Home ReviewsTravel Products Origami Paddler Review: Was This Kayak/Paddle Board Worth the Wait?

Origami Paddler Review: Was This Kayak/Paddle Board Worth the Wait?

by Jan Schroder

When we saw the Kickstarter campaign for a combo kayak and paddle board, we ordered two. One year and 45 updates later, our first one arrived. Here is our Origami Paddler review from our first venture out as well as suggested accessories for your Origami Paddler.

First Impressions of Our Origami Paddler

Jan Schroder with box containing Origami Paddler, ready for the Origami Paddler Reivew
I don’t know what the weight is, but the box was bigger and heavier than I thought It would be.

It arrives in a big, heavy box.

Of course my husband, Chris, was out of town so I nudged it over the threshold by myself and waited until he got back in town to open it up. And I wanted to be able to film our Origami Paddler YouTube review starting from the beginning.

I love the bright pink color and it fit easily in the back of our Mazda. We have two kayaks that we have to strap onto the top of our cart to take anywhere – not an easy process and one of the reasons we wanted to purchase these.

Living in Atlanta, we don’t have easy access to a river or lake but the timing of its arrival was perfect as we were heading up to Lake James in North Carolina.

Transporting the Origami Paddler

Jan Schroder with Origami paddler in back of car.
Our Origami Paddler in the back of our car.

It is definitely bigger and heavier than I thought it would be. My husband, who is 6’1″ could easily carry it to the water. I think I would need a cart (see below) if I took it by myself.

Assembling the Origami Paddler

Jan Schroder with paddle on Lake James in North Carolina.
The paddle was easy to assemble. Make sure the paddles are facing the same way.

Assembly was easy and we had no issues with the hinges. However, when our second Origami Paddler arrived, one set of hinges was broken and we had to order another. There’s more on that experience below.

I am spatially challenged and not good at assembly, so I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to assemble our paddler while Chris was filming our review. I put the seat on backwards and had to redo it – but no big deal.

Our Origami Paddler Review of Kayaking and Paddling

Jan Schroder in kayak on Lake James
I really enjoying kayaking on the Origami Paddler although I noticed I get wetter in it than our traditional kayaks that have sides.

The seat was comfortable for kayaking, although you will get wetter with this sit-on-top type of kayak as opposed to others that are sit-inside. If you’re not crazy about the seat, it’s easy to order a different one. See our list of suggested accessories below.

As soon as I had the Origami Paddler assembled I sat down and began kayaking. It’s easy to steer and comfortable, overall a good paddling experience.

I paddled back to the dock and stood up to take it out paddle boarding. I was surprised how wobbly I felt, and I’m not sure if that’s because this paddle board is less stable than what I’ve been on the past or I need to work on some muscles.

I didn’t make it very far on the paddle board.

I believe it’s a combination of both. The first time I paddle boarded was on a large board and it felt much more stable than I was expecting. In the few times I’ve been since I felt the same.

As a paddle board, the Origami Paddler is not as thick, which I believe is part of the issue. I also think my ankles could use some strengthening, so I bought a balance board (see below) and think I’m improving so it should get easier.

Getting Customer Service with the Origami Paddler

We had read complaints of people not hearing back from customer service when they had an issue and we had the same experience. I wrote to them about the hinges and got a form response telling me they would be back in touch in 7-10 days. They were not.

In fact it took weeks before we heard and then we had several email exchanges trying to communicate which hinges needed replacing. But we did finally receive our new set.

Summary of our Origami Paddler Review

While I found paddle boarding harder than being on a traditional paddle board, I feel confident I can get better at it with improved balance. Kayaking was a breeze and really fun.

The main challenge is finding the best way to transport your Origami Paddler. Several people have purchased carts and hand trucks.

If you want to kayak and paddle board, we think you’ll enjoy the Origami Paddler for its versatility and portability.

See our full video review here.

Suggested Accessories for the Origami Paddler

Here are some of the accessories we like for the Origami Paddler.

Paddle Board Paddle
• We preferred a paddle board paddle separate from the one for the kayak as it is more comfortable to hold.
Paddle board paddle: https://amzn.to/3tESijz

• An anchor is great if you want to stop and relax without worrying about drifting away.
Anchor: https://amzn.to/39z5I9Z

Seat back
• This seat back one is more comfortable than the one that came with it.
Seat back: https://amzn.to/3MZVmO6

Sports strap for sunglasses
• You won’t drop your sunglasses in the water with one of these.
Sports strap for sunglasses: https://amzn.to/3bbpF7m

Kayak and paddle board leash
• No need to go chasing your paddle board or kayak if you fall off.
Kayak and paddle board leash: https://amzn.to/3xuj8fr

Waterproof case for your phone
• Take your phone along safely with a waterproof case.
Waterproof floating case: https://thetravel100.com/origami-paddler-review/

Portable speaker
• For taking the tunes with you. https://amzn.to/3N0oRzl

Seat back cooler
• Seat back cooler to take drinks/snacks along https://amzn.to/3mVoo6J

• Some people have used carts or hand trucks like this to transport their Origami Paddlers

Balance board

Here are more of our favorite travel products.

Please see our Origami Paddler Review on YouTube

– By Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief
Follow Jan on Instagram


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