Oru BAY ST 12ft folding kayak
Limited stock February 2021, main stock April 2021
The ORU BAY was the original and revolutionary 12ft folding kayak that started the whole Oru story, with a near-cult following in the USA. The current BAY ST version retains the original, delight-to-paddle, shape but with significant improvements to the ease of assembly and waterproofness of the top seam. #
The Oru Bay kayaks fold down into a 33x29x12″ box weighing just 26-lb (12kg) – comparable in size to a typical suitcase, but much lighter.
The important thing to understand is there is no separate box… the boat is the box, the box is the boat. And unlike almost all other folding kayaks, the skin is the structure – other than a couple of bulkheads there is no separate frame to assemble inside the skin. So it’s quick and easy to assemble, and very, very light. Incredibly light for a folding kayak, lighter than most decent quality inflatable kayaks, and lighter even than most carbon/kevlar non-folding kayaks costing several thousand Pounds.
Stability-wise the Bay ST probably suits paddlers who have done a little kayaking before. It’s actually very stable as long as you don’t get into a “panicky wobble”, but getting in and out – as with any enclosed cockpit kayak – requires a bit of practice. If you’d prefer something a bit wider (aka more stable) with an easier access cockpit the Beach LT may suit you better, but the Beach can’t be fitted with a sprayskirt (the Bay can).
Carry it INSIDE your car (no roof rack): Photos show one folded Oru lying down in the boot of a VW Golf, with room to spare; and two folded Orus standing up (still behind the back seat, and yes the boot did close).
We’ve found the Bay ST to be very quick in the water, with great glide characteristics (some kayaks just stop when you stop paddling, not these). It really requires very little effort to push it through the water. Many of our more experienced paddling customers initially bought an Oru “as a backup” but find in reality it’s the one they use most – because it’s much better to paddle than they thought it would be, and so easy to transport and store. You could (and some people do) keep it in the back of your car permanently, just in case you’re passing a nice spot of water on a nice sunny day.
The assembled Oru Bay kayaks are remarkably stiff and strong, so (as with all kayaks) the limitations are more likely the paddler than the boat. Generally speaking they are perfect for pottering on inland waterways, and off the beach, but also capable (if the paddler is capable) of coastal work. However if most of your kayaking is at sea and you want to go longer distances then it may be worth considering the 16ft Oru Coast XT kayaks
– length 12ft (3.7m)
– beam 25″ (64cm)
– weight 26-lb (11.8 kg)
– 33x29x9″ (84x74x23cm)
– Oru Bay ST Kayak £1350
– Oru four-part paddle (fits in folded boat) adjustable length 220-230cm and feather angle, weight 1.25kg, £75
– Oru four-part carbon paddle, as above but in gorgeous clear-finish black carbon fibre and only weighs 0.82kg (33% less). Extravagant, yes, but an object of extreme desire! £250
– Oru Bay ST back pack carrying bag £150
– Oru buoyancy bag set, one for each end, £60
– Oru neoprene spray skirt (this is the better of two options) £110
– Oru seat wedge. If you’re prone to “dead legs” from flat seating angles, this deceptively simple bit of covered foam offers a near-magical improvement! £25
– Non-Oru four-piece paddle* (fits in folded boat) £40
Delivery, to most UK mainland addresses £12. Most mainland Europe addresses (France, Germany etc) £55.
Please Note, if comparing to US prices… they don’t have VAT! Our prices include getting them to UK, import duty as applicable, and VAT – all of which you would have to pay if importing direct from USA.