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Guide to Nautiraid Kayaks


Nautiraid, established 1936, is a leading player in the skin-on-frame folding kayak market, with an excellent reputation for the quality of their materials and craftsmanship. Built with expeditions and extreme conditions in mind, a Nautiraid kayak is a professional and reliable kit, whilst also catering for those who’d like “something a bit special” when paddling for an hour or two on a sunny afternoon.

Their Commando kayak (right) – an upgraded version of the “civilian” Grand Raid Expedition 540 – even has a NATO reference number, approved for use by specialist military forces.

There is a somewhat large selection of folding kayaks in the Nautiraid range, but we hope to make choosing the right craft for you as easy as possible. PDF Price list and Specifications.

See Accessories for all kayak additional options and extras.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like any help and advice.


One person or two person
All kayaks are available as one-person kayaks. On two-person models the seating can be adjusted to optimise fore and aft weight trim for paddling one-up (together with a different spray deck, if required) allowing for plenty of storage space – see images to the right. The Raid and Narak range are one-person kayaks only, the Grand Raid and Grand Narak can be one or two. You can download our PDF table which details each kayak and its specification.

Weight and Durability
Depending on how tough and light you need your kayak to be there are a few combinations available in frame and skin materials. Frame material is either aluminium or wood (ash and birch). Aluminium frames are slightly lighter and more compact in folded form; Wood frames are stiffer, quicker to put together and have greater aesthetic appeal.

Skin material can either be Valmex high-grade German multi-layer PVC, or Orca CSM fabric (widely but incorrectly referred to as Hypalon, which is a trademark of Dupont). The PVC is more than adequate for the vast majority of users, but Hypalon is still the ultimate for UV-resistance and foldability, particularly in extreme climates.

Specification: Expedition or Touring
Touring Spec is the lower of the two specifications – these boats have a PVC hull and seats with inflatable base cushions. Expedition Spec boats have ultra-durable Hypalon skin (in lieu of PVC), upgraded seats (the backrest is also inflatable), and better outfitting such as all-round deck lines and paddle storage pockets on deck. There is also a “TourExp” option on most models, a “half way house” version: these have a PVC hull with Expedition fit-out.

Stabilairs are Nautiraid’s integrated side tubes, for buoyancy and heeled stability. All kayaks/canoes have them, except Naraks, where they are optional on 460 and 550, standard on Grand Narak.

Nautiraid folding kayaks can be used “open cockpit” in calm water and weather; or with spray decks and spray skirts fitted for rougher conditions. The “Stabilair” inflatable side tubes also give them excellent stability and buoyancy. So these fold-up kayaks are very versatile, and can be used for anything from pleasant pottering on the Thames to extreme expeditions in the Arctic (with the right experience and preparation, of course!).

All Nautiraid folding kayak models can be fitted with a rudder (optional, at additional cost).

Grand Narak 550

Grand Narak 550 with single seat

PVC durability - the Narak in ice.
PVC durability – the Narak in ice.

Arctic expedition


Wide beam, stable, large carrying capacity one-person kayaks

Grand Raid

Two-person expedition kayaks or can be set up for one-person with very large carrying capacity (think 3 months on an Arctic adventure)

Narak Sea Kayaks

These one person kayaks, derived from traditional Inuit craft, are narrower in proportion than Raids, so easier-driven – faster for same effort – whilst a bit less stable (but far from unstable). Ideal for weekend expeditions.

Grand Narak

The Grand Narak 550 is a 5.5m, two-person sea kayak that can also be set up as a commodious one-person craft. It’s narrower and slightly longer – more efficient on the water – than the Grand Raid 540, but with a bit less capacity.


Nautiraid offer a comprehensive range of accessories including spray decks, spray skirts, covers, sailing kits, rudders and paddles.
PDF Price list and Specifications.

Narak 550 (top, frame only) Narak 460 (middle) Grand Narak 550 (bottom)


For more information -

Call 0800 999 2535 (free from UK landlines and most mobiles)
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