How is the Coast different from current Oru Kayaks?
It's an expedition kayak, 4 feet longer than the original 12' models, the Bay and Bay+. This makes it considerably faster and more efficient to paddle—the longer waterline helps the boat fly across the water. It also has more stability and a lot more space inside — you can pack it with enough gear for days, or just stretch your legs!
Who should paddle The Coast? Adventure is a state of mind, not a level of difficulty. The Coast is capable of serious expeditions and pro-level performance. It's also amazingly smooth, stable, fast and fun for anyone — even novice paddlers, and taller paddlers up to 6'7". It's at home in water from the Pacific Ocean to your local pond.
5mm double-layered custom-extruded polypropylene
After a poor paddling experience with the Bay (flexing, poor tracking, broken combing), I was in REI and in speaking to a salesperson, she stated they had a Oru return on their upcoming used gear sale. It looked good and paid $550. for it..a deal right? Nope. I took it out and quickly found out that it leaked badly at the hull fold. What the heck? This kayak was under a year old and appeared to have been paddled very little..as in really not paddled. These Oru's are poor quality and have very little customer support. I called Oru and got the brush off and was told that they have rarely seen a leak..I call BS on that as there are many unhappy people who say otherwise. I tried two different adhesive materials to seal it, but no, both failed. I took it back to REI and never again. If you buy one, make certain you can return it. I suggest you paddle one before buying and see first hand they are made with cheap materials. Getting it folded was a chore.
I own a seeker st and coast xt. The seeker is a bit faster and the coast is a bit more stable and accelerates better. The coast is much easier to assemble and to pack up.
In July of 2016 I purchased two Coast+ boats direct from ORU.
Boat number one was missing all of the u-channels that hold the bulkheads in place. This boat was sent back to ORU. Two months later they got around to shipping the replacement model.
Boat number two developed a leak deep in one of the folds. This leak could not have been caused by the user. It developed deep within the seam. It wasn't until early summer 2017 that the cause of the leak could be determined by me. I contacted ORU and they agreed to repair the leak under warranty. I sent the boat back, and two months later a brand new boat arrived. Unfortunately this one is unusable as well. It is missing one of the u-channels, and two others are installed in the wrong location. Also, the seam channels are too long to span the distance from the cockpit to the bow. This is where the story currently stands.
My advice to perspective ORU purchasers is this: DO NOT buy directly from the manufacturer. Only buy through a trusted retailer such as REI. DO NOT leave the store until the boat can be fully assembled to your satisfaction. If you are keeping score, ORU has sent me 4 Coast+/xt models and 3 of them have been defective.
About the boats. They are very difficult to assemble. It usually takes me 20 minutes. The plastic is easily damaged. The folds cannot be trusted to last the life of the boat. Numerous components of the boat can be broken or lost ruining a trip.
What is good about the boat? It can be easily stored in the basement out of sight.
I own the Bay from 2014 which was somewhat improved over the kickstarter version. Three years later, having gone paddling over 30x, I wanted to upgrade. The coast xt is a much better handling boat and allows for controlled edging and advanced turns. Edged rudders are also easy to accomplish. The coast xt is a much tighter fitting boat with good padding around the hips due to the updated seat back.
The coast xt is stable on chop and is an excellent boat for long trips.
I have since purchased a second boat for the wife so that we can enjoy paddling together. She is still a novice and finds the boat stable enough for learning, but is also able to manuvure.
Assembly is easy if one follows the simple instructions. Similar to the Bay, the folds on the coast xt takes some breaking in. Once this period is over, assembling the boat is super quick and easy and is much simpler that most skin on frame folding kayaks.
+ Stores inside of a small car
+ extremely durable (won't crack or split open like a hard shell fiberglass
+ as fast as any hard shell with excellent glide ability
+ incredible acceleration probably due to the light weight and low hull to water friction
+ takes on big waves easily and has very good stability through rough waters.
- Long learning curve to fold and unfold in which mistakes could damage the kayak.
- Gets blown around by the wind fairly easily (probably due to the light weight, low hull/water friction and fairly flat keel)
once you get the hang of it to fold and unfold, and with some minor modifications to suit your personal needs, can't find anything bad to say about this kayak.
The Oru 'Coast' is light, highly portable and assembles fairly easily. It also seems very durable. However, relative to it's price it doesn't perform very well, and has several other shortcomings relative to similarly priced folding kayaks.
At 32 pounds, the Coast is one of the lightest 16' folding kayaks. With practice it assembles in about 15 minutes. The polypropylene material is highly durable and easily repaired.
While the Coast is more rigid than the previous Oru 'Bay' model, it's still fairly flexy. This flex, along with it's 25" beam make it's overall performance adequate, but unspectacular. It's primary stability is very high, secondary stability is fair, and speed is also only fair. The seat comfort is average.
One it's major shortcomings is it's foot-bracing platform, which consists of a bar connected to cord. It's just not very solid, and isn't very functional for maneuvering and control.
Another major shortcoming is gear access. In order to access gear stored inside, it's necessary to partially disassemble it, which is cumbersome and time-consuming. Storage capacity is decent; enough for a few days.
Like it's predecessor, the Coast is an interesting, novel design that is only practical in terms of low weight and portability. It has significant shortcomings compared to other similarly priced kayaks. Pakboats kayaks are about the same or a little less, and are more practical. The Trak Seeker is a little more expensive, but significantly better overall. Apart from the novel design, the Coast doesn't offer much in terms of practicality.
I found it weather cocked a lot but it tracked pretty well and wasn't too slow and seemed to do well straight into the wind, much better than an inflatable. I found it extremely uncomfortable and was in pain the next day after only a of couple hours messing around in it. The backrest is way too high for real paddling, but easily modified. The footrest arrangement is horrible. You might be able to modify it enough to make it comfortable enough but I just didn't like the boat enough to want to get into that.
All the plastic parts seem kind of toy like, I'm concerned how long this will hold up, the whole concept is still very new. Also I really don't know how you're supposed to be able to access any cargo stowed inside the hull without just about taking apart the whole thing every time.
Oru customer service can be friendly and helpful but not really on the ball, seems like poor internal communication, they say their getting back to you tomorrow and then they ignore until next week. I found them frustrating to deal with though they seem like the try to do a good job, sooner or later, that's good enough I suppose...