World's first recyclable woollen kayak made and launched in New Zealand

The Kakapo kayak that uses NZ wool
The kayak uses wool grown here to replace plastic in the hull. Photo credit: Supplied / Torpedo7

Kiwi paddlers who care about the environment have a new opportunity to embrace both guardianship of Aotearoa and recycling thanks to a new New Zealand-made kayak.

The world-first, named after the Kakapo, is a collaboration between wool engineering company Shear Edge and outdoor adventure retailer Torpedo7.

It uses New Zealand grown wool to replace 2kg of plastic in the hull, the equivalent of 400 plastic bags.

Shear Edge Roto, the fibre used, is a highly engineered natural fibre composite comprising 35 percent strong wool fibres embedded in high-density polyethylene, the company said.

Simon West, Torpedo7 CEO, said the company were "excited" to provide kayakers with an option that is kinder to the environment.

"Whether it's a paddle in the Waitematā Harbour, down the Whanganui River, or in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand offers some of the best kayaking spots in the world all year round.

"Our team alongside Shear Edge have been working hard to innovate a kayak that has a reduced environmental impact and doesn't sacrifice on performance.

"To develop the world's first woollen composite kayak that is 100 percent Kiwi made is a huge feat for our team," he concluded.

The company said the green, black and beige colours are to signify both Kiwi innovation and the importance of Kaitiaki, the collective guardianship over Aotearoa's environment.

Thomas Nye, head of marketing and operations at Shear Edge, said the partnership was a "no-brainer".

"Everything we do is centred around our goal to accelerate the world's transition to more natural, renewable materials.

"We know collaboration is the key to pushing meaningful change. We believe that New Zealand is the most epic outdoor playground in the world.

"We're here to protect it, to innovate, and create products with purpose… and wow consumers with some pretty radical kiwi ingenuity."

After the Kakapo kayak's life is over, it can also be recycled. If it's returned to the store then it will be converted into new wool composite products.