Innovative and rapid prototyping behind next generation of kayaks from Melker of Sweden

In-house production, rapid prototyping for a more efficient product development, and a new plant-based material. This is the foundation of Melker of Sweden’s new generation of light-weight, durable, and more environmentally friendly kayaks. The first model to be introduced is the new Värmdö.

Värmdö is a smaller kayak than Melker of Sweden’s previous models but packed with loads of innovations. Utilizing a new material based on flax fiber and a solid cork core, Melker takes their plant-based, sustainable, and high-performance kayaks several steps forward. Adding a rapid and innovative prototyping using large-scale additive manufacturing (3D printing) and in-house production, the innovative company underlines that the future is now.

“This is significant for us. We can listen to the market’s needs and quickly 3D print a full-sized prototype in one piece, which we can then intense field test in natural conditions and under different circumstances. We repeat the process until we are completely satisfied. In the final step, we manufacture molds for efficient and sustainable serial production in our new transparent factory on Rindö”, says Pelle Stafshede, CEO & Creative Director, Melker of Sweden.

The material used for 3D printing Melker’s prototypes is recycled kayaks — shredded and re-compounded with up-cycled old fishing nets collected on Sweden’s west coast, along with wood fibers from Finnish pine forests. This means that not only the finished product is plant-based, but the prototypes are also created from recycled, up-cycled, and plant-based materials.

Following the successes in North America — where the expansion continues with three distribution hubs and more sales representatives to cover the entire continent — it was evident that a further developed and tailored kayak model was needed to complement Melker of Sweden’s portfolio of kayaks.

“By carefully listening to the demands coming from new markets, customers, retailers, and partners, we have managed to quickly develop a completely new model. Värmdö is a kayak that appeals to a broader audience with a focus on comfort and stability, while experienced paddlers will continue to appreciate our innovative design and high performance for which we have become world-renowned”, says Pelle Stafshede.

Melker Värmdö will be introduced internationally during Europe’s largest trade fair, the Paddle Sports Show, in Strasbourg, France, on September 27th.

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