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Folding Kayaks designed for your lifestyle.
FirstLight Kayaks of New Zealand have created a range of contemporary folding kayaks for the 21st century. Through innovative design and the use of modern materials, FirstLight Kayaks has redefined the meaning of “light-weight”. Our boats weigh less than 20 lbs and are ideal for recreational and light touring paddling. FirstLight folding kayaks are now being paddled from the tropics to the Arctic, in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the US from Texas to Alaska.


FirstLight Kayaks
New Zealand, home to some great kayakers and some of the finest sea and river kayaking in the world, is also the home of FirstLight Kayaks, a company founded by designer Murray Broom and dedicated to the design and production of lightweight folding kayaks. Murray’s vision was a folding kayak that would be:

  • light enough to be easily lifted and carried by anyone
  • compact enough to be back-packed considerable distances
  • rugged enough to withstand regular and prolonged use
  • tough enough to survive frequent handling by airport baggage systems.

To realise this vision Murray has used the lightest of modern materials and an innovative design approach to produce a range of kayaks folding to a compact parcel weighing between 17.6 and 22.2 pounds (8 to 10.1 KG). Over a three year period he developed and tested the kayak with input from a variety of paddlers and expert advisers. The result has been a range of folding kayaks which will satisfy the needs of recreational and light touring paddlers.
FirstLight folding kayaks are proudly New Zealand designed and made, incorporating the finest materials and components from New Zealand, Australia, North America and Europe.

A Kayak in a bag....

Kayak in a bag

Click here to see the Anatomy of a Firstlight Kayak


Folding Kayaks
Folding kayaks, with their skin over frame design, have all the performance benefits of traditional kayaks used by hunters for thousands of years. The first folding kayaks were manufactured early last century to meet the need for a boat that could easily be transported and that could easily be stored in a minimum of space. In today’s world, folding kayaks meet a range of needs:

  • Urban dwellers with little space to store a kayak
  • Light plane and boat owners
  • Those wishing to transport their kayaks by plane, train or automobile
  • Anyone seeking a light weight kayak that they can easily carry and handle on their own.


FirstLight Features:

  • Ultra-light weights of between 17.6 and 22.2 pounds (8 to 10.1 KG).
  • A simple and intuitive assembly process taking 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Excellent paddling speed and tracking thanks to the light weight of the boat, a fine bow and a water line length that is virtually the same as the length of the boat. Our boats perform as well as longer folding boats whose waterline length is similar to ours, but whose overall length can be considerably longer.
  • The ability to tune the kayak by altering the position of the small cross ribs and varying the degree of rocker in the boat according to paddler weight and paddling conditions.
  • A minimum of metal components to reduce the possibility of corrosion.
  • Very low packed volumes to enable easy storage and transportation.
  • Once the kayak has been assembled, any of the recommended packs will fit behind the seat for use as a dry bag.
current news
Firstlight Kayaks has now relocated to the top of the South Island in Picton, in the heart of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds, and on the edge of the Queen Charlotte Track. Visit us on the corner of Kent Street and Dublin Street immediately as you drive off the Interisland Ferry
Time Magazine awarded our transparent 420 kayak one of the Coolest Design in 2003. This fully transparent version of our 420C kayak is now only available directly from Firstlightkayaks. Contact us at for more information.
See the International Design Magazine (I.D) review of our 420 folding kayay used touring in Italy's Amalfi Coast
Firstlight Kayaks will have some folding kayaks available for rental from Spring 2011. Contact us at for information on your eligibility, availability, rates and bookings. The Marlborough-Nelson area has spectacular locations for kayaking and tramping, from the Marlborough Sounds, the Nelson Lakes and the beautiful Abel Tasman Track and Golden Bay
picture of FirstLight collapsible kayak in the water
the FirstLight 420 C folding kayak



Firstlight Kayak