About this project
"A marvel of compact choreography" —Fast Company
THE ORU KAYAK
The Oru Kayak is an incredible, high-performance boat that folds out of a compact case. Inspired by origami, this innovative kayak transform quickly, easily— and almost magically. Stash it in a trunk, check it on a plane, stow it aboard a sailboat, or hike it in to remote waters. It’s full size (12' long), super light (25 lbs), and quick to assemble (5 min). On the water it’s fast, stable, and handles incredibly well.
The Oru Kayak makes the wonder and discovery of the great outdoors accessible: easy foldability transforms boating from a special occasion to anytime, anywhere.
Each Oru Kayak is engineered of a single sheet of double-layered plastic. The single seam is sealed with a watertight rubber gasket. Solid ribs offer strength and rigidity.The corrugated plastic skin is extremely tough and durable.
"A marvel of compact choreography." —Fast Company
"The Oru Kayak design is revolutionary. The boats are sturdy and incredibly light. They are as comfortable as any other sea or whitewater boat I've paddled. They track really well and turn on a dime. The maneuverability makes forward progress into a crushing headwind almost easy. The implications for urban paddlers and for remote expeditionary paddling are truly exciting." — Greg Miller, Outdoor Filmmaker & former NOLS instructor
"It accelerates like a rocket, and carves a turn like a dream." —Bill Vonnegut, Neptune's Rangers, professional kayak guide/instructor
"Finally, city dwellers can own a kayak that stores in a closet and travels on transit, AND still handles burly waters; plus, it's gorgeous."—Lisa Fisher, San Francisco
"It was wonderful! The Oru Kayak design felt fast and comfortable. You completely forget that it's a neatly folded piece of plastic. After kayaking around the marina and the larger waves of the San Francisco Bay, I was still completely dry without a drop of water inside the vessel."—David Lang, Make Magazine, CoFounder, OpenROV
While the Oru Kayak is designed to be beginner-friendly, it’s also great fun for experts! We’ve done lots of user-testing with pro-level kayakers, in all kinds of conditions. It’s perfect for bays, lakes, and slow rivers (it is not designed for whitewater or rock gardening). With normal care, an Oru Kayak will last for many years.
length: 12’ | width: 25” | weight: 25 lbs | capacity: 260 lbs
The case size: 33" X 29" X 10"
- Watertight deck gasket
- Easy-to-use snap-release buckles
- Sturdy coaming (cockpit rim) fits spray skirts
- Easily-adjustable footrest
- Comfortable foam seat and backband
- Rubber holding strap for accessories
- Shoulder strap for carrying
- Fits commercial spray skirts and float bags
- Front and back rubber fairings
The Oru Kayak is assembled using standard strap-and-buckle hardware. No tools are needed. With a bit of practice, it takes only five minutes to assemble or pack up. Full instructions and a detailed assembly video will be provided.
Oru Kayaks will be proudly made in California! We’re committed to local manufacturing and sustainable production, and have optimized the supply chain to reduce our shipping miles and carbon footprint.
We’ll ship in Spring 2013, in time for (Northern Hemisphere) paddling season. Here's our schedule to get Oru Kayaks to you!
- November: Make final product refinements. Make lots of new Kickstarter friends.
- December: Place component orders
- January: Set up assembly facility
- February: Assemble first edition of kayaks
- Mar: Ship first edition Oru Kayaks. Begin assembly of first batch.
- April: Continue assembly.
- May : Ship out first batch. Assemble second batch. - June: Ship out second batch.
Your support will help us fund the first few production runs of Oru Kayaks. We've gotten so much great feedback, and are excited to be able to share the Oru Kayak with you. Our $80,000 funding goal will cover the extensive tooling and setup costs for producing the components, materials and hardware, and facility rental and labor for assembly.
You can pre-order an Oru kayak; we're doing a few different batches for different shipping dates in Spring 2013. Also, all kayaks will come with a printable poster for holiday gifting— so you can give a future Oru Kayak to a special someone. In addition to Oru Kayaks, we’re offering some great rewards.
Thank you! $5
Every bit of support helps! You'll receive Oru Kayak updates, share our journey into production, and get a shout out tweet!
Stay Dry Bag: $20 Stash a wallet and cell phone in an Oru Kayak-branded dry bag—essential for any adventures on the water!
Oru Kayak Stainless Water Bottle: $25 Never go thirsty again with this 20 oz. Oru Kayak-branded vessel. Fits perfectly under the rubber deck strap (as shown in the video!).
Super soft orange organic cotton, with our signature fold pattern and logo. Unisex and womens size options available. Silkscreened by an small shop in San Francisco.
Just like the origami models we used to develop the Oru Kayak. Mount this scale model on the wall or keep it on your desk for inspiration. Ships assembled in a mailing tube.
Four-piece Oru Kayak paddle: $120 This sturdy four-piece Oru Kayak-branded paddle tucks into the Oru Kayak case!
ORU KAYAKS! Pre-order your own! We're doing multiple production batches, listed below. Kickstarter backers will get free US shipping (a $50-$75 value), plus a discount off the final $850 retail price.
Early Bird Oru Kayak / first batch: $750 (limit 50)
Order first, and get a $50 off your Oru Kayak. Free shipping in the US, plus a printable, numbered poster for holiday gifting.
