Oru Kayak The Bay St
I recently got to try out an Oru Kayak, which are made of corrugated plastic, and fold up origami-style into a backpack for easy storage and transportation. We demoed the Bay St model, which weighs all of 28 pounds.
Set up is incredibly simple. I got a private demo, and then a few minutes later another editor came, and I was able to break down and fold up the kayak, then set it up again by myself, in about 15 minutes. Afterward, we took the watercraft out on the Hudson River. It was easy enough to get into, as comfortable as any recreational kayak is, and really fun out on the water. It takes a few paddle strokes to get used to the lightness of the boat, and I was a little more conscious of swells for the first few minutes (kind of like riding in a small airplane). But soon I was cruising, and pretty fast, too. It’s got a great design that cuts through the water. We weren’t using a spray skirt, but it’s got hardware to accommodate one, plus straps on the top to hold any gear you want to tote.
The boats can endure 30,000 unfoldings and foldings, which means about 15,000 kayak outings—meaning you could kayak every day for 41 years before it went kaput.
The Bay St model is mid-range of the three; the Coast XT 2018, new for this year, is about $1K more expensive but made for, as they say, serious expeditions and pro-level performance. But even the Beach LT, the recreation model, would be something great to take on my next beach or sailing trip. — Marjorie Korn, Senior Editor
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