About Us

Tim Taylor paddling around NZ

About Tim

Ruahine Kayaks is owned and operated by fanatical kayaker Tim Taylor. Growing up in the Bay Of Plenty, Tim fell in love with the sport of whitewater slalom at high school. Being trained by some of the best whitewater kayakers in the world, he contributes his success to these early role models and technical grounding .

Returning to Tauranga after study, travel, and life experience, Tim set himself the challenge of becoming the first person to kayak around the whole coastline of New Zealand solo. Nearly 3 years and close to 10’000 kilometers later, he completed his goal and had grown into one of New Zealand’s top ocean kayakers.

With the kayaking lifestyle, salt spray, and love for his region firmly ingrained, Tim decided to open up his kayaking shed to the public and NZ Kayaker was born. NZ Kayaker is the perfect compliment to Ruahine - it's fully certified under the Adventure Audit Regulations and allows Tim to guiding and coach anywhere in NZ.

Tim's Achievements

  • Solo circumnavigation of New Zealand in a sea kayak (including Stewart Island).
  • Guinness World Record Holder for 24 Hour Open Ocean Kayaking - 209km
  • Author of "A Complete Guide to New Zealand Kayak Fishing"
  • Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2013-2016
Tim Taylor during his 24 hour world record
Tim Taylor racing in the Cambridge to Hamilton Race
Tim Taylor with a kingfish caught from his kayak at Mayor Island
About Us

Our Approach

Ruahine Kayaks has always had a passion for innovative design and construction. This helped the development of the range of  pedigree kayaks that I now have. It represents a wealth of paddling experience and passion, combined with leading edge technology.


Each kayak in my range is designed to complement a paddler. As paddlers we are ever improving our skills, so my range provides for a natural progression in models, from entry level to elite.

Ruahine's Story

Ruahine Kayaks is one of the original kayaking brands in New Zealand. Starting in the heydays of kayaking, the 80’s, it grew from a garden shed operation into one of the most recognized and well regarded multisport kayaking brands in NZ. Founder, Mike Rowley, was not only a great fiberglasser, he was also a visionary and lead the way with kayak development. In 2007 his time on our rivers came to a tragic end after suffering from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash. Ruahine Kayaks was left without a leader and the brand slowly faded away.

In 2016 Ruahine Kayaks was put on the market. It consisted of little more than a container full of molds and a lot of good will for the brand. A friend of mine brought the business to my attention and suggested I had the necessary skills to get it back to its former glory. Not only that, multisport racing was beginning to see a resurgence in popularity and good kayaks were hard to come by. I decided to take the plunge!

So where to from here for Ruahine kayaks? To put it simply, I aim to produce quality kayaks at a reasonable price. I believe there are plenty of kayak companies that are trying to produce the fastest, lightest, or most racy kayak on the market, however they are forgetting two major things…most people can’t afford them and most people don’t have the skills to paddle them! I want people who compete in multisport races to love the kayaking component; to feel safe in their kayaks and look forward to their time on the water. The Ruahine range is perfect for that as it has models to suit all sizes and ability levels; starting with the Intrigue for beginners right the way through to the F1 for the elite paddlers.