Kiri is suitable for seawater, one good reason for Andreas Ahrens to choose the wood. What else makes his kiri kayak so special? Read about it here. Photo: Volker Kölling, coast communication

Boat builder Andreas Ahren’s vision of the perfect kayak is light, stable, seaworthy and suitable for marathon distances. Searching for the perfect building material for his latest project, a strip-built kayak, didn’t take him long. He had already used kiri, also known as paulownia, to build two boats – with good results.

The boat is very light and remarkably good-looking.

“The wood is very good to plane and sand”, says the passionate water sports fan, who spent 178 hours working on the kiri kayak. “The low weight is also a great advantage. I can lift the boat onto the roof of my car by myself”.

Rund 5,70 Meter misst die Kiri I. von Bug bis Heck - bei nur rund 19 Kilo Gewicht.

The kayak’s name: Kiri I

The kayak, which is just under 5.7 metres long, actually weighs less than 19 kg. “It’s exceptionally light, almost as light as a carbon boat”, says Ahrens. “The very light kiri wood has again made it possible to significantly undercut the target weight of 24 kg”. And compared to a synthetic boat, a kayak made of kiri attracts much more attention.

Ahrens adds that the kayak’s handling is very good, also in its straight-line stability. The boat underwent testing on a 17-kilometre trip on the Weser: “At no point did I wish for a steering system”. Andreas Ahrens has even completed his first long-distance race: the Blockland Marathon in Bremen. A camera team soon spotted him and his unusual boat. A report is available under this link.

Detail: Das Kajak trägt den Namen Kiri I.

We were happy to contribute to this beautiful project: we provided Andreas Ahrens with the kiri wood. We are delighted that it will bear the name “Kiri I” next to our logo. Detail: The kayak is named Kiri I.

Technical data
Technical data

Length: 567 cm
Width: 56 cm
Weight: 18.8 kg
Hours of work: 178

Build your own boat out of kiri!
Build your own boat out of kiri!

Andreas Ahrens provides kayak kits and courses. His website:

Where can you get our timber?
Where can you get our timber?

You can find kiri wood from KIRITEC nationwide at our partners. Look here for a supplier in your area:

Read More