Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
It's 12 feet long, weighs 25 pounds, and you can store it under the bed.
When all the streets have bike lanes, and all the rivers are clean, the greatest obstacle to a self-powered urban lifestyle may be a lack of space for the equipment that biking and boating require. For cyclists short on storage, the rise of the foldable bike may help. (Many Copenhageners have two bikes, one for serious riding and good weather and one for the rain, snow and sleet. Some even have a third, for transporting luggage or children.)
There's good news for would-be urban boaters, too: Anton Willis has invented a 12-foot folding kayak. Inspired by the Japanese paper-folding art of origami, the Oru Kayak is made out of a single sheet of corrugated polypropylene, which, as Willis explained to FastCoDesign, does not weaken with repeated folding. It weighs 25 pounds, fits in a carrying case the size of a folding chair, and has already raised double its Kickstarter funding goal.
In other words, it's a real thing, and you can get one now for $800.