Oru Kayaks are known for their foldable kayaks. At the moment, their product line consists of four foldable kayaks including Beach LT, Bay ST, Coast XT, and Haven. Their marketing tagline says “from box to boat to minutes”. Thus, one can guess their kayaks are portable and easy to assemble as they come in a box folded. We will be reviewing their Bay ST Kayak.
Basically, Bay ST is the updated version of Oru’s original kayak. This new and modified design makes it easier to assemble and more comfortable. One of the features I really liked about this kayak was its stability. This touring kayak is stable enough for beginners. Moreover, the length and contouring make it sporty and fast for pros.
It basically takes only five minutes to remove the box and assemble the kayak. When packed back, its size becomes so small that it can fit in the trunk of your car very easily. You would love that you can even carry it like a regular shoulder bag.
This kayak is lightweight, so it provides good speed while the stability and maneuverability are exceptional. The hull of Oru kayak is of custom polypropylene. This can stand up to 10 years of UV exposure and has a rating of 20,000 folds. This was a short introduction, we will review all of its features and what it has to offer.
Table of Contents
- Oru Kayak Bay ST Review
- Stability - Cannot Get Any Better
- Seat - Not So Comfortable
- Tracking - Stays Straight Even without Paddling
- Maneuverability - Easy Enough for Beginners, Efficient Enough for Experts.
- Storage - Well-Thought-Out compromise
- Transportation - Compact Enough to Fly with
- Storage - Fits Easily in a Closet
- Speed - Fast enough to win casual competitions
- Waterproofing - Keeps Your Stuff Dry
- Weight Capacity - Good Enough to Store All Necessary Gear
- Assembly - Sets Up in Just 5 Minutes
- Durability - Will Last a Lifetime
- Ease of Use - Best for Beginners and Pros
- Accessories - Comes with Nothing
- Value of Money - Worth Every Penny
- Oru Kayak Modifications
Oru Kayak Bay ST Review
Whenever there is a new design, it comes with its benefits and drawbacks. Oru has used the new technology “Origami” in this kayak which has its pros and cons. We will have a closer look at the improved and compromised features and what this kayak has to offer.
Stability - Cannot Get Any Better
Stability of this kayak had to be good since it is a touring kayak. I have tested this kayak in every condition and trust me when I say that it cannot get any better I meant it. Basically, every kayak has two types of stabilities. The primary stability that makes the kayak stable during normal body movements. On the other hand, the secondary stability comes in action when you want to edge your kayak on its side to turn.
This kayak is stable both primarily and secondarily. The Oru’s Kayak does not shake or wobble a lot when you initially sit on it. It feels very stable. The secondary stability is also very forgiving. You can really edge it on its side without fear of water coming into the cockpit.
Seat - Not So Comfortable
The seat of Oru’s Bay ST is not so comfortable. It comes with a bottom piece and a back piece but the problem with the bottom piece is that it is not well padded. It is not possible to sit on it for a long time and not get tired. However, the back piece provides good back support but there is still a room for improvement.
Tracking - Stays Straight Even without Paddling
Because of the shape and pitch of its hull, it tracks pretty nicely. When you are paddling, the kayak doesn’t go left or right it goes straight. It goes where you want it to go. The best thing about its tracking is that even if you stop paddling and want to coast a little bit it would not start to go off course. It would go straight and would track smoothly and nicely.
Maneuverability - Easy Enough for Beginners, Efficient Enough for Experts.
Oru’s kayak is very easy to control even for beginners. Basically, in this kayak, when you lean to the right the kayak steers to the left. Additionally, when you lean to left it turns right. This is not possible in all touring kayaks. This is a plus point for this Oru’s Bay ST. It is a very efficient way to steer the kayak without doing any backstrokes. Backstrokes slow you down and make you more tired.
Storage - Well-Thought-Out compromise
As this is a foldable kayak, so there is no proper compartment for storage. However, there is an ample amount of other storage areas. Since it is a hollow kayak, it allows you to store a lot of stuff in it. When assembling the kayak, before putting the strips on, stash the gear and any stuff you would need on a trip. You can do that in front and the back.
Basically, the weight capacity for Oru’s kayak is 300 pounds. This means that you can carry all the stuff you would require on a trip. The problem with its storage is that you can’t open the storage area when you are on the water. You would have to go offshore and open up the strip to get your stuff out.
The best way is to keep all the necessary stuff in the cockpit. You can store tackles like camping gear at the front or the back of the kayak. There are also some straps over this kayak that can hold your dry bags. You can store some of your stuff in them as well.