Oru Kayak / second batch: $800 (limit 200)
Your very own Oru Kayak, shipped by May 2013. Free shipping in the US, plus a printable, numbered poster for holiday gifting.
Oru Kayak / third batch: $800 (limit 200)
Your very own Oru Kayak, shipped by June 2013. Free shipping in the US, plus a printable, numbered poster for holiday gifting.
Oru Kayak / signed, limited edition batch: $1000 (limit 50)
Your very own Oru Kayak, shipped by March 2013. You will be among the first 50 Oru Kayak owners, and your boat will be personally signed and numbered by the designer. Free shipping in the US, plus a printable, numbered poster for holiday gifting.
Oru Kayak Day on the Bay: $3000 (limit 5)
Your very own Oru Kayak, and a half-day excursion in the San Francisco Bay with the Oru Kayak team. We'll share our journey, design inspiration, and a great meal, while paddling around the scenic SF Bay. No experience required. Travel to SF not included. Free shipping in the US, plus a printable, numbered poster for holiday gifting.
Tomales Bay Luxury Weekend Getaway + Oru Kayak: $10,000 (limit 1)
Our deluxe offering is an unforgettable experience on Tomales Bay, one of the best kayaking spots on the West Coast. You'll receive an Oru Kayak and a weekend for two people at an amazing waterfront house. You can kayak off the house's dock into calm waters, visit quiet beaches, and see abundant wildlife. Oyster lunch included! Travel to Tomales Bay not included. Hand-silkscreened art print by Saturate Design for holiday gifting.
We’re offering free shipping to the lower 48 for Kickstarter backers, but we can’t do this for those in Alaska, Hawaii, or abroad. International backers will be responsible for applicable tariffs and customs fees, as well as shipping. Please contact us to get shipping prices to your address.
How durable is an Oru Kayak? The manufacturer rates the skin material for 20,000 fold cycles. We've done a lot of hardcore user testing, and never punched a leak.
Will it come with a warranty? We're offering an one-year warranty for all Kickstarter purchases.
How much gear can it carry? The Oru Kayak has a capacity of 260 lbs. There's enough storage space inside to support short camping trips.
SAFETY & DISCLAIMER
We've designed the Oru Kayak to be as strong and safe as possible with normal use, but it's still a boat. That means you can capsize or get hurt. Please wear a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) at all times, and use a spare paddle, bilge pump, spray skirt and float bags if you're going in open water. Stay aware of currents, weather, submerged obstacles, and other boats and swimmers. Use common sense, and don't go beyond your experience level.
All of the prototypes shown in the photos and video are fully functional and tested, but details shown may change in the final product development and manufacturing.
We’re a small, dedicated team of designers, makers, and manufacturing experts. We’ve been working on the Oru Kayak for more than four years. Together, we’re thrilled to launch Oru Kayaks into the world. We strongly believe that spending time outdoors makes people happier, healthier, and more productive. We see our kayaks as a way to explore and connect with the natural world, even in cities. We hope your Oru Kayak journeys are as fun and inspiring as ours have been.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
We thank you all for your support, and want to express special gratitude to those who’ve helped us get to this point!
photography: Nicolas Zurcher. videography: Hei Cheng. music: Studiocanoe. kayakers: Coralie LeClerq, Joe Lee, Sally Madsen, Yvonne Mouser, Adam Reineck, Christina Seely.
Risks and challenges
Like any innovative hardware product, the Oru Kayak is challenging to produce at scale. Our team has worked hard to address these logistical and fulfillment challenges in advance. One member of our team is a manufacturing expert with over 40 years of experience in manufacturing and assembly, and others bring solid experience in product design and operations.
The steps from prototype to fully-tested, manufactured product can be long and complicated; prototypes aren't always a reliable indicator of how the final product will perform. To address this, we have:
- Built over 25 working prototypes, not just one or two.
- Extensively tested prototypes for performance and durability. This has included extreme and abusive conditions, to make sure we have a product that meets rigorous safety and endurance standards.
Making a scalable product from working prototypes is another major step. Many comparable products have run into problems when a preliminary part turns out to be more complicated or expensive than expected. We have designed this product from the beginning with manufacturability in mind. We will streamline the process by:
- Manufacturing in the USA, to retain tight control of operations, quality and logistics.
- Using many of the same manufacturing techniques at scale, as we have used in the working prototypes. Our current prototype skins have been made and tested using the same types of dies that will be used in final production. Many other components are lasercut or off-the-shelf, minimizing tooling complications and design/engineering transitions between prototype fabrication and full manufacturing.
- Using established relationships with contract manufacturers. We have built the skin prototypes with our manufacturer, who understands our product and specifications. We have hard quotes for all of the other components. Our manufacturing partners have vetted and approved our production plans, anticipated quantities and schedule.
Many Kickstarter projects have run into shipping delays. We want to keep our backers happy! So, we are:
- Maintaining a realistic timeframe for scaling up production.
- Dividing production into batches: instead of trying to get 500 boats out by one shipping date, we'll start with smaller runs (for the limited edition and early birds), followed by two batches at a higher capacity. This will let us manage manufacturing and fulfillment at a manageable scale and pace.
- Limiting the number of Oru Kayaks availble on Kickstarter.
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