Here’s our interview with Viking Kayaks – Made in New Zealand quality fishing kayaks.
How did Viking Kayaks, and why did you get involved in the kayak making business?
I started Viking kayaks in 1999, what got me interested in making kayaks was my passion for the sea – I surfed, dived and fished as often as I could and saw kayaks as a great way to combine my love of water sports and my enjoyment of making things.
What is a kayak for you?
Kayaks to me are the perfect craft to enjoy fishing from, they are able to launch anywhere and the buzz of hooking into a hard fighting fish from a small craft is something that never gets old! I particularly enjoy the excitement and challenges of offshore fishing.
What distinguishes you from other businesses in the kayaking industry?
Not many company directors and designers actually fish and use the products as often as I do, I also compete in kayak fishing competitions, not for the prizes obviously but for the enjoyment of being around like-minded people. The bonus is, I often pick up new ideas or improvements to current designs while at comps and talking with others, often over a beer at the end of a great fishing session.
Currently, what’s your business biggest challenge?
Competing against cheaply made kayaks being sold as “fishing” kayaks just because they have a rod holder fitted, and the misinformation buyers are often fed.
What’s the most popular kayak that you sell?
Our Viking Profish Reload
Are you still improving your kayaks? if yes, how?
We are constantly improving our kayaks, sometimes the improvements are small and every now and then there is a major development. An important part of our company culture is Kaizen – there is nothing that can’t be improved.
Which of your models would you recommend to a beginner paddler that’s looking for an entry-level kayak?
Our Profish 400 is a clean and uncluttered kayak that can be used as a rec boat or a fishing rig, is 4.1m long and with great hull design, it paddles very effortlessly.
Which model is more suited to an advanced paddler?
Probably the Profish Reload due to its principal purpose being offshore fishing.
Any new models coming out in 2020?
That’s definitely a wait and see question….
Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about Viking Kayaks
Viking Kayaks are made in a beautiful small town in New Zealand called Matamata which happens to be one of the key locations for the ‘Hobbit’ movies made by Sir Peter Jackson who is also a “Kiwi” (New Zealander).