Transportation - Compact Enough to Fly with
The transportation of Oru’s Kayak is literally the best thing ever. This packs back into a much smaller size. It essentially can be put in the luggage that you carry to the airport. You can carry it on a train, bus or in whatever means of transportation you are using. The point is it would fit anywhere.
You can even take it into the areas where you never thought you would be able to sail. You can strap it on your shoulders and can hike to the place where you can’t take your normal kayaks.
Storage - Fits Easily in a Closet
This kayak is for the people who live in apartments. These are people who generally do not have enough space to store a full-sized hard-shell kayak. However, these people do not need to worry anymore. This kayak is compact and takes very little space. You can store it in the closet, living room and even in the bedroom.
Storage and transportation are the two main selling points of this kayak. If you were interested in the kayaks but your living space didn’t have room to store a kayak, worry no more because Oru has solved your problem.
Speed - Fast enough to win casual competitions
The speed of this kayak is amazing which is because of its lightweight. In addition, the contouring of the kayak improves the speed of this kayak. As long as you paddle efficiently, your friend doesn’t stand a chance against you in a casual competition.
Any touring kayak that comes at a higher price may be speedier than this kayak. However, you would be hard pressed to find a kayak that is speedier than Oru’s in the same price range. Basically, it is a good choice if you are running comparatively low on budget and want to afford a good touring kayak.
Waterproofing - Keeps Your Stuff Dry
Oru being a foldable kayak might make you think it is not waterproof. However, the fact is that it is 100% waterproof. The neoprene fairings at the hull of the kayak provide a watertight seal. This will keep your stuff dry in the hull.
Weight Capacity - Good Enough to Store All Necessary Gear
Weight capacity of this kayak is 300 pounds. This means it can hold all the necessary stuff that one needs on a trip. If you are planning to go on a short camping trip this foldable kayak is a good choice. Basically, it has enough capacity to store all the stuff you need for that kind of expedition.
Assembly - Sets Up in Just 5 Minutes
The assembly of this kayak is simple and easy. It will take about 15 minutes to set up for the first time. However, on fourth to the fifth time, you would be down to 5 minutes. This is unreal, removing a kayak from the box and setting up this 12-feet long piece in just 5 minutes.
Durability - Will Last a Lifetime
The material of construction of this kayak is custom polypropylene. It can tolerate up to 10 years of UV treatment. This kayak has a rating of 20,000 folds which means you can fold and unfold it 20,000 times without damaging it. 20,000 folds rating means that it can withstand frequent folding/unfolding even if you use daily for years.
The material is also pretty strong and can withstand a lot of abrasion and abuse without getting damaged.
Basically, it is a durable kayak which can withstand a lot of abuse and abrasion and with proper care, it will last a lifetime.
Ease of Use - Best for Beginners and Pros
This touring kayak is best for both beginners and pros. The reason behind this is that the control is very simple and easy which is exactly what beginners need. The contouring of the kayak is to give speed to this kayak which is what pros want. Overall, it is a nice package for both pros and beginners.
Accessories - Comes with Nothing
Oru essentially is an expensive kayak. One might think for a price like this that it comes with a lot of accessories. However, the only thing that comes with it is a shoulder strap. You would separately have to purchase paddles, and the backpack I was talking about earlier.
As you have to purchase needed accessories it becomes an expensive kayak compared to its competitors.
Value of Money - Worth Every Penny
This is an expensive kayak that is for sure. The point is if it justifies its price or not, and when it comes to that it definitely justifies its price.
Oru has good speed, provides stability and is easily maneuverable. Moreover, it provides easy transport and storage. In essence, it has all the features that a good touring kayak should have.
Oru Kayak Modifications
Since it doesn’t have any storage compartment you can purchase a big dry bag and can attach it on the top of the kayak. You can store your cell phone, wallet, lunch box and all the other stuff you want to keep dry.
As I described earlier the seat is not very comfortable so I also tried to modify it. I purchased a set of foam and attached it to both pieces of the seat. This made the seat more comfortable and also added height to it which is good.
This kayak comes with two connectors to connect the screws at the back of the seat and on the front of the cockpit. The problem with these connectors is that they don’t work. Therefore, I have used reusable ties which hold the screws efficiently.
Oru is an expensive kayak and a lot of people may have second thoughts while purchasing this kayak. Here is what I think about this kayak.
Even though this kayak is a little bit expensive than its competitors, but it also offers a lot of improved features. I would spend my money on it just because I could easily store this in my apartment. The storage and transportation can’t get any easier. The speed it has to offer is much more than its competitors. Moreover, Oru’s offers great stability and maneuverability is also smooth and simple.
As it is a folding kayak, some compromises were to be made and one of them was storage compartment. There is no storage compartment, but there is still enough room in the hull of the kayak to store all the stuff.