- Product Dimensions: 35 x 30 x 16 inches ; 28 pounds
- Shipping Weight: 28 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- ASIN: B06Y6KK98V
- Item model number: Oru Kayak
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,678 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors) Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
Oru Kayak BayST Folding Portable Lightweight Kayak - High Performance for Fishing, Sailboats and Backcountry Trips
- Hull Material: double-wall polypropylene
- Length: 12ft
- Width: 25in
- Rocker: 1.5in
- Rolled Size: 33 x 12 x 29in
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Oru Kayak's revamped Bay ST Kayak features a round of updates that won't crash and burn when it comes to assembly. Instead of utilizing the same ratchet buckles the former edition was equipped with, the Bay ST is now loaded with an easy-to-use seam cover that slips over the middle seam to ensure a waterproof seal and easier assembly than before. Additionally, the Bay ST now has a more roomy cockpit and more amenable backrest, offering a more customizable fit and comfortable paddling experience. Much like the original Bay series, the Bay ST is constructed a durable and rigid, double-wall polypropylene material that's built to withstand 20,000 folds. The polypropylene is also fashioned with a 10-year UV treatment to further the overall longevity of the kayak. Neoprene sleeves at the bow and stern bolster the Bay ST's waterproof construction and double as handles, making it easy to carry the Bay ST from the shore to the water. A 1. 5-inch bow rocker makes for fast travel and quick turns, while the convex and concave curves ensure a more rigid feel that caters to novice paddlers or experienced kayakers alike.
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- I really like this concept. For a person that lives on a medium-sized sailboat, it's the perfect space-conscious addition that brings endless utility into the life of a sailor; even in ways I'm still discovering one month in.
- Very stable, even in 2-3 foot waves. Some oppositional-steerage from the wind/wave action is normal, but manageable.
- stowage is ample for a 12-foot kayak
- super-duper light, and I mean paperweight. But, only when there's no water in the kayak.
While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, the implementation of the concept is not without significant failing, which are especially egregious given this is a second generation product. I have to believe that a lack of a meaningful feedback channel, or perhaps lack of consumer-satisfaction focus on the part of the company is at fault, but there's some serious issues that need to be worked out before this could be considered a great product. I've been using it 8-10 times a week, including build-up and tear-downs for about a month now, and here's what my thoughts and experiences are:
- Ordered it with 2-day shipping and received it on Aug 23. Unfortunately, it was missing two seam borders. Weekend one of planned kayaking ruined.
- Online chatted with Oru staff. They were very friendly and offered to send me those missing pieces. They took my name and address and I waited. And waited. And waited. A week later, I tried to chat again with them, but they always seemed offline. They don't have a phone number, so I sent them an email. No response. Absurdity.
- Giving up on Oru, I spoke with the retailer, Backcountry.com. The only thing they could do was send me another one and I send the original back. PAIN IN THE BUTT!!! I couldn't wait for them to receive my return first, so I had to float another $1500 and order another one. That one came on Sept 9 with all the pieces thankfully.
- One Sept 10, I receive an email from UPS that the package containing my missing pieces from the first kayak is being sent to me from Oru. Little late guys.
- Debacle ended, I'm now excited to try out my new kayak. I spent 30 minutes the first time putting it together. There's a ton of steps, but over time, I became much more efficient. After 10 times, I'd say I got it down to 8 minutes build-up, 5 mins tear-down. I can go a little faster I suppose, but when someone advertises 5 minutes to assemble, you have to assume they're not only talking about Olympians.
- The first time I pulled the neoprene tip cover over the very sharp kayak ends, I poked a hole through the neoprene. I'm sure that's going to disintegrate rather quickly. Simple caps over the sharp plastic would've protected the neoprene.
- The carrying strap has bottom pieces that are not quite as wide as the plastic it's meant to protect, thus, when carrying it, I bump the exposed corners on stairs, walls, etc. Those corners are taking an inordinate beating and will be the first 'holes' that surface over time. The 'double hull' nature of the corrugated plastic means that this won't be detrimental to the overall structure, but it seems an oversight in the design of the footings.
- They say 28 pounds, but that's bone-dry and no extras. With a small inflatable pfd and folding paddle, plus a normal amount of water, we're looking at 45 pounds. I carry this thing back and forth to work each day (bus and train), and it's a decent workout. I didn't go for the $250 backpack option for 250 reasons.
- It's a bit of a challenge to assemble, and not all the pieces seem to line up perfectly. The front of the coaming has a long bar that needs to join four screw ends. This never seems to be easy and I'm imagining it would be difficult for someone of lesser strength.
- I'm at the absolute maximum leg length (I'm 5'10") for which I can pulls my knees out without lifting my butt. This is important because the second you lift your butt, you become very unstable, so taller people take heed.
