Folding Kayaks UK
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Go canoeing
in a
Wayland folding kayak !

70% of the earth's surface is covered by water. You just need to select a folding kayak and go paddling!


12/12/19 - Website maintenance
Please bear with us whilst the website is ungoing maintenace, updates, clean up etc. Do email us with any enquiries you may have using the email address as shown in the banner above

Can I paddle anywhere?
In the UK, you need a license to paddle in most of the waterways, rivers, lakes, etc.
BCU membership (Canoe England, Canoe Wales, Scotland Canoe Association and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland) includes a licence to paddle on 5000km of Britain's waterways and canals.

Not all inland water is open to canoeists, some are privately owned or is bounded by land which is private, so do check beforehand. See Useful Web sites page.

In other countries, do check with your national kayak organisations and waterway / off-shore agencies etc.

Do click the Follow button on our Facebook page to receive updates.



What are folding kayaks?
Advantages of folding kayaks / canoes
Overview of the Wayland kayak range
Video of assembly process

What are folding kayaks?
What is the difference between folding and inflatable / hardshell plastic glass fibre kayaks and canoes?

Collapsible kayaks - otherwise more commonly known as folding kayaks / boats, Folders, Foldables, 'Boat in a Bag' or skin-on-frame kayaks. These are the types of kayaks that are still used extensively by waterborne Special Forces military units worldwide since WWII. The collapsible kayaks have a frame and a skin that can be assembled direct out of the supplied carry bag/s or custom made rucksacks, weighing a total of 19kg for a single kayak up to 55kgs for the large 4-5 seater kayak. Our kayaks are made with sturdy frames of wood (marine grade plywood, beech, ash) and all now use the new corrosion resistant anonised Dural fittings. An recent introduction to our range is the Proximo I single seater kayak which has a dural alloy frame.

Amazon II 520 double seater

Mk II Zoska / Formoza double seater

Proximo I single seater
(tilted in photo, no flat keelboard)

The boat skin comprises of two different materials - the hull is of the widely used tough CSM / Hypalon, and the deck is of the lighter and more flexible Diklon 32 (Draylon) or Sattler canvas.

There is another type of skin that is available as a choice - a hull made of a lighter TPU material (a saving of 3-4kgs in total weight compared to a Hypalon hulled single kayak). A new addition in 2014 is the introduction of PVC for the hull - as used on the Smartline range of kayaks.

Folding kayaks do not take up much space at home, or inside the car or motohome - packed in a bag or two, they can fit in much less space than otherwise would normally be taken up by a rigid kayak or canoe. The boats are very stable due to the broad beam design and also have excellent buoyancy - due to the integrated 'air tubes' built in along the length of the boat inside of the skin called sponsons. These sponsons also are designed to stiffen the boat by tightening the skin over the frame.

No tools are required to assemble the kayaks - the wooden framed kayaks uses 'push-in' clips to lock the frame pieces together. The bow and stern frame halves are assembled first, then the two frame halves is slid into the respective ends of the skin. The two halves are joined / expanded in the middle of the boat, the balance of cross-ribs and the washboard / coaming pieces is put into place, and then the air sponsons is inflated by mouth. Due to the way the folding kayak is designed and assembled, it is impossible for a folding kayak to come apart whilst in the water.

The folders are ideal for touring inland rivers, waterways and the coastal seas, plus with the large roomy internal storage spaces, they are also well suited for long distance expeditions.

In the UK, with the all-round coastline and numerous waterways, canals & rivers, you can easily, for example, travel to the start of your water trip by train, take a paddle, and then return by train / car.

All the Waylands, with the exception of the dural alloy framed models, have fittings for sail rigs. With the broad beam design, the stable kayaks are also suitable for fishing. Several civilian Waylands have already 'passed the test' over the years with some notable long distance expeditions including trips down the Amazon River as well as experiencing extreme weather conditions in Siberia and around Spitzbergen.

