Oru kayak folds up like origami


September 20, 2012

The Oru folding kayak

The Oru folding kayak

Image Gallery (6 images)

We’ve already featured a folding rowboat and a folding canoe, so why not a folding kayak? Well, that’s what the Oru is ... and unlike existing folding kayaks that incorporate frames and skins that have to be assembled, it consists almost entirely of one piece of folded corrugated plastic.

The Oru is the creation of San Francisco designer Anton Willis.

Described as “the world's first origami kayak,” it can be folded down into the form of a suitcase-sized box. That, needless to say, would make it much easier than a regular kayak to store in an apartment, stick in a car, check at an airport, or carry through the wilderness. When it’s time to hit the water, it can reportedly be unfolded, joined together and ready to go within five minutes.

Once unfolded, it measures 12 feet (3.7 meters) long and weighs 25 pounds (11.3 kg).

The Oru website states that the boat’s commercial launch will be happening “soon.” According to an article on the Make blog, it should be priced at approximately US$500.

Source: Oru via Make

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

This may have been done before, but this implementation looks well thought out, it it's not made of regular outdoor sign version of coroplast, but some stronger version, then the price ain't too crazy. Compare it to; price,weight, storage, and fixed size of a similar molded kayak, and it looks to be great for calm water use. A commercial version will have to meet floatation requirements, and be a bit more complicated. for that.

Dave B13

Nice, some people would not have the manual dexterity to assemble it, especially the end caps, though they probably would not be out in it anyway. It would be sweet, just toss it in the trunk with collapsible paddles. Like it.

Bill Bennett

In comparison to Folbot (since 1933), this looks flexy, uncomfortable, and probably leaks like a sieve, but then again, looking at the paddling form of the guy with the mutton chops, it's probably marketed towards harbor paddlers anyway.


Very clever. My concern would be that in contrast to a traditional folder there's no redundancy, and no elasticity on the hull. Hitting a rock could cause a serious hull failure. Probably safe in sheltered waters and sandy beaches.

Michael Edelman
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