Founded in 2012 by San Francisco-area paddler Anton Willis, an architecture student at UC Berkeley, the brainstorm came when he moved to a small apartment and was forced to put his fiberglass kayak into storage. So he started thinking about folding kayaks while at the same time stumbling upon an article about origami. Then started sketching ideas for a folding kayak, which soon turned into paper models and eventually the real McCoy setting the Oru Kayak in motion.
Over 25 full-scale prototypes that were tested on waterways in the Bay Area and beyond, with more than 700 Kickstarter supporters helping launch the company’s first boat. The company has now shipped thousands of its kayaks all over the world.
Made from a single, seamless sheet of double-layered, recyclable plastic, the latest design features a patented pattern of folds that transforms the briefcase into a flat sheet into sleek, fast watercraft. Packed up, it’s the size of a large artist’s portfolio and with practice the whole things sets up in five minutes of assembly time.
New features of the Oru Bay+ include: adjustable molded-foam seat; ratchet-buckle deck fasteners (similar to snowboard bindings) for ease of assembly; waterproof day hatch for storing wallet, phone and other valuables; deck rigging for gear storage and rescues; and a custom print pattern. Unlike most other collapsible boats, its rigid hull enables smooth, stable handling and its 5mm double-layered Coroplast is lightweight and strong (it’s rated for 20,000 fold cycles).
• Length: 12’
• Width: 25”
• Weight: 28 pounds
• Assembly time: 5 minutes
• Case dimensions: 32L x 29H x 13W.
• MSRP: $1,495