Innovation: Origami inspired plastic folding kayak

The Oru kayak is a folding plastic kayak that was inspired by origami

Innovation is the name of the game and Anton Willis, a San Francisco designer, is no slouch. Drawing on his fascination of Origami, the California native has come up with a stylish and sensible solution for kayak storage when living in a small apartment: a folding plastic kayak based on Origami.

Folding kayaks are nothing new. Most are treated fabric shells with wooden or other frame pieces that snap together in some fashion inside the shell. But Willis’ design is made of a double-layer of corrugated plastic with seams he claims can be folded 20,000 times.  The frame is plastic too. Purists can, of course, recycle the whole thing when they are done with it, but I’d probably prefer to give to someone.

A story this week in Wired  takes a look at the boat and Willis’ development process.  It’s  an attractive kayak, albeit short at 12 feet long. It is somewhat beamy too at  28 inches wide and 13-inches high. The Oru Kayak, as it is called, can take a spray cover. Needless to say, it comes in a plastic carrying case. I am still waiting to find out the price. For more details on the boat here is his website:

About Howard Meyerson

After more than 30 years in the outdoor writing business, you would think I'd know better.
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