Submitted: 11-30-2012 by PaddlerBri
I've been in the market for a folding kayak for a while, since I can't store a full size in my apartment and don't have a roof rack. The Oru Kayak seemed promising at $800, but I wanted to try it out first- I was concerned mainly about its durability and handling, but I was also skeptical that it could be assembled in 5 minutes.
Luckily, Oru Kayak is based in the East Bay (Calif.), and though a friend of a friend, I was able to arrange a test run on Saturday. On all counts, I was extremely impressed!
The assembly was as easy as advertised. Anton Willis, the Oru's inventor was there to walk me through assembly, but its simple and intuitive. With a little practice, anyone will be able to assemble and break down the Oru within 5 minutes.
On the water, the Oru handles smoothly and is surprisingly fast. I can't speak for extreme ocean or whitewater kayakers, but the Oru will be able to easily handle whatever I can throw at it.
Lastly, durability. In the video on Oru's Kickstarter page, its hard to tell how strong the material is. I'd seen it described as similar to what postal bins are made out of, but in fact its a much hardier form of corrugated plastic. Its strong enough to stand in with full weight, and I didn't worry about dinging it at all. And Anton said that it can be folded 20,000 times without weakening.
All in all, I really like this boat. My only complaint is that I won't be able to get one of my own until next spring (2013).