DNOWS Header

Image Map

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Has Sturdy, How Stable Is The Oru Kayak?

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Oru Kayak did it. The innovative company led by designer Anton Willis solved a huge issue for open water swimmers who wish to swim with an escort in far-away places...or even waters near their home.

Willis created the Oru Kayak, a watertight 12-foot long kayak that folds in a carrying case that was nominated for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

The Oru Kayak website explains their products best, "Stash it in a trunk. Check it on a plane. Stow it on a sailboat. Hike it in to remote waters. No garage, SUV or roof racks necessary. The Oru Kayak makes boating simple, easy, and accessible— so you can spend more time on the water."

Willis grew up in northern California, but he was forced to store his kayak in storage when he moved into a small San Francisco apartment.

Inspired by origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, he sketched a few ideas for a folding kayak. His sketches turned into countless paper models and, tirelessly, over 20 full-scale prototypes that were tested in bays, lakes, rivers and oceans over a 4-year period. "When I moved to San Francisco, I started thinking, "What if a boat could fold away like origami? What if you could take it on journeys in the water or anywhere you want to go?"

Those questions are wonderful words to hear for open water swimmers, especially since the Oru Kayak is the answer.

After obtaining start-up money through crowd funding via Kickstarter, Willis and co-founder Ardy Sobhani raised US$440,000 in 35 days and pre-sold almost 500 boats to launch Oru Kayak. "It is a folding boat that packs into a folding case. It is perfect for fast, stable and it handles incredibly well. It is perfect for paddling on bays, lakes and rivers," Willis explains.

After a few years on the marketplace, how is the Oru Kayak doing?

Corey Hass explains his hard-core usage of the Oru Kayak for/in Outside Magazine (see here.

Hass writes, "In the last year, we’ve paddled Oru’s novel folding kayak in the Pacific Ocean, floated it down the Colorado River, used it to hunt ducks, chase fish, took it to Mexico, and even carried it on our backs to reach high alpine lakes. How does this piece of corrugated plastic stand up to a full year of adventure? We break it down here."

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

A Thank You Gift from WOWSA

WOWSA is celebrating the
1-Year Anniversary of the monthly Open Water Swimming Magazine
by giving you a free copy of the anniversary issue.

Open Water Swimming Magazine Anniversary Issue
File Size: 13MB


Download the file to your computer, and then right-click to extract the magazine which is inside the zip folder. The magazine is in PDF format.

CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.

Open Water Swimming Magazine

Open Water Swimming Magazine

The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...

The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac

An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.

But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.

In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...

Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:

The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.


Open Water Swimming Event Sanctioning

World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation

Open Water Race Calendar

Coaches Education Program