Grabner Kayaks: High Quality Sustainable Inflatable Boats

Here’s our interview with Grabner – Makers of high quality inflatable kayak and more.

What’s the history behind GRABNER?

After years of learning and experience in a larger sporting goods company, Mr. Wolfgang GRABNER founded a factory for sewn sporting goods in 1975. Mainly ski accessories, bags, backpacks, surf products, PFDs and life jackets and water sports accessories.

In life jackets, GRABNER became the most successful brand on the world market in a few years. State, European and world champions in various water sports disciplines used GRABNER life jackets for their victories. Various innovations in swimming aids and life jackets, which are state of the art today, were invented and developed at GRABNER.

In 1986 Mr. Grabner bought the Austrian SEMPERIT rubber inflatable boat factory. Later also the German rubber boat manufacturer METZELER and BIG PACK. For cost reasons, almost all manufacturers of rubber boats at that time stopped production because PVC boats from the Far East were much cheaper, but also had many disadvantages.

With the range of kayaks, canoes and sailing catamarans, GRABNER is committed to the highest quality and sustainability in the world market. Because environmental protection and sustainability have become a key issue in recent years, GRABNER boats are in line with today’s zeitgeist like no other provider. Our boats are made from renewable rubber, the production is humane, repair instead of throwing away is the motto, the lifespan is incredibly long (25 – 30 years) and all boats are 100% recyclable.

Grabner in 1989.

What is a kayak for Grabner?

The father of company owner Wolfgang GRABNER had a folding boat, with which he has always sailed since childhood. Boating was “put into the cradle” so to speak and is still his hobby to this day. The famous philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says: “We can do what we love” That is exactly what 100% of GRABNER boats do.

What distinguishes GRABNER from other businesses in the industry?

The clear orientation for the target group, who has to bring their boat to the water first. So the main focus is on the smallest packing volume and easy transport. The packing volume of a GRABNER boat is approximately 1/10 of that of a hard shell boat. Each model is perfectly designed for a target group and leaves nothing to be desired. Safety, robust material, durability and 100% sustainable distinguishes GRABNER from others in the kayak industry.

Some inflatable kayaks by GRABNER

What are your biggest advantages compared to your competitors?

Clearly the advantages over all other manufacturers on the world market are the sustainability advantages:

  • Renewable raw material
  • Maximum safety
  • Highest driving comfort
  • Longest lifespan
  • 100% recyclable

What’s the most popular GRABNER boat?

For kayaks: RIVERSTAR

For canoes: ADVENTURE

For white water canoes: OUTSIDE

For sporty touring 1- and 2-seater kayaks: ESCAPE

Here you can find all the Grabner inflatables.

Are you still improving your Grabner Kayaks? How?

Yes, we are constantly developing our product line. On the one hand through constant improvement in all details of all models and on the other hand in the development of new models.


What’s the best choice for a beginner paddler?

For beginners, the 1 or 2-seat HOLIDAY. For heavyweight, older and highest comfort seekers – the RIVERSTAR. It is wider and therefore extremely stable and extremely comfortable.

The GRABNER HOLIDAY 2-seat inflatable kayak

Which model is more suited to a more expert paddler?

Definitely the new model ESCAPE 1-seater or ESCAPE 2-seater. After this model hit the market in 2019, it received sensational test reviews and euphoric praise from buyers.

What’s new in 2020?

2020 the HYPE is the newest GRABNER product. It is the first and only inflatable kayak with the same shape and features as a hard shell short kayak, but the transport volume is only 1/10 of that of a hard shell boat. It is therefore ideal for traveling by car, train and plane, ready to drive in a few minutes and has excellent driving properties in tame and white water.

Tell us something people might be surprised to learn about Hurricane Kayaks.

Because almost all inflatable boats today are made of PVC, Teflon or similar, interested buyers are surprised that there are actually boats made of environmentally friendly, durable and robust rubber. Although the purchase price is higher than for a PVC boat from the Far East, it is ultimately much cheaper than several low-quality temporary boats.

Through the appearance of GRETA THUNBERG for climate protection and against environmental pollution, thinking about the topic has started worldwide. It is and remains a fact that GRABNER boats are by far the most environmentally friendly and sustainable on the world market: renewable rubber – instead of environmentally harmful plastic!
All people who care about environmental protection should choose GRABNER boats

1 thought on “Grabner Kayaks: High Quality Sustainable Inflatable Boats”

  1. Grabner boats are the real thing. As an avid paddler with both fiberglass, Kevlar and rotomolded boats I bought one, a Holiday 3, for those times when travel and high portability were necessary. All I can say is WOW. At 18 feet long, weighing only 44lbs it’s a few pounds lighter than a carbon boat of the same length but stiffer than plastic. It’s priced where a thermoformed boat might cost and about as stiff, but far lighter and more portable.

    These Grabners are stiff in their own way with a very odd, almost flying style buoyancy curve. They don’t want to flip at all and stay upright all the time, yet they are pretty fast and very maneuverable. It’s almost like they are so light and airy they hardly contact the water. This is good for performance, the only real downside is that while you can almost “float over” current, they are very bad in wind and high seas as the light boat with little water contact is strongly affected by these elements pushing on the high freeboard. The factory supplied seats, while portable in the original backpack, are pretty lousy too, not comfortable but Grabner sells some better, upgraded seats that are far more comfortable; I highly recommend them. Other than that the boat is top notch. Everything is so well designed, easy, ergonomic it definitely feels like a high end boat, definitely nicer than some of the better plastic boats like the Wilderness Systems, Perception and other brands.

    All the people who wanted something nicer and lighter than plastic but didn’t want to pay for composite, or those who want more speed, maneuverability and refinement in the handling but don’t want to sacrifice stability would be well served to consider a Grabner. They are the Rolls Royce of inflatables.


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