ONAK: origami canoe

06.07.2016 nauCAT
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ONAK: origami canoe

Canoeing and city life, two concepts not commonly linked to each other. Dragging the canoe on your car, transporting it hundreds of miles, and taking it all the way back home? Thanks to ONAK, this is a story of the past. Get home from work, take off your suit and feel like going for a paddle? With the foldable canoe, people can launch their ONAK onto the water in no time. Thanks to critical innovations in material and design, it is suited for urban adventures as well as exploring the wild outdoors. The ONAK kickstarter campaign starts today 

An out‐of‐the‐box solution for canoeing in inner cities
Combining city and adventure, that’s the whole idea behind ONAK. Otto Van de Steene and Thomas Weyn, two passionate canoers, don’t let their city life disturb their quest for adventure. Every big city has a waterway that’s perfect for canoeing. A conventional canoe with its usual size, however, is not very useful in a city area. The people behind ONAK invented a solution for this problem: a robust and foldable canoe. The lightweight canoe (37 lbs) can carry more than 440 lbs, is no bigger than 47 x 15 x 10 inch when folded and can be assembled in only 10 minutes. That’s good news for adventurers who want to move fast: the first 50 canoes will be available for €895. Only in July, the Kickstarter price is €995 instead of €1195.

The origin story
“It all started back in 2013”, says Otto Van De Steen, ONAK founder and inventor. “I had just come back from a photographing trip in Norway and lost my cameras in an accident. To clear my head, I started making little paper canoes as I missed my canoe in Norway. That’s when it struck me: what if I could make real‐sized origami foldable canoes? I got obsessed over the idea. Hundreds of paper canoes and dozens of prototypes later, I’m proud we persisted with our idea.” According to co‐founder Thomas Weyn, canoeing is a relaxing way of spending time together. “It makes you completely ‘zen’”, he adds. “We wanted people to be able to experience canoeing wherever they are, even in the city. When folded, the canoe is no bigger than a suitcase, so you can just take it with you regardless of your transportation method.” ONAK has definitely lowered the threshold for micro‐adventures. Even the telescopic paddle can very easily be adjusted in size.

Technical innovations
Together, they started looking for the right materials. “It took us a long time”, Otto says, “but with the EconCore technology and the honeycomb curve composite, we put the final piece into the puzzle.” ONAK managed to remove virtually the whole framework to keep the weight down as much as possible. The canoe is firm, yet easy to assemble and take it through the city. Thanks to the thermo‐formable honeycomb curve composite, the material is 10 times stronger than a normal polypropylene. The ONAK team even paddled it through an inch of ice.

What the future holds
The next step is the Kickstarter campaign, which starts today. People can sign up on http://ONAKcanoes.com/. Simultaneously, ONAK is launching a community where people can share personal experiences and favorite canoeing hotspots. Moreover, at ONAK every client is an ambassador. For every canoe bought as a result of a referral by an existing ONAK canoe owner, that owner gets a reward of USD 50, which can be cashed in immediately, or saved for a later purchase at ONAK.

Photo: ONAK

Technical details
Producer: ONAK (BE)
LOA: 0'00 ft
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