What happened to the Orukayak?

New product introductions

– Last Updated: Apr-01-13 2:42 PM EST –

I was in the rapid prototyping business at one time and saw many cases where the product was "marketed" well in advance of production to get a solid handle on demand before making significant risky investment in tooling, materials, packaging, etc. So, as not to skew the results, the responders to the "dry offer" were not notified of the conditional circumstances until after the order was received and were provided with the option of canceling. In the case of Oru, they are being very open and candid about the offer being pre-production and when delivery can be expected.

It is also not unusual for companies to offer pre-production deals to accelerate the recovery of their up-front investment (example: the many pre-publication book sales on Amazon, which are also an indicator for first printing quantities). If anything, I think Oru has been exemplary in their disclosure.

Full Disclosure ???
Have you watched their youtube videos?

Have you read the write up in tech magazines?

Bay Area is home of Vaporware …


– Last Updated: Apr-01-13 3:46 PM EST –

I've seen this Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH7m20x_Mjk) and it's plainly stated in it that, with the help of pre-orders, they'll be able to go into future production. I haven't seen any articles, but having published magazines and newspapers, know that the content of editorial material is determined by editorial staff, not the subject.

I haven't seen, nor have I expected to see, a Youtube or magazine article for any kayak that takes the order and discloses all the terms. I'd go to their website for that and, in the case of Oru, they clearly divulge that it's pre-production and state the terms (http://www.orukayak.com/pages/preorder).

Yes, but…
…I still say you Oru folk need to keep more current updates on the website. It would only take a few minutes a week to post a short blog report on the progress of production. I mean you made time to respond to my question on here, didn’t you?

And upload some additional and more current videos – I counted at least 3 prototypes in your videos. Get those folks that own them on the water, even on the road! Having only two 5 month old quickies on YouTube and no updates on the site since January bespeaks a “dead in the water” start-up to most people. Again, don’t lose your momentum.

Having worked most of my life in consumer specialty sales and project management and delivery, if there is one thing I’ve learned it is that a persistent stream of communication is the best operational protocol. Even if you feel you have no new (or good) news for your current or prospective clients, keeping them aware that you are working on things on a weekly or even daily basis inspires confidence and customer satisfaction and minimizes problems and frustration.

I think Sterling is dong a good job of feeding a steady stream of updates, videos and pics as they rebuild and reload from their fire. Nice model for oru to follow.

Gotta love all the so called experts…
on this thread who have all the answers for how a start up company should do things. I just wish they would give the names of their successful company and what innovative product they’ve created and marketed?

you drive and are seeing that another guy’s wheel is about to come off - you won’t tell him cause ur not a mechanic?

Nothing wrong with people expressing their opinion about something, expert or layman it be. Stupidity lies in not giving an ignorant opinion (we all prone to that) - it is listening to one and taking it for a gospel.

The difference
People can discern between what is intended as constructive and what is acrimonious.

What happened to the orukayak ?
They were defeated by the tippeycanoes at the battle of High Brace !

Thanks ROR
I am, indeed, offering constructive criticism and suggestions, because I’m a big fan of folders, am intrigued by the Oru and a potential customer. I’d love to see them succeed.

And yes, I am an “expert” in marketing, product delivery and turning around struggling ventures. A list of them would be a silly waste of space here but anyone who feels the compulsion to validate my cred is welcomed to email me for a link to my long and incredibly boring professional CV.

I’m offering Orukayak, for free, advice that other businesses have paid me a lot of money for. They are also free to take it or leave it.

Oru in dysfunction?
thanks willowleaf, for your insight. I wish this guy at Oru would hear you and take your words to heart. you are absolutely right–he’s hurting his credibility and risking the success of his organization by playing ostrich and keeping his customers in the dark. to those who would accuse you of being in no position to have such an opinion or offer such advice, I can only say: I am a person who purchased two of these folding kayaks on the very first day, and I am horrified by my experience.

The promised delivery window came and went with a paltry explanation, and no apology. Oru’s behavior is befuddling at best, callous and arrogant at worst, and then there is that nagging thing you dare not let yourself think: maybe i’ve been fleeced. gradually, I am growing furious, and I don’t think I am the only one. I believe it’s a matter of time before people start posting negative comments online, and maybe even organizing to take some kind of action against Oru.

