History of Flow Kayaks

Founded Nelson, New Zealand 2011
All the products within the Flow Kayaks range are produced in New Zealand

In 2011, Richard Ussher and Andrew Martin founded Flow Kayaks with a vision of creating the very finest racing kayaks, surf skis and paddles on the market, both for the elite racer right through to those just starting out in the sport. They both have extensive experience in a wide range of kayaking disciplines and are truly passionate about the development of their unique designs. The Flow Kayaks range is the result of years of racing & recreational experience combined with rigorous testing of each prototype and utilizing the latest in computer aided design and tooling techniques.


Richard and Andrew both have similarities in being self coached which at times could have been seen as detrimental to their athletic development but which in hindsight has given them a wealth of knowledge not only in coaching but critically in being able to analyze products, refine them and map future directions for developing products.

Andrew and Richard focused on the development of new and innovative products and the marketing of these while manufacturing will be outsourced to specialist companies within NZ.




Richard paddling in the 2011 coast to coast

Richard paddling in the 2011 coast to coast

Richard is widely regarded as the premier multisport athlete in the world at present and has been among the most elite of Multisport and Adventure race proponents for almost 10 years.

His resume includes 7 world titles in both individual and team events where Kayaking has been one of the fundamental disciplines in each race.

From rivers to surf and flat-water he has a wealth of experience within the sport and his drive to succeed also means he is constantly pushing the boundaries not only within the sport but looking for potential improvements in his tools.

Forming Flow Kayaks has enabled him to collaborate with Andrew on ideas and refinements for new products and opens an exciting new chapter in his career.



Andrew has been paddling all his life and has competed in nearly every competitive kayaking discipline including represented New Zealand in Slalom, Wildwater racing and Marathon. He has also been national champion in Wildwater, Marathon and Surf Lifesaving events.

He was also a trialist for the Olympic flatwater team in 1984 and 1988. Andrews best international performances have seen him finish in the top 10 at the Wildwater World champs twice and along with Phil Dooney and Aaron Cox won the Wildwater team event at the world champs in 1995.

Andrew started manufacturing kayaks and paddles during his time competing in Wild water events and culminated in him setting up Andrew Martin Kayaks back in NZ.

Andrew’s boats have always been sort after both for their design but also for their quality. He also formed Legend Paddles, which he later sold.


Following on…

Neil Taylor took over the reins for a few years where yet more developments were undertaken, particularly the Aspire Racing Kayak and the updated and much loved Rockstar.


Now in 2018

In late 2017 Flow Kayaks took on another exciting new future planned. Keith Jessop, Daniel Jessop and Chris Stagg have partnered to take Flow Kayaks into a new stage and vision which will all be revealed… in good time.