Oru Kayak, which introduced its original 12-foot ‘origami kayak’ in 2012 with the most successful Kickstarter campaign in paddling history, is at it again.
This morning the company opened a new Kickstarter campaign with a pair of 16-foot models aimed at serious sea kayakers, the Oru Coast and Oru Coast+. In the first eight hours of the Kickstarter campaign, Oru raised more than $50,000–surpassing its $40,000 fundraising goal and assuring that the boats will go to market.
“The Coast is where land meets water, where solid ground gives way to endless horizons,” the company says on its Kickstarter page. “We're excited to announce our new 16' kayak, the Oru Coast—and its model upgrade, the Coast+. Both are 16′ [5 meter] long kayaks engineered for rough water and multi-day trips, with great speed, tracking, and stability.”
The baseline Coast model will sell for $1,975, but the first 25 Kickstarter backers can purchase their boat for $1,650. Early adopters can purchase the Coast+ version for a Kickstarter pledge of $2,100, nearly $400 below the $2,475 suggested retail price. Delivery for both models is estimated in August.
“It's an expedition kayak, 4 feet longer than our original 12′ models, the Bay and Bay+,” Oru says on the Kickstarter page. “This makes it considerably faster and more efficient to paddle—the longer waterline helps the boat fly across the water. It also has more stability and a lot more space inside—you can pack it with enough gear for days.”
The Coast weighs 31 pounds, and the Coast+ 34 pounds. Both fold into the now-familiar suitcase configuration. When stowed, the boats look like a large artist’s portfolio.
Oru redefined "folding boats" with the fall 2012 launch of the Bay. The unique design concept merged a packable hull's separate skin and frame components into a single rigid sheet of 5-mm extruded polypropylene (reminiscent of USPS tote-bins) capable of collapsing down into a suitcase-like package. The original 2012 Kickstarter campaign quickly raised $444,000. A 2013 appearance on ABC's Shark Talk led to another investment, the proceeds of which were used to streamline Oru's California manufacturing base.
How do the new boats handle, particularly in challenging conditions, and loaded with gear? We’ll have to wait to see–a test unit is already on its way to Canoe & Kayak’s offices. The Oru video above shows the Coast and Coast+ handling lively coastal conditions, including surf, rock-gardening and stiff wind. We’re very eager to put this innovative design through its paces.
Our recent test of the little brother Bay+ suggests the Oru Coast and Coast+ could be a great option for skilled paddlers with limited storage space, or unlimited wanderlust. The prospect of an expedition-worthy craft that can be checked onto a plane and reassembled anywhere in the world in 20 minutes is intoxicating.