The funny thing is, I wouldn’t be so upset, maybe wouldn’t be upset at all, if there were a stream of reliable communication from Oru, but there isn’t. I was repeatedly assured “early May” would be the delivery. the last time I heard from Oru was May 07 (a mass email telling us production had been delayed and the boats would ship a few weeks later than promised). by that logic, mine should have shipped by now. but no kayak, no apology, no update, and no further information of ANY KIND since may 7. there is no customer service department to call, no public phone number for Oru Kayak (that’s right, people who have purchased these kayaks have no number to call), and the company does not respond to emails. it really is kind of a “trust us, drink the kool-aid” thing. if you google Oru you will only find the same three links you’ve looked at a million times. they would have you believe this is because they are investing “every moment of their time” in the process of “ramping up production.”

kickstarter offers no support mediating claims against one of its “projects.” despite Anton Willis professing on this message board that manufacturing updates are posted on his Oru Facebook page, there’s nothing of any substance or detail there. he has said more on this thread than he has on any of Oru’s official venues, though all of the unfulfilled promises he made here are from early April, and now it’s May 30. On memorial day he posted one picture–of a military veteran paddling a kayak decorated as a battleship. THAT ALONE is the only sign of life any of us has seen from Oru in a month. and do not believe what he says about having been transparent with regard to deliveries–he has not. this is simply dishonest fabrication on his part. keeping people in a state of limbo is not transparency. all that I have received is a vague sense of when my delivery MIGHT be, with no guarantee, and no way to have my order addressed individually, by a living human being. there’s not even any indication that the company is still in business. $1,500 dollars is a lot of money for me, and terms like unobtanium and vaporware are damn scary. I feel as if I’ve just bought some swamp land in Arizona, or a share of the Brooklyn Bridge! it would be sooo easy for Oru to just publish a brief weekly update. or to show some pics of happy people with kayaks that HAVE already shipped out (if any). why they don’t do this is a mystery to me, and I can only assume it’s bad news. for a “virtual” company with no track record, all it would take is a few negative articles to seriously hamper future orders. Willoleaf, as much as i want to believe in the beautiful fantasy of oru kayak, and as much as i hate to say this: I fear you have indeed sniffed out a startup in the throes of crisis.

if Anton Willis still reads this thread, I challenge him, no implore him, to prove me wrong.

Oru Credibility is Fine
I have been a fairly silent member of paddlingnet for a number of years. That is until now.

My husband and myself participated in Oru’s Kickstarter campaign by ordering 2 of the Early Bird Oru Kayaks. I think we were one of the first 10 to place orders when the campaign kicked off.

Yes, their production was delayed. That is not an uncommon occurrence when pursuing production of a new product.

During this delay we received no less than four emails apologizing for the delay plus offering reassurance that the delay was in the very best consideration for producing a quality product.

My husband and I are contractors that travel the whole of the North American continent. We paddle Alaska to San Diego, Nova Scotia to the Florida Keys. We consider ourselves intermediate paddlers.

Because of the nature of what we do we have had an ongoing pursuit of a lighter, easier to set up kayak to take with us in our travels. We’ve tried many.

Last week we received our two Oru’s. Today we had our first paddle at a remote lake in the North Cascades of Washington State. This area is strictly “carry in, carry out”, absolutely no motorized equipment. So, our “real world” conditions are certainly NOT your “real world” conditions!

We were absolutely pleased with the performance of the Oru’s. They are light and responsive. They track very well. Our conditions today were 10 mph winds with a bit of chop. We paddled for about 3 hours.

First set up was about 30 minutes on our property. The second set up at the lake was about 20 minutes (per kayak).

The kayak’s folds are stiffer when they are new and will be easier to unfold and fold over time. That is obvious to see when we watch the Oru Company’s videos.

After 3 hours of paddling we emerged from our Oru’s dry and comfortable.

We do not regret purchasing these kayaks. Quite frankly we are happy that we got our feet in the door early and purchased them for the price that we did.

You will see more of these in your local waters.


Dale and Laure Simpson

Re: Oru credibility is fine
Thank you Laure for posting about the delivery and paddling experience you had with your Oru. As another customer much further down the waiting list, it’s great to hear good news!

Very recently, I have found Oru’s Facebook page to be updated frequently with pictures submitted by customers in their freshly delivered kayaks.

Although my delivery is months away, I emailed them the other day with a maintenance question and they answered my email within 24 hours.

I don’t know why Oru doesn’t put a “order counter” on their webpage so customers can see the progression of deliveries by order number. It would eliminate a lot of guesswork and negative rumors.