The Portable Oru Kayak Folds Like Origami

January 23, 2013

10:15 am

When Anton Willis moved to San Francisco, he had to retire his kayak – after all, a 12-foot-long boat takes up too much valuable square footage. That’s when the idea for a folding kayak took shape, literally.

Along with cofounder Ardy Sobhani, he raised over $440,000 on Kickstarter for the new Oru Kayak, a 12-foot-long, 25-pound folding kayak inspired by origami. Made of corrugated plastic, the kayak can carry up to 260 pounds and withstand mild waves and normal scrapes with rocks.

For city dwellers, Oru Kayak packs up into a carrying case and can be checked on a plane or stored in a closet – unlike traditional kayaks, which need special racks on cars and a garage to sleep in. And the kayak assembles in 5 minutes with no tools.

Even for non-city dwellers, they’re just plain sleek and smooth to handle. “You can see the water beneath you through the translucent skin. You can feel it respond to waves and swells. The Oru Kayak is all about experiencing a connection to the water,” says Sobhani.

Made in California, the kayaks cost $850 and will be delivered starting in June.

Oru Kayak


Oru Kayak was a showcased startup at our Tech Cocktail San Francisco mixer in January.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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