There are some people who take notice of what’s happening to them and in the midst of change, spy opportunity and a chance. When architect and product designer Anton Willis moved to a small San Francisco apartment and had to leave his beloved kayak in storage because he had nowhere to put it, simply reading an article on origami sent him straight down a new path. Or rather up a creek. With a paddle.
Willis got to work and, five years on, his unique origami kayak, Oru Kayak, has just been named the Product of the Year at ISPO 2014 in Munich, the international leading sports business trade show and was named Outside Magazine’s Best in Show at the 2013 Outdoor Retailer trade show in Utah. And rightly so. Each Oru Kayak is made from a single, seamless sheet of double-layered, recyclable plastic. A permanent pattern of folds transforms the flat sheet into sleek, fast, minimalist watercraft. Packed up, the Oru Kayak is the size of a large artist’s portfolio. Five minutes of assembly later, it is a strong, durable boat – ideal for exploring bays, lakes, or rivers. It’s fully recyclable and uses 70% less petroleum to manufacture than a standard kayak.
The Wall Street Journal called it “elegant, even romantic …. and freeing”. Men’s Journal reckons it’s able to “compete with standard kayaks in terms of comfort and handling”. It can also be checked in on planes as luggage, carried on the back of a bike, or added to your camping kit for your next lake or river-side camping trip. There are accessories to, from paddles to float bags, but I’m mad about the solar lights that turn the kayak into a lantern for a midnight paddle.
Oru Kayaks are designed and manufactured in California, and ship internationally. Prices start at $US1395 and you can order yours here.
I want one. Don’t you?!