Sunday, June 08, 2014

First test of my new OruKayak folding kayak!

I was thrilled to receive my Oru Kayak foldable kayak last week. I was intrigued when I saw it on Kickstarter a few years ago, kept track of them, and decided to go all out and purchase two of them after I saw a demo by an Orukayak engineer on Lake Union.

Roberto, the engineer, was able to assemble the kayak in less than 5 minutes.  I made some assumptions based on that - like, for instance, it would take me maybe 30 minutes the first time, but then I'd rapidly get lots faster.

This is what it looks like, before being folded up in kayak shape

But it took more like an hour and 15 minutes - plus lots of strength! Granted, I'm not a weightlifter or anything, so perhaps I'm weaker than the average user. The kayak shell (which is a corrugated plastic, like what election campaign signs are made of) is very stiff originally, and fitting everything where it belongs was very challenging. The seam channel, that fits the top joint of the kayak together, was so tight that I was not able to fit it on the first time I assembled it. I loosened it up by first running the handle of a hairbrush inside it, and then just mounting and unmounting the seam channel over and over again until it fit a little bit more easily - enough to get the top seam attached, in any case.

Since then, I've assembled the kayak 5 times, and have gotten lots faster. This afternoon when I did it, it probably took about 20 minutes. I hope that someday I'll get to 5 minutes assembly time, like Roberto!

I've only done one trip so far with my new kayak, with my friend Jean. Jean is always up for adventure, came with me to watch the Orukayak demo, and ended up buying one as well! For our maiden voyage we went to Phantom Lake, a calm lake not very far away. The kayaks performed very well, and I look forward to exploring more around here.

My friend Jean on a creek leading into Phantom Lake

Among the water lilies

The Seattle area is really an outstanding area for paddling. I have a whole list of places to go - seeing the houseboats on Lake Union, local rivers such as the Cedar River, and of course the Puget Sound.


Blogger Doug said...

Hi Sylvia... neat kayak... I might have to get one. I only found this because I "googled" you. Last night, I found my high school graduation ceremony pamphlet... and started googling everyone whos name sounded familiar. Your's certainly did, and, unlike other people I found, I recognized you straight away. Anyway, I enjoy your blog... hope things are well.

Doug Houck -
btw... I know we had at least one class together (11th grade LA?).

3:56 PM  

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