The various model sizes of the commando single seater Mk I Achilli and the double seater Mk II Zoska / Formoza series use stronger construction and fittings, with a higher quality finish - these robust boats have been supplied to NATO forces, as well as being supplied to the general public including film crews / contractors working for the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, etc.


Advantages of folding kayaks

Air sponsons
Our kayaks have a standard pair of built-in internal air sponsons that run the entire length of the boat on both sides (top edge of the hull - gunwales). This provides extra buoyancy and stability. The sponsons also serve to tighten the skin over the frame. For extreme loading or extra stability and shallower draft, there is a Quattro version available for the larger single seater and all double seaters and up - an extra pair of independent sponsons. Inflating 2 topmost sponsons produces an V shaped hull, inflate all 4, produces a U shaped hull.

Internal storage
Folding kayaks are renowned for the very large internal storage space that they naturally have. As the kayak already has integrated sponsons, there is no need for space wasting buoyancy bags that hard shell fiberglass/plastic kayaks/canoes usually need. For various reasons, it is never a good idea to pack kit on top of the decks - wind can affect your route,  re-entry can be affected in capsizes, higher centre of gravity, etc. The bigger internal storage space of folding kayaks in the bow / stern underdecks and along the sides inside the cockpit helps keeps kit packed neatly and safely. Inflatable canoes / kayaks suffer from payload capacity because of the floatation / structural air tubes taking up space.

Kayak storage
The kayaks pack into bags that can fit in the back of the car, van, motor home, trailer, etc, and at home in a cupboard.

No need for vehicle roof racks
Saves on fuel. Eliminates struggling to put kayaks on the vehicle roof .

All wooden framed kayaks have fittings ready to take a sail rig mast. This greatly enhances your kayaking experience.

Stable platform
Touring folding kayaks typically have a broad beam and the Quattro versions provides even more stability with a U shaped hull. For extra stability during fishing, filming / photography / diving / extreme sailing to name a few, an Outrigger (pair of floats / pontoons)
can be attached.

Folding kayaks can be easily transported anywhere. The boats can be taken on trains, coaches, light planes / helicopters or checked as luggage on aircraft. If the bags are too heavy for you to carry, there are compact carts available that have been specially designed for folding kayaks.

The expedition quality touring kayaks track extremely well with little corrective paddling being required. Protective keelstrips also aids tracking. You still have use of the rudder for rougher open water conditions.

The fabric of the skin embraces the water and the flex in the frame adds to stability. Sponsons provide excellent secondary stability. Folding kayaks will only roll if that is the paddler’s intention.

The flexibility of the folding kayaks is an advantage in rough open water. The skin is a very good shock absorber, the kayak absorbs wave energy and flexes over the swells.

Be closer to nature / one with nature!
The experience of paddling is enhanced by being able to feel the movement of the water through the kayak’s skin, which cannot be done in a hard shell.

All folding kayaks are quieter in the water than a hard-shell, as the fabric absorbs noise. Advantageous for bird watching or wildlife photography - one of many reasons why these kinds of kayaks are still used by Special Forces since World War II.

Overview of the Wayland kayak range

The standard folding kayaks come in two main 'flavors' - the Basic and Expedition. The 'Basic' is just a plain kayak with no extra furnishings on the deck and plain hull. The 'Expedition' comes standard with side drinking PET bottle holders, front side pouches to hold various small accessories, fore deck pockets to hold paddles, spade & axe (complete with fittings to hold those items securely), 4 keel strips, and port / starboard bow to stern deck-lines with D-rings. The military grade (MG) commando kayaks come standard with it's own specific range of features.
Optional extra fittings such as front and rear hatches, pouches/pockets to hold other types of items such as machetes, torches, etc, also available to order - see 'Features' page.
A third flavor is available which is your own customisation of a Basic kayak with the fittings that you require.

All the kayaks models with the exception of the new single seater Proximo I and upcoming double seater Vector II (due late 2014) have a wood frame and Hypalon hulls (or TPU on request). Proximo I and Vector II kayaks have an Alu frame and either a lighter TPU hull or HYPALON hull. The new 2014 Smartline range, based on the Basic models, has PVC for the hull.
There is a choice of 16 deck colours (DIKLON 32 marine canvas) and 5 military colours to choose from - see 'Colours' page. Hypalon & TPU hulls is only available in black. More details about materials used in the kayaks can be found in 'Construction'.

