June 8, 2017 – Oru Kayak, makers of the original origami-inspired folding kayak, is leading an attempt at completing the first solo kayak passage from Cuba to Key West.
In July, a small crew of solo kayakers led by Oru Kayak will set out from Havana, Cuba with compasses set on Key West. The 103-mile ocean passage is infamous for strong currents, sharks, unpredictable weather, and as a hazardous journey often made by Cuban refugees seeking political asylum in the US. Due to recently renewed diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA, the ocean passage has been the subject of much interest. In recent years the passage between the neighbor countries has been swam, paddle boarded, and completed by a tandem kayak team, however, a solo kayak passage (e.g. a kayak powered by just one-person) has yet to be completed.
While completing a solo kayak passage remains a significant test of human strength, endurance, and perseverance — and will likely require 30-40 hours of non-stop kayaking — the ability to make a safe and legal journey from Cuba to the USA is arguably the most remarkable feat of all. Andy Cochrane, Oru’s Director of Marketing who is organizing and leading the expedition, commented, “Kayaking from Cuba to the USA is a dream opportunity for any kayaker. But more important than our success, is the fact that we can do this safely and with the blessing of both the US and Cuban government — and what that means for people in both countries.”
Oru Kayak will use a fleet of the company’s newly updated COAST XT expedition kayaks to complete the 103-mile journey. The expedition touring model was updated in 2017 to increase the durability of the boat in high surf and wind. More information about the COAST XT and live streaming video from the attempt can be found at www.orukayak.com.