Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.
It’s sometimes difficult to improve on the fundamentals. The traditional Intuit design of the kayak hasn’t truly been tweaked since the Bronze Age, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t those looking to modernize the invention with present-day materials and an eye for ingenuity. Industrial designer Andrew Simpson and marketer Ben Cooper are two such examples, with O Six Hundred Kayak ($1,425) representing the culmination of the duo’s feats. It’s also one that fits together like a birch table from your local IKEA.
Intended for the recreational kayaker who wants an alternative to the robust offerings littering the market, the O Six Hundred is made with convenience in mind. The kayak’s primary frame is composed of 42 individual, marine-plywood ribs and a network of cedar spines that stretch out to imbue the vessel with added strength and durability. The modern materials even snap together without tools, meaning you can quickly assemble the kayak and string together the hoop pine with little more than your bare hands and a little patience. Once built, the O Six Hundred relies on Kevlar — a translucent carbon fabric — to effortlessly glide across the water. After all, whalebone and seal skin are in short supply.
The intuitive design allows the kayak to shed weight without sacrificing practicality. It weighs just over 22 pounds when assembled, and though it may not be the most fit for traversing whitewater rapids, is more than capable of tackling a quiet harbor or neighboring lake. Just don’t forget to pick up a paddle and life vest while you’re at it.
Check out the O Six Hundred kayak online for more details, or to make a purchase.