Here’s our interview with Prijon Kayaks – Made in USA quality kayaks.
A little bit of history: How did Prijon Kayaks start, and why did you get involved in the kayak making business?
Born 1929, he grew up close to the famous Soca river in Slovenia. In 1957 he moved to Germany and in 1962 he founded the „Toni Prijon Sportwerkstätte“ and manufactured his legendary wooden paddles. The time of folding kayaks in competitions is over and Toni senior starts to manufacture downriver and slalom kayaks made of glassfiber and carbon.
The new and big venture was the famous „Taifun“ – Toni senior experienced the huge advantages of blowmolding and the production of PE-kayaks. He starts with the production of the Taifun and revolutionizes the market. Toni senior passed his love for watersports to his children and grandchildren and by that time, the small workshop developed into a world-renowned kayak- and paddle building company. We’re a family business, owned and run by Toni Prijon junior.
What is a kayak for you?
Our passion for kayaking is expressed in our kayaks. We’re proud of living and producing in our home Bavaria, being close to the alps and the majority of our customers. You’ll feel our passion, when using our kayaks.
What distinguishes Prijon from other businesses in the kayaking industry?
This material can only be used in blow-moulding and not in roto-moulding, as used by other producers of kayaks. The molecule chains of HTP are approximately 10 times longer than those of rotated PE.
This makes Prijon boat hulls stiffer, lighter and less susceptible to abrasion. HTP-kayaks have clear advantages regarding form stability, abrasion and boat weight, compared to kayaks made of rotated PE.
HTP is very environmentally friendly. When it is recycled, there are no poisonous gases or residues; it is ground water neutral and free of heavy metals. HTP-kayaks from PRIJON are made according to latest standards in our factory in Rosenheim, Germany. More than 50 years of experience in developing and manufacturing of products for the kayak sport are incorporated in your kayak.
Permanent quality checks during the production guarantee a constant quality. More than 80% of our components mounted in our kayaks are made by ourselves or by suppliers located in a radius of max. 300k around Rosenheim.
This ensures important jobs in our region for our workers as well as the workers of our suppliers and guarantees high quality and short transport ways. The value chain stays in the country. An experienced team of paddlers, lead by slalom world champion Toni Prijon junior, is permanently testing new models and making them ready for production. A lot of ideas from customers – paddlers like you – are incorporated
Currently, what’s your business biggest challenge?
While the increased and especially foreign competition from Far East motivates us to even improve our products, we try to produce the best kayaks on the market and to keep the standards as high as possible.
What’s the most popular kayak that you sell?
Nowadays we have a huge range with many different models and several designs, for specific application ranges and markets worldwide. Every paddler finds his perfect match in our range of kayaks, and maybe then this one is the most popular for him or her 😉
Are you still improving your kayaks? if yes, how?
Furthermore, we’re regularly testing them e.g. with drop tests etc. They’re both improved by changing details in and on the kayak as well as adopting shapes to the latest demands. Every new model gets influenced by the results of improving previous models.
Which of your models would you recommend to a beginner paddler that’s looking for an entry-level kayak?
All of them are tracking well and are easy to maneuver. Perfect for rookies and amateurs. They can be used as a touringkayak for day trips and short adventures. The Doublekayaks also work perfectly as Familykayaks. These boats are very well suited for short tours with small luggage or for kayak rental.
Compact measurements, light weight as well as a good price-performance-ratio are all characteristics of the DAYLINER Series which by now has gathered a large fan base. Kayaks of the DAYLINER Series possess two watertight separations and a comfortable seating area. The simple deck equipment saves weight and enables us to offer you a favorable base price. Pronounced edges on the lower boat provide good tracking, the large base of the seat provides a high level of initial stability and agility. Two differently sized single seaters and one doubleseater are available.
All of our beginner kayaks are made of HTP and “Made in Germany”.
Of course, it always depends on the individual paddler and his ambitions. That’s why we recommend every paddler to visit one of our dealers. We offer a huge network of dealers all around the world. They know our products, have a lot of experience and they mostly have demo models available for customers to try out in order to find the right boat for them.
Which model is more suited to an advanced paddler?
That’s why we recommend every paddler – doesn’t matter if he or she is a beginner, advanced paddler or pro – to visit one of our dealers. We offer a huge network of dealers all around the world. They know our products, have a lot of experience and they mostly have demo models available for customers to try out in order to find the right boat for them.
Do you have any news you can share with us about 2020’s new products of Prijon Kayaks?
The “Seatron GT” is our brand new medium to high volume multi-day sea kayak for medium to larger paddlers.
A lighter overall weight is offered by the “PriLite Aruna” seakayak.
The “Hydra” is a lightweight touring- and seakayak paddle with foam core. And the “Kappa” is a whitewater paddle with an increased blade to shaft offset. All of our new products are listed here.
Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about Prijon Kayaks.
To be responsible for what you do isn’t a trend for us but has ever been a naturalness instead. Our wish is to paddle the river with a good feeling in the heart and it stimulates us to avoid hurting the nature. Seeing the alps through our office windows and having the Chiemsee lake (the Bavarian sea) close to us, we feel a heavy responsibility for thinking sustainably.
Waste avoidance and garbage separation, energy efficiency measures and further measures to reduce traffic, heating and cooling costs – we do not only talk about it, but practice sustainability instead.
More than 80% of the components assembled in our kayaks, come from our own factory or from suppliers located within max. 300km radius. This ensures only short delivery- and transport routes to our dealers and customers. And this results in only low emissions and low energy costs for the delivery.
The heavy oil consuming containership is missing in the life cycle assessment of a Prijon kayak! Since 2009, we operate a photovoltaic-system on the roof of our warehouse and ecologically produce a part of our needed electricity for the production out of sunlight. Eco-friendly generated electricity matches with eco-friendly produced kayaks.
Thanks to our photovoltaic system we saved approx. 200 to of CO2 since its activation. The process heat of the production of the hulls is used for the heating of the production building. All of our sewed and pressed parts don’t come from Far East but from our workers in our own sewing room or compactor instead.
This is how we work regional and sustainable. Our kayaks are made according to the latest standards in our factory in Rosenheim, Germany.
Permanent quality checks during the production guarantee a constant high quality. This ensures important jobs in our region, for our workers as well as the workers of our suppliers, and guarantees premium quality. The value chain stays in the country.