The Oru folding kayak

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mje
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The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

I just caught an announcement of a new boat at http://www.orukayak.com/. The claim is that it weighs 20 lbs and can be assembled in 5 minutes- impressive if they can back it up. It appears to be constructed in a manner not unlike the Porta-Botes, i.e., a hull made of polyethylene with molded-in hinges and clamps to hold the assembled boat together. Similar sized Porta-Botes weigh 56 lbs, so this would have to be made from much lighter material. I sent the company an email, asking for more information and possibly a review boat when available. This could be interesting.

UPDATE: Just got an email from the company. The boat should be ready this fall, and I'll be getting a review boat to test.
Michael Edelman
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idc
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by idc »

Thanks for the heads up. Interesting looking boat. I look forward to reading your review.
I

jtmusiel
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Demo video:

Post by jtmusiel »

http://vimeo.com/20047767

About a year old - maybe a beta version?

mje
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

Nice find. Looks like it's made of a heavy-duty Coroplast- much heavier than that used in the late and unlamented Foldlite boats. Much more clever design, too.
Michael Edelman
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mje
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

Just got another update from Oru with a few announcement: (1) They say they're now shipping boats 10 weeks after an order is placed (2) the backpack is on sale for $195 and (3) there's a 16 foot prototype in the works to compliment the 12 footer. Still hoping to get a loaner this spring.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

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flatwater
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by flatwater »

Oru was at Canoecopia in Madsion, WI last weekend.
They had about 10 for sale at the show.
So the boat is really in production and available for sale.
Five Folbots - Super TSF, two GIIs, Kodiak, Gremlin

FrankP

Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by FrankP »

I talked to the owner & his wife Saturday at Canoecopia. They said they have sold quite a few already. I watched a video of him in choppy seas & it seemes to perform well. Im not too sure i'd ever want one. HE SAID he is thinking about a tandem but its harder than the 12 ft single & the possible price tag of $1800 might be too much.

mje
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Oru price increase on new models

Post by mje »

Just got an email from Oru saying they've added a number of improvement, and that they'll be raising the price to $1195 when the new model is released.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

mje
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

Just received this note from a forum member (Titanic3) who is having trouble logging in today:

"... I wanted to reply to people who asked about the Oru folding kayak. I have one and it still has not gone in the water. It is difficult to assemble because the material it’s made of is not very flexible. The owners of the company have assured me this will get better over time. Bottom line, I am not that happy with this kayak. It has been a frustrating, time consuming experience. If you’d like to post this, please do.."

Can anyone with experience with the Oru comment on this?
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

berniem
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by berniem »

Assembling the Oru involves unfolding and refolding. The plastic is stiff so you have to use some pressure to get it to snap in place. Either it became easier after the first two times or I now automatically apply the right pressure. It is really not difficult and does not require strength - just knowing where to press. Similarly, refolding is easier after you do it a couple of times. Just don't be too timid - the plastic and the joints are really strong.
BernieM
Folbot Cooper, Pakboat Sport, Innova Sunny, Epic GPX, Oru Kayak, Wike Bicycle Trailer

espenr

Oru Kayak - great experience

Post by espenr »

I am new to this forum but I just want to share some experience with my ORU Kayak. I received one for X-Mas 2013. I live in Oslo, Norway and normally we would have pretty cold days around X-Mas and New Years, but this Winter we had (almost) a ice-free Oslo Fjord with temp. around 32F/0C most of January. You can imagine that I wanted to take the ORU Kayak for test ride, but I was a little bit hesitant to unfold the kayak in 0- +3 C. Well, to make the story short, on January 5th, +3 C degrees I could not wait any longer. Here is the video from the trip.

