O Six Hundred - Andrew Simpson - Kayak Design 2

O Six Hundred Kayak: Ancient Design Tradition Translated Into Modernity

Well over 4000 years ago, the Inuit developed the so-called kayak, a closed and slim boat that is moved by means of a double paddle. Due to its special construction it was very light, agile and ideal for hunting whales, seals and walruses.

From the very beginning, the design of the kayak was based on the streamlined silhouette of a fish, which is perfectly adapted to life in the water and masters all the rules of aerodynamics. However, when a wooden and bone scaffold was still used, covered with the skins of the prey animals, modern times look quite different.

Over the years the timeless elegance of the kayak has been lost

In the meantime, the old wooden slat construction method has been replaced by modern manufacturing processes using CAD software and materials such as carbon fiber or various epoxy resins. The timeless elegance of traditional boats is rarely preserved - and even rarer are designers dedicated to this task. But they still exist, just a few.

With the O Six Hundred, industrial designer Andrew Simpson presents a kayak that translates ancient design traditions into modernity. The frame consists of 30 parts, made of pine plywood.

Modern appearance thanks to pine plywood and carbon fabric

Andrew Simpson preserves the 4000 year old design, but still makes the kayak look modern. With the help of a CNC milling machine, he manufactured the individual parts of the fuselage. Pine plywood has the advantage that, in contrast to other woods, it is light but at the same time very robust. In total, the O Six Hundred weighs just ten kilograms.

Instead of animal skins, it is covered with a translucent carbon fabric so that the outer skin offers ideal gliding properties on the water surface - and gives the traditional kayak a modern look.