Harpoon I single seater kayak - available in three different lengths - the normal Harpoon I 450, mid-sized Harpoon I 490 Smartline, and the longer Harpoon I XL500. The XL500 version is ideal for the sea / long distance touring.
Proximo I single seater sea kayak. Presently the only aluminum framed kayak in production by Wayland.
Amazon II double seater kayaks are the most popular of the Wayland range, with the Amazon II 520 Convertible version being the best seller. The Amazon II 520 Convertible is very manageable when used as a single kayak - this version has the usual seating arrangement for two paddlers as well as an extra seat position ideally positioned for the solo paddler. The Amazon II 545 is more suitable for taller paddlers. The longer Amazon II XXL600 offers more storage and can be custom-made to be a triple-seater.
Trojak III - based on the Amazon II 520 frame, and designed with a small family in mind - the kayak cockpit has been modified to enable extra space for a small child. There are two versions - the +D has the extra small seat located at the back in a separate mini cockpit, and the +CH version has an extended cockpit (rearwards) with the extra small seat being positioned at the front. The +CH version has now been discontinued.
Assembling a folding kayak
Unpack the bag .....

... lay out the pieces ....

... assemble the two frame halves by clicking the cross-ribs to the keel and side longitudinal pieces ....

... insert the front half of the frame into the skin ...

... then insert the rear half of frame into the skin, clip lock the rest of the cross ribs in and then fit the coaming.

Done !

There is a video of an world record attempt to assemble a single seater the quickest. This will show you how the assembly works. Double seaters also follow the same overall sequence with some minor variations. See video at bottom of the Introduction page

Ursus IV multi-seater kayaks - originally designed for special forces, this civilian version, due to demand for tourism use, has become very popular. This kayak is one of the few known extended type of kayak in the world of this size, can be easily used as a double, 3 or 4 seater kayak. The long length, broad beam and huge sponsons offers flexibility and stability in that the boat can be used in various configurations - as a 2 man heavy expeditionary kayak with extra storage capacity (reduce the need to store items on decks), as a family kayak with 2 adults and between 1-3 children, or as a basic 3 large adults touring kayak. A larger sail rig is available for this kayak.
Mk I Achilli I MG single seaters & Mk II Zoska / Formosa double seaters are military grade commando kayaks, as used by security units / special forces. The kayaks have a stronger and simpler construction and includes higher quality fittings and special coatings/finishes on the frame work. These commando kayaks have distinctive deck features, quite different to the civilian 'Expedition' version kayaks.

All the kayaks with the exception of the aluminum framed kayaks include mast brackets to hold Wayland sail rigs. See 'Sail Rigs' page.

The assembly process

Below is a video of a Klepper single seater Aerius I, a model very similar to the Wayland Harpoon I, showing how a typical wooden framed folding kayak is assembled. There are some slight differences in the parts used to connect the pieces, but the assembly sequence is broadly similar for most makes of wooden framed kayaks regardless of age. This film clip also shows that with good pre-assembly preparation and practice, that you can easily reduce the usual listed assembly time of 15-20 minutes. Double seater and larger kayaks also have a similar assembly procedure and sequence, but with extra cross-ribs to assemble, and the breakwater / coaming may be fitted on differently. In the case of 2 paddlers with multi-seater kayaks, an example of good and quick teamwork would be that the front paddler does the front half and port side, whilst the rear paddler does the rear half and starboard side.

World Record attempt to assemble a single seater Klepper in under 4 minutes - Munich, Germany 2005

Please note that Wayland PL (factory) is constantly innovating and improving all products. EG product descriptions on this site is subject to change without prior notice. In the event of a major un-announced description change or change / omission of inclusive accessories by the factory, you will not receive products in a lesser total value to what was originally ordered

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Page last updated 18-Dec-2019