Oru – The Origami Inspired Kayak

When Oru designer and founder Anton Willis moved into a San Francisco apartment he didn’t have room for his fiberglass kayak so he had to put it in storage. Having space limitations inspired him to find a solution and he began thinking of the Japanese art of origami or folded-paper. If only he could design a kayak that could easily shape-shift into its very own compact carry box. The greatness of the solution would have to be two-fold. The strength at the folds would allow the kayak’s shell to double as a frame and it could be folded from a single sheet of material. A second sheet would be unfolded creating a sturdy floorboard to help reinforce the cockpit. Then it would need bulkhead panels, straps, and buckles to hold the folds together and complete the design.

[Image Source: www.orukayak.com]

In November 2012 once the final design was fully tested, Oru created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and the money poured in. Their financial goal of $80,000 was very quickly exceeded and since then the company has been growing their family of quality collapsible kayaks and kayak accessories.

[Image Source: www.orukayak.com]

If you’re wondering how waterproof Oru kayaks are than have no fear. Willis chose a tough, resilient, abrasion resistant 2-ply corrugated polypropylene made by Coroplast. The material technology combined with the folding design makes Oru kayaks just as waterproof as any other ones on the market. There is only one seam and it’s above the waterline so unless it’s raining only drips and dribbles from the paddles can get in.

[Image Source: www.orukayak.com]

Depending on the model, Oru’s listed kayaks will only add between 26lbs and 34lbs to your load and hold up to 400lbs. When folded up they are compact enough to store in a closet, take on a plane, or pack in a car and that’s pretty cool for a kayak! Oru Kayaks are safe, convenient, and fully recyclable. If you’d like to learn more about Oru kayaks and accessories visit their website at www.orukayak.com.
If you like this article and want to learn more about origami inspired engineering check out these cool article links.

Written by Beverley Start

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