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 the 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 main Klepper kayak model in use today, is released. The Aerius introduced Klepper's innovative Snap-On-Lock connection system and air inflation system as new features.
Dr. Hannes Lindermann used a production Aerius II 520 to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean. His epic voyage took 72 days and remains 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 fiber glass and “Poly” kayaks, Klepper was the kayak of choice for white water as well as flat water competitions. Until1961, all the whitewater slalom world championship titles were won in a Klepper "Slalom 59".
Hermann Siegesmund Walther founded Klepper Faltbootwerft HS Walther GmbH. A shortened Aerius single was developed under the name Aerius 2000, later renamed Tramp 380 in 1999.
Throughout the 1990’s, the Hans Klepper Corporation actively promoted Klepper kayak in the United States with much success. Klepper gained a large number of customers impressed by its outstanding quality and excellent performance.
The Klepper Folding Boat Museum was opened. The exhibition shows various exhibits of Klepper folding boats, coats and tents.
To better focus on its production of the folding kayak, Klepper sold its high-quality outdoor clothing line to the Walbusch company.
The Aerius 490 was first offered in 2004 and quickly displaced the standard 450 cm single (just as the extended 545 two-seater displaced the standard 520 two-seater from the market three years later).
On 1 August 2020, Klepper Faltbootwerft AG was taken over by Klepper Lifestyle GmbH, which is based in Hamburg. The production site will remain in Rosenheim .