Necessity is the mother of all inventions holds true for Anton Willis, who grew up in rural Mendocino County, with easy access to rivers, lakes, and the ocean. But once he moved into a small San Francisco apartment, his fiberglass kayak remained stowed away, which drove Willis, an architect and product designer by profession, to design a compact kayak that fits into compact carrying case to tackle mobility issues for kayakers – stow it on a sailboat, garage, carry it on a plane or carry it on your camping trip. The Oru Kayak is twelve feet long, 12 inches wide, and weighs just 25 pounds which enables it to fold in and fold out of a compact box easily, quickly and magically, all in five minutes.
Anton took inspiration from the Origami art to design this revolutionary folding kayak. The high-performance Oru Kayak came after 25 full-scale prototypes, which excludes the first full-sized prototype, which turned out to be a disaster when it was tested in the standing water of Berkeley’s Aquatic Park. And after a lot of design improvements and test sessions with pro-level kayakers besides few of his friends and family, the Oru kayak was launched on crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where it met its goal in only five hours. Each Oru Kayak is engineered of a single sheet of double-layered plastic, which makes it extremely tough and abrasion-resistant. The single seam is sealed with a watertight rubber gasket. Solid ribs offer strength and rigidity. The cockpit features fully-padded seat and backrest.
This fully recyclable boat is designed to last 20,000 fold cycles without structural failure. The Oru Kayak skin becomes its own carrying case, with space to hold a life vest, paddle, and other accessories. The founders have plans to launch a lot of cool accessories soon while they are taking pre-orders now for delivery in Spring 2013.
Willis claims there’s nothing like it on the market, and is patent-pending, but we have earlier also seen Citibot, claimed to be the lightest boat from Folbot weighing a little less at twenty-four pounds and the boat conveniently folds up into a 35" x 18" x 10" backpack, with a set-up time of 10-20 minutes to assemble it. The portable kayak sells at a discounted rate of $1,095.
Besides, we have earlier seen the foldable sailboat concepts from designer Thomas Etter, Anita Meyer, Femke Morf and Florian Ueker called, “Urban Skiff” and the origami boat by designer Matteo Signorini. But, the boat sure is perfect to be carried along on your next adventure for tons of fun. We have one on our wish list too.