highlighting what the general public will find on shelves and in stores in 2022. It includes everything from kayaks and canoes to stand-up paddle boards and inflatables, with the apparel and accessories needed for it all. See the product and meet the manufacturer at The Paddle Sports Show 2021 in Lyon (France) >


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