Most Recent Reviews
I love the design and conceptualization of the Oru kayaks, However, the original Bay (2014 edition) suffers from a few issues. 1. Cockpit size and foot/leg fit----it's too tight for moderately larger folks! I'm 5'10 and 190 lbs. Yet once I'm in the kayak I feel like I'm wedged in tightly with little ability to use my legs or thighs for bracing nor maneuvering. This may work for short flat water paddles, but what kayaker goes out for just a 20 minute paddle?!! By the way, on forums, other paddlers have noted the same issue. 2. Portability----the ability to pack the kayak into a backpack and haul it around is great. Just beware, you will need to find a space to unfold and assemble it when you get to the pond, lake, river, etc. Same when breaking it down: you'll need a ~14 foot flat space. 3. Components---there are a few parts which seem to be breaking on these kayaks. Most notably, a tie assembly behind the seat which holds the two sides together. The part seems to fail from fatigue of use. Mine hasn't broken yet, but is warping. Reading Facebook descriptions, people are finding that the hull snaps seem to hold things in place anyhow. A clever person has started manufacturing aluminum replacement parts----filling a vacuum left by Oru. 4. Customer Service---again, Facebook reviews of customer service are very poor, reporting long wait times for parts (months to a year); lack of response; and dismissiveness. I experienced the latter when I reported an issue.
So, overall, a brilliant product that fails in certain critical ways. I wasn't sure whether to give it a two or three star rating. Erred on the better side, but note that the kayak is primarily a flat water kayak for short paddles.
Stop: If you're all or large, read this.
I'm about 6" and 200 lbs. I bought the Bay shortly after Oru ran its original Kickstarter campaign. I'm now going to sell it.
I've used it several times in an effort to get used to it. But for me, with long legs and wide girth, it's too small. Entry into the cockpit is difficult. I have to slide my legs, straight-legged, into the interior. With longish legs, it's hard to prop up my legs to gain leverage for paddling and control. On exit, I have to lift myself straight up and out: no bending of knees permitted. If capsized, I doubt I could reenter the Bay.
I see why the came up with the Beach model!
Fit issues aside, I've found the control to be a bit skittish, meaning the kayak is harder to control than heavier models. On the other hand, portability is great! And as others have noted, it's quite a discussion starter on the beach.
Test paddle before you buy! If you want a light weight easy day kayak that folks will flock to: great. But for more serious paddling, look elsewhere.
My two stars are based primarily on fit and handling. For design and appearance, I'd give it a 5-star review. I teach and am known as a tough grader!