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Behind the Design: The UBB x Oru Kayak Collab

We can see the Delaware River from the United By Blue office, so we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate with Oru Kayak — if only for an excuse to go for a few test runs over lunch. As city dwellers with small living spaces (and without car racks), Oru’s origami-inspired, packable kayak is a welcome solution.

“I was skeptical at first, but it handles really well on the water. I’d recommend it for paddlers of all levels. It’s definitely a beginner-friendly kayak.”

Inspired by United By Blue and Oru’s shared love of the water, our Head of Design, Brianna, came up with a print that captured the moving current. While it didn’t take her long to sketch out a design that mimicked the motion of the water as a kayak cuts through it, it was certainly tricky to transfer that vision onto a kayak. Oru’s portable kayaks consist of a complex system of panels that intuitively fold from a kayak to easy-to-carry box (and back again). Suffice it to say ensuring a printed design remained seamless in both boat and box form took a little trial and error.

“We thought about how the river looks underneath the kayak — the motions and the ripples of a boat and paddle cutting through the water.”

We rounded out the collab with a few printed products made with paddlers in mind, using our undercurrent pattern, Oru’s signature orange, and UBB’s deep navy to tie it all together. The (really) good news: The collaboration kayak comes complete with the collection and an adjustable paddle with a reinforced fiberglass shaft.

The Pack

- 25L carrying capacity
- DWR finish that sheds moisture and resists staining
- Exterior flap pocket with easy magnetic closure

The Hat

- Designed to block the sun’s glare on the water
- 5-panel style with an adjustable, clip-in buckle
- 100% organic cotton


The Tees

- Made to take you from the water to post-paddle beers
- 100% organic cotton
- Made in USA

Shop the Oru x UBB collection

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