Lonely Planet Writer

These transparent kayaks turn ocean exploration into a magical experience

A company has created a beautiful transparent kayak that allows users to view the underwater world below.

Transparent Kayaks
The kayaks allow users to see the underwater world below. Image by Crystal Kayak Company
Transparent Kayak
The design is light-weight and portable. Image by Crystal Kayak Company

The Crystal Explorer from the Crystal Kayak Company is a canoe-kayak hybrid made out of totally-clear Lexan. The polymer hull is designed to act like a large snorkel mask that pierces the surface tension of the water, allowing users to see fish and coral underneath while remaining safely on the surface. The kayaks are eleven-feet long and just under three-feet wide, and are designed to accommodate either one or two people. The design includes high sides and the open cockpit of a canoe, while users can paddle the craft as if they were in a kayak. A low centre of gravity helps with tracking in the water, making it easier for beginners to use.

Crystal Kayak Company
The design uses marine-grade components for durability. Image by Crystal Kayak Company

The Crystal Explorer weighs 47 lbs, making it easy to carry, while the hardware is marine-grade quality, and the kayak only requires a rinsing with fresh water after use for cleaning. The craft takes about one hour to assemble and can be disassembled after use for storage purposes. The kayaks come with two-piece painted aluminium bodied paddles, while an upgraded fiberglass version with blade angle adjustment is also available.

The kayaks start at $1,499.
The kayaks start at $1,499. Image by Crystal Kayak Company
The polymer hull is designed to act like a large snorkel mask that pierces the surface tension of the water.
The polymer hull is designed to act like a large snorkel mask that pierces the surface tension of the water. Image by Crystal Kayak Company

The price starts at $1499 for a kayak, while rental companies, hotels and resorts around the world have also started to use the product. More information on Crystal Explorer kayaks is available on their website.