1907 Johann Klepper, a tailor in Rosenheim, Germany is to folding kayak manufacturing as Henry Ford is to the automotive industry. Both pioneered mass production of high quality, useable products. And both introduced the concept of mass marketing


1907 Johann Klepper testing his first model prototype on the River Mangfall in Rosenheim, Germany. Klepper's production-model folding kayak was the right product at the right time. Germany and the rest of Continent were embarking on the "Wanderlust Years" enjoying the thrill of adventure and discovering the beauty of nature.

1910 Klepper's first factory advertisement to sell his newly designed kayaks to Germans eager to rush out and explore nature. Noteworthy is that Klepper already considered women very important customers. Note the woman with her kayak in a bag...the translation under it , "Das Boot zusammengelegt" means, "the boat folded."
1920 Rosenheim, Germany. Ad shot promoting kayaking. Photo depicts nature lovers heading to Rosenheim train station. Please note kayaking dress code of the times. Klepper used photos like this one to mass market his kayaks in Germany.
1931 The Master of all Waters. With an ingenious Klepperboat even you can be as at home on the water as on land. Weekends and vacations will become memorable, affordable recreations. The absolutely safe and strong Klepperboats are no comparison to the smaller boats made of cheaper material. The Klepperboat that could be taken along in backpack anywhere and assembled in 10 minutes has in just a few years become the Continent's best selling touring kayak. Hundreds of Army and Marine units use these indestructible safe Klepperboats. Free of charge, you may obtain our interesting catalog No.H with approximately 170 original photos from all over the world. Direct shipping from the factory only to private individuals, or through our factory-owned outlets which addresses are listed in the catalog. Easy financing available.
1956 Hannes Lindemann M.D.crosses the Atlantic Ocean in a stock Klepper Classic two seater on a historic 72 day Atlantic voyage. Dr. Lindemann researched survival techniques for castaways on this voyage. His Klepper is displayed at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.
Dr. Lindemann's boat just before he stows away his supplies. In addition to 154 lbs. of canned food, garlic, beer and water, he also packed medical supplies, cameras, freshwater stills, sextants, sea charts, sea anchors, spare sails, paddles, rudders, spare boat parts, repair materials and fishing gear. Remember! There were no stores along the way.. To prepare himself for the dangers of complete exhaustion and hallucinations which were sure to accompany it, he used auto-suggestion training which consisted of four phrases:

"Don't Give up"
"I'll Make it"
"Keep Going West"
"Don't Accept Help"

1985 Arved Fuchs in his final approach to the Magnetic North Pole in a Klepper Expedition single seater kayak. Fuchs also made the first successful winter circumnavigation of Cape Horn in a Klepper single seater in 1984
1992 Eric Stiller and Tony Brown departing on a semi-circumnavigation of Australia in one of the world's wildest seas. Pictured here at the start of one of the most treacherous kayaking expeditions in history.

Other Famous Klepper Owners

1909 C.E. Layton · Paddled across the English Channel
1923 Karl Schott · Seakayaking from Germany to India

1926 Roald Amundsen · North Pole Expedition
1928 Admiral Byrd · South Pole Expedition

1928 Capt. Roemer · Crossed the Atlantic Ocean
1928 Sven Hedin · Asian Explorations

1935 Dr. Sorge · Spitzbergen Expedition

1954 H. Rittlinger · Upper Nile and Sudan

1955 Hans Ertl · Anden-Amazon Expedition
1956 Dr. Lindemann · Sailed across Atlantic Ocean

1970 John Dowd · Seakayaking Singapore-Australia
1978 K. Gallei · East Coast of Greenland

1979 Charles Porter · Sculled around Cape Horn
1983 Kimmich & Eckstein · Maranon Expedition

1984 Fuchs & Neuber · Winter trip Cape Horn
1985 Fuchs & Porter · Magnetic North Pole

1987 Lindenkamp & Meyer · Tibet Expedition
1989 Howard Rice · Sailed around Cape Horn solo

1991 Gail Ferris · Pt. Barrow Alaska Arctic Ocean
1992 Stiller & Brown · Semi-circumnavigation of Australia

1996 Michael Vogeley Erstbefahrung der Magellanstraße
1997 Sepp Schächner Ehrennadel für 42.000 Paddelkilometer
1998 Brümmer & Glöckner 5000 km auf dem Amazonas
2000/03 Franziska & Rainer Ulm Europatour - 12.000 km um Europa
2010 Jürgen Schütte Spitzbergen

National CPR Association