- The first time I take it out, I wanted to try some deep-water rolls (which I'm new to), and the first time I'm upside down, I couldn't figure it out, so I fall out of the kayak and somehow managed to tear a chunk of meat out of my big toe, and I still have no idea what part of the kayak I ripped myself on, there are a few possibilities. Worst of all, I didn't realize I was bleeding, and this is dangerous in ocean/bayside areas where predatorial fish lose their minds if they catch a whiff of blood. I didn't figure out why there were so many small fish around me until I got back to the boat. Why didn't I just get back into the kayak you ask? To the next point...
- This is a very difficult kayak to re-enter once you've fallen out. Without additional buoyancy, once water gets in, this kayak will only float subsurface. It won't sink, but you won't be able to put weight on it. I could not figure out how to get the water out of it in deep water by myself. Thus, I had to swim a quarter mile, dragging the water-logged kayak behind me, to my boat where I could finally dump it.
- Even when there's no water in the kayak and you try to enter it in deep water, you'll find those metal buckles will lacerate your groin and arms. Very painful. It can be done and I did get back in successfully, but you could really injure yourself on those buckles.
- The orange pieces have this absurd black rubber protector around them, and it marks everything it touches. All my shorts have black marks all over them from where it rubs when you carry the folded up kayak. This and all the other various black items (seat, coaming, strap bottom pieces.), have left black marks all over the white deck of my boat; everywhere! This has to the the most annoying aspect of this kayak. How unbelievably thoughtless was this design choice. This is second generation too! Really upset about this.
- In less than two weeks of daily use in salt water, the once chromelike shiny buckles started showing signs of corrosion, and now 4 weeks in, they look terrible. That combined with the unavoidable scratches and scrapes on the corrugated plastic, well, the new look doesn't last very long.
- Who wants to be a star?! Let me tell you what a spectator spectacular this kayak becomes every single time I assemble or tear it down; even just walking around with it. If you absolutely LOVE attention, you'll be treated like a rockstar by everyone that sees you with it. However, if you are a recluse like myself, and your motivation for buying a kayak is to get away from people, the constant barrage of the same questions from every second person that sees your kayak will drive you batty.
In summary, they still have some design issues to work out. I do love the concept, but for that price, there's quite a bit of tweaking left that they need to do.
I had been kayaking before and loved it - daydreaming about a time in the future where I would actually own a home, have a place to store my kayak, have a nice automobile with a kayak-appropriate roof rack, as well as other kayak-toting gear (to pull one on my bike, or on my own, etc).
Alas, I live in an apartment and - with school loans/life/grad school finances looming - owning the aforementioned things will take several years of saving up to attain.
Enter the Oru:
- It's lightweight! I don't need to be a bodybuilder to lug this thing down off a roof rack or struggle to haul it to the waterfront!
- It's portable/packable/store-able!! This is a thing of beauty, my friends. My partner and I just went camping for 4 days/nights and were able to pack 2 kayaks, paddles, PFDs, 2 bikes, and all our assorted camping gear into my 2003 VW Jetta sedan!! It still blows my mind!
- With practice, it's a breeze to set up! All in all, after two fumbly and slow assemblies, each one afterwards gets easier and faster. My last put-together for two Oru's took about 30 minutes. Amazing!
Packing it all up again took much less time...
- It definitely is a different-feeling kayak compared to the wider, slower, and more open rentals that I've previously used, but once you're in it, it feels fast as heck and completely water-worthy! It takes a bit to get used to the "rocker" - feels more wobbly than rentals, but it won't tip over unless you're really trying to make it do so.
Only cons for me were the seat cushion is pretty minimal. My butt was getting sore after 2 hours of paddling (and we were out there for 4+ hours). The foot-rest bar was also pretty minimal. Paddling barefoot left my heels (resting on the bottom of the boat) pretty sore as well. Both can easily be remedied with some form of extra cushioning. My partner did not like how small the boat opening was and felt a bit confined - but, with a bit of yoga-like leg maneuvering, we were able to pull our legs out of the boat and let our feet dip into the cool water.
It will take some more practice (we've only been out 3 times) but this sturdy, amazing kayak was well worth the investment for me so far! Looking forward to many more years of happy paddling!
First time assembly: following instructions, in my living room. Total time: 1 hour. BUT, you can easily grok the assembly steps (it's a logical sequence).
Second time assembly: public launch, on grass. Total time 20 minutes.Take a bow :) Third time: 15, and that includes manually inflating the float bags :)
Folding it all back? It was perplexing the first time, but again, after the first time, it's like riding a bicycle :) It takes less than 10 minutes to get it back into a shoulder carried box (obviously doesn't include cleaning which you can do later).
On water? It's just like any other kayak you've paddled. Performs great - sleek, fast (though I'm not a pro by any measure, so grain of salt).
Carrying an assembled kayak - like lugging it from wherever you assembled it to the water? It's about 30 lbs only, so yeah, it's easy and making it even more enjoyable.
As stated, I'm a recreational kayaker, so nothing I do currently "pushes" its boundaries so I can't really assess it's relative sturdiness, and I don't go looking to...