Oru "origami" kayak heading for production


November 27, 2012

The Oru folding kayak should soon be heading into commercial production

The Oru folding kayak should soon be heading into commercial production

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Just a couple of months ago, we first heard about the Oru – a prototype touring kayak made from corrugated plastic, that can be folded up and carried like an art portfolio. Designer Anton Willis and his team have since launched a crowd-funding campaign that has already far exceeded its goal ... which means that the Oru should soon be available to buy.

Unlike other folding kayaks that consist of multiple parts including a frame and skin, the main body of the Oru is made up of a single prefolded piece of plastic. Once folded into shape, the boat is held together using attached straps with quick-release buckles. The entire assembly process is said to take about five minutes (once users get the hang of it), and according to its makers, the kayak can stand up to at least 20,000 fold cycles without leaking.

The current version of the Oru features adjustable foot rests, a foam seat and back band, a rubber deck strap for securing gear, and a coaming (cockpit rim) that should accept most commercial spray skirts.

It measures 12 feet (3.7 meters) long by 25 inches (0.6 meters) wide, weighs 25 pounds (11 kg) and has a carrying capacity of 260 pounds (118 kg). Once folded down and put in its shoulder strap-equipped carrying case, it measures 33 x 29 x 10 inches (84 x 74 x 25 cm).

Willis and his team set out to raise US$80,000 in production funds, and at the time of this writing are already at over $224,600 – and there are still 21 days left to go. If you want to reserve an Oru of your own, you’ll need to pledge a minimum of $800. Lower pledges will still get you a discount off the final retail price of $850.

The kayak can be seen in use in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter

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

Wow, as a soon-to-be retired wanderer/casual kayaker I was thinking, 'Come on, you can't beat the inflatables for tuck-away travel convenience.' But then I watched the video and this might actually be better.

Fritz Menzel

The thing I love most about this kayak is the name, what a great play on words...must have had a bit of help from someone who knows Japanese: oru means to fold (hence ori-gami= folding/folded paper), but also when the o is pronounced the English way by making it longer such as in the word "or" pronounced in British English,it then becomes the same pronunciation as "ouru" in Japanese, borrowed from the English "oar"! The Japanese love these kinds of "dajare" or silly puns.

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