The Oru Kayak is, put simply, a revolutionary product in the kayaking world. Before the Oru, owning a Kayak was a bit of a hassle. For those living in tight quarters in major cities owning a kayak is difficult. There simply wasn’t anywhere to store these rather sizable boats and those wanting to explore the outdoors were reduced to renting or having to pay in order to store their kayaks. This is no longer the case, thanks to Oru. Here are eleven great facts about the Oru Kayak that will make you want to try one.
11. It Appeared on Shark Tank
Most people probably got their first glimpse of the Oru Kayak when it appeared on the popular television show Shark Tank. The episode aired on May 9th, 2014 with founders, Anton Willis, Ardy Sobhani, and Roberto Gutierre de pitching their idea to wealthy entrepreneurs. They were able to successfully convince Robert Herjavec, a wealthy businessman from Canada, to $500,000 in return for a 25 percent stake in the company. Though the Oru Kayak founders tried to talk Mr. Herjavec down from his initial off of 25 percent they were unable to do so and eventually accepted his offer.
10. Oru Started the Product Through Kickstarter
Though the Oru Kayak gained much of its popularity from being on the show Shark Tank, they initially got their start by raising money for the product through a Kickstarter campaign. They were asking for $80,000 to get there, this fold-able kayak manufactured, but ended up with 730 backers and $400,043 pledged to their product. In fact, the Oru Kayak reached their goal on the very first day it launched through the Kickstarter campaign. This was a major success for the company and allowed them to get the Oru Kayak made. There are many reasons why their Kickstarter was so successful, but the professionalism with which they presented their product was certainly one of the main reasons people were so eager to invest. They also offered investors products based on how much they were donating. For example, a $25 donation would get you an Oru Kayak water bottle. A more sizable donation such as one thousand dollars would get you a limited-edition signed Oru Kayak.
9. Inspired by Origami
Oru designed the kayak using the Japanese art of Origami as inspiration. This is what makes the Oru Kayak unique because it’s able to fold in and out of a box shape that can be easily carried, transported, and stored. This collapsible kayak is made of a single sheet of double-layered plastic that can be easily opened and folded into a 12-foot long, 25-pound, watertight kayak. This makes the Oru Kayak something to behold. It only takes about ten minutes to put together and has proven to be extremely durable in even the roughest of waters. It then folds away just as easily.
8. It has Many Great Features
Some of the incredible features that the Oru Kayak offers are, a shoulder strap for easy carrying, watertight deck gaskets, a sturdy cockpit rim with spray skirts, easy to operate snap-release buckles, an adjustable footrest, a foam seat and backband, and a rubber holding strap for any accessories you wish to purchase. These are just a few of the great features of the Oru Kayak and they are continuing to develop more and more.
7. Easy Assembly
The assembly of the Oru Kayak uses a relatively simple strap and buckle system that require no tools. Though some practice will be required to get proficient at assembling the Oru Kayak, most people say they were able to put it together with practice in just five minutes.
6. The Price is in Line With Other Kayaks
The initial asking price for the Oru Kayak was around $1300. This is the typical retail price of a regular Kayak, though there are of course more expensive models. The price was a great selling point when the founders appeared on Shark Tank because it wasn’t too pricey and the founders even admitted that it only cost around $500 to make them. Though this may seem a bit expensive for manufacturing they were still making a decent profit. In fact, at the time of their visit on the Shark Tank show they had already made about $1.5 m and were expecting to make around from million the very next year.
5. It was Founded in San Francisco
Another great fact about the Oru Kayak is that it was founded in San Francisco, California and is also manufactured in California. One of the major commitments the founders of the Oru Kayak made on their Kickstarter page was that they were highly committed to manufacturing their produce locally in order to improve their supply chain and significantly reduce the companies shipping distances, thus reducing their carbon footprint. This certainly hit it off with outdoor enthusiasts who want to make sure that the product they are using isn’t hurting the environment they love.
4. Extremely Light But Maybe Too Small For Tall People
Though comprised of only one double-layered sheet of plastic it’s extremely durable and is able to hold around 250–300 pounds. Considering that the Oru Kayak is only 26–34 pounds depending on the type of Kayak that is pretty impressive. One slight downfall is that it’s only around twelve to 16 feet in length. This makes it rather difficult, if not impossible, for people 6’6” and over to use the Oru Kayak.
3. The Skin is Transparent
Perhaps one of the more overlooked features of the Oru Kayak is the fact that it’s made of translucent plastic. This might not seem like something noteworthy, but it’s actually pretty cool considering that if you put some lights on the inside it will glow in the dark. No other kayak can do this and Oru will actually sell you a four pack of lights for around a $100 if you really want to impress your friends by lighting up the waters in your Oru Kayak at night.
There are also plenty of other cool accessories you can purchase for your Oru Kayak. These include safety kits, repair kits, inflatable solar lights, float bags, dry bags, carbon paddles, seat wedges, and life jackets. You can also purchase these items in various packages called essential, overnighter, and explorer which will include these items allowing you to save money as opposed to purchasing them individually.
2. There are Many Different Versions
The founders of Oru Kayak have not just been sitting around enjoying the success of their product, but rather they have now created a company that offers a wide variety of collapsible kayaks made for any type of outdoor fanatic. They are comprised of three main types of kayaks, beach, bay, and coast.
The Beach LT is the least expensive starting at around $1400 and is typically used for day trips and is perfect for casual, relaxing fun with family and friends. It is 12 feet long, 28 inches wide, weighs only 25 pounds, and can carry around 300 pounds.
The Bay ST is a little bit heavier at 28 pounds but is the same length as the Beach LT, but three inches thinner and sells for around $1600. This type can be used for longer trips on rougher waters and is great for fishing and backcountry trips.
Finally, the Coast XT is the largest Oru Kayak available and sells for around $2500. This 16-foot, 34-pound kayak is great for more serious kayakers looking to traverse rough and windy waters. There are also limited edition versions of the three models of the Oru Kayak. These feature unique art designs and cost a little bit more. Unfortunately, these tend to sell out very quickly and most have already sold out.
1. Oru Contributes to Helping the Environment
The Oru Kayak Company also does many things to help those in less fortunate areas. One of their most recent projects, called the “Indo Project” helped raise money and awareness to the deforestation and mining issues facing a small community in Indonesia. By donating profits from unique Indonesian-inspired products on their website, the Oru Kayak Company was able to bring money and awareness of the environmental effects mining and deforestation has not only the environment itself but also the people and animals living there. You can purchase scarves, stickers, and even a limited edition kayak from their website which will help the people of Indonesia to better protect their environment.