http://youtu.be/3Eupq-rs14I

I had only folded it once before and it took me about 12 minutes the second time (6 minutes to unfold). Even with the low temperature (+3C), folding the plastic was easy and I did not feel it was stiff. In fact I am happy that there is some resistance in the plastic as this is transferred to a solid construction when you paddle it on water. I did one mistake however when I folded the bow ( again it was my second time), and you can see that in the video, I did not pull the fold in the bow together as instructed and ended up with ´plowing´the water. But even with this folding mistake (which has not been repeated :) ) the kayak performed far beyond what I expected ( I have been kayaking for the last 15 years). It is very stable, reacts very fast, maneuvers well (also on tilting), comfortable to sit in, and it is fast. I have tested it in many different weather conditions (I have also been wave surfing) both in the fjord, ocean/sea, rivers and lakes and it has handled the challenges very well. It is fun to handle. Here is another video from a lunch break last week.

http://youtu.be/mgh9ibNalxI

The ORU Kayak is absolutely my favorite as it gives me the flexibility and performance is not compromized.

In case you have not seen these videos, have a look
http://youtu.be/h2pTdK8-GGg
http://youtu.be/mXdtPrivSgw
http://youtu.be/WSYXROEMX1o

mje
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

NIce videos- very well done. How does the Oru compare to other folding kayaks you've paddled?
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

alexwetmore

Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by alexwetmore »

I previously owned a Feathercraft K-Light (sold it about a year ago) and now own an Oru. My Oru review would be pretty close to espennr's. My K-Light was the first generation model.

I prefer paddling the Oru to the K-Light, the coroplast used on the Oru is a lot firmer in the knee area and so it is easier to get good bracing strokes. The K-Light does have better foot support, but the simple system on the Oru is pretty effective. The Oru is pretty fast for a 12' boat, I paddled it about 3nm/6km last weekend and didn't feel like I was giving up a lot to a bigger boat. I'm used to high end British-style sea kayaks (my last two rigid boats have been a Valley Nordkapp and a Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 Pro). The Oru doesn't handle as nicely as those, but it is a lot better than I expected out of a 12' rec-style boat. I haven't had a chance to try the Oru in really rough water. I keep forgetting to bring my spray skirt too, I've rolled it once without (and missed once when I picked up too much water).

Storage is limited since the Oru is so small. A lightweight camping setup would fit though. Storage access is nicer than on the K-Light since you can quickly "unzip" the top of the kayak.

The K-Light packs down a little smaller, but takes considerably longer to pack and requires more space to pack or unpack. I can unpack the Oru on the deck of my 9 meter/29' sailboat, where doing so with the K-Light would probably have ended with parts going in the water. Packing time for me is around 10 minutes and I've done it about 4 times so far.

I did find the plastic to be very stiff on the initial unfold and fold, but now that I know the procedure I find it to be a lot easier. I think that this has more to do with learning how to handle the fold than with the plastic breaking in.

I posted some other thoughts on SailNet, you can find them here:
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-d ... eview.html

mje: did you ever get a test kayak from Oru? It would be interesting to hear your review since you've paddled more folding kayak models than almost anyone.

mje
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Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by mje »

No, I never did get one. Thanks for sharing your experiences here. I do think the Oru is a clever design, but compared to the similarly priced Folbots (Gremlin, etc) it doesn't seem like a particularly good value in terms of longevity, ruggedness, performance, and so forth.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

alexwetmore

Re: The Oru folding kayak

Post by alexwetmore »

I haven't paddled a Gremlin, but the 34" beam stands out and makes me think it is probably not a high performance boat. With that wide of a beam can it be rolled (using C-C or a greenland roll) should you end up inverted in rough water?

A key feature for me with the Oru is the short assembly and disassembly time. It is very fast and easy to fold once you've used the boat a couple of times. There are only 4 loose parts unlike the skin on frame kayaks that I've used. This video is showing a real-time folding of one of the prototypes, but the process is basically the same with the retail version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3sCK1Gwr9Q

It takes 1:12. Since there are few loose parts it is a lot easier to assemble in a tight space, like on the front of my small sailboat.

I feel better about the durability now that I have the kayak than I did before ordering it. The coroplast used is much more rugged than the version used for sign material. I feel more comfortable banging this plastic up against rocks than the skin on the skin on frame kayaks that I've owned. I have had an issue with a couple of the buckle clips, but they promptly sent me replacements.

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