100-year Klepper history in facts
Master tailor Johann Klepper acquired the license for the exclusive production of the new and exciting “Delphin” boat type from Alfred Heurich, the forefather of the folding kayak.
The founding of Klepper Faltbootwerft GmbH in 1919 marked the beginning of a wave of success. By the time Hans Klepper took over the company from his father in 1929, Klepper folding kayak had become a world leader.
Captain Franz Romer made history by crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a 6.4 m long and 1 m wide Klepper. This was the first known ocean crossing in a kayak. The route from Lisbon to Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands, via the Canary Islands took Romer 58 days to complete.
In 1929 Hans Klepper (1903-1967) took over the company, expanded the product range, and exported the Klepper folding kayaks worldwide. Hans Klepper Corporation in New York, USA is an example of a subsidiary created during this time.
The Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin featured 2 folding kayak competitions, all six medals were won in a Klepper kayak.
The Aerius series, the primary Klepper kayak model in use today, has been released. The Aerius introduced Klepper's innovative Snap-On-Lock connection and air inflation system as new features.
Dr. Hannes Lindermann successfully used the production Aerius II 520 to cross the Atlantic Ocean. His epic voyage took 72 days and remained the Ocean crossing with the smallest boat ever undertaken by man.
The trademark "Klepper" was registered for the US market and is still distributed today.
Before the advent of fiberglass and “Poly” kayaks, Klepper was the kayak of choice for white water and flat water competitions. Until 1961, all the whitewater slalom world championship titles were won in a Klepper "Slalom 59".
Hermann Siegesmund Walther founded Klepper Faltbootwerft HS Walther GmbH. Klepper developed a shortened Aerius single named Aerius 2000, later renamed Tramp 380 in 1999.
Throughout the 1990s, the Hans Klepper Corporation successfully promoted the Klepper kayak in the United States. Klepper gained many customers impressed by its outstanding quality and excellent performance.
Klepper opened its own Folding Boat Museum. The exhibition shows various exhibits of Klepper folding boats, coats ,and tents.
Klepper sold its high-quality outdoor clothing line to the Walbusch company to better focus on its production of the folding kayak.
Klepper offered The Aerius 490 first in 2004 and quickly displaced the standard 450 cm single (just as the extended 545 two-seaters displaced the classic 520 two-seaters from the market three years later).
On 1 August 2020, Klepper Lifestyle GmbH, based in Hamburg, Germany, took over Klepper Faltbootwerft AG. The production site will remain in Rosenheim.