Oru upgrades folding kayak for faster unfurling
California's Oru Kayak has found great success with its origami-inspired approach to boatbuilding, using a very fruitful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 as a launchpad for a line of slick seagoing vessels. The refreshed Coast XT is its flagship model for 2018, and continues the company's evolution by incorporating new bells and whistles that promise faster setup and better stability.
As the largest kayak in Oru's range, the 16 ft (4.8 m) Coast XT is a sea tourer inspired by the type of durable kayaks built to endure icy Arctic waters. Like its smaller siblings the Beach LT and Bay ST, it comes packed into a box but can be unfolded into a kayak that is ready to roll in just a few minutes.
Oru says it has shaved a few moments off this setup time thanks to what it calls zipper channels. These replace the release buckles that secured the sides of the outgoing model, and basically allow the center seam to be easily slid into place. The quick video below shows how this works.
The company has also tweaked the folding pattern, which it says rids the kayak of an internal structure and creates more space inside, making it easier for users to slide in and out of. It has also redesigned the thigh braces, which it says are now easier to adjust and should make for improved stability, meaning better comfort on longer journeys.
Like Oru's other offerings the Beach and Bay+, the 34 lb (15.4 kg) Coast XT is cut out of polypropylene plastic and is said to be capable of withstanding encounters with rocks and other obstacles. Conveniently, the paddles break apart into four pieces, making them and the 33 x 12 x 29 in (84 x 30 x 74 cm) box the canoe packs into relatively portable.
Oru has returned to the crowdfunding scene to get the new Coast XT into production, and has received a very warm reception with more than US$100,000 pledged on Indiegogo at the time of writing. Early pledges of $1,599 are available, with shipping slated for April if everything goes to plan. You can check out the pitch video below.