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About Oru Kayak

We believe that connecting to nature is a deep human need —even for those of us who live in cities.

We love exploring the world around us, and we draw inspiration from all sorts of experiences—most obviously Greenland kayaks and Japanese origami, but many others that live in the details. We’re building a business, but our real goal is to change how people connect with the water.

We have lofty goals, but we’re also a bunch of fun-loving makers and doers. We recently moved from San Francisco to an old warehouse-style sewing factory in Emeryville, CA and are feeling quite at home in our quirky neighborhood by the water. On a shared block with Pixar, a small batch coffee roaster, and a vintage race car shop, there’s enough caffeine and creativity flowing to keep us stoked day in and day out. The Bay and the ocean are both a short hop away —we can surf the Pacific in a Coast kayak in the morning, and head to a Giants game in a Beach kayak in the afternoon. We come from all around the world and we’re proud to have an atmosphere of openness and acceptance.

Our Team

Anton Willis


Working late nights and weekends for years, Anton developed the original Oru. Only one sank in the process.

Ardy Sobhani


After a childhood in Iran and almost capsizing his first time in an Oru Kayak, Ardy co-founded the company.

Jessica Leigh

Operations Director

After growing up in Canada, Jess now lives in SF with her two kids and is active in the local sailing community.

Alex Villalvazo

Relationship Manager & Logistics

Cool under fire, you can always count on Alex to effortlessly save the day.

Forrest Harvey

Product Manager

A life-long resident of Oakland, Forrest knows the biking and hiking trails in the hills as well as anyone.

Jeffrey Lang

Marketing & eComm Manager

A proud Oakland native and father of two, Jeffrey enjoys jogging, working out and spending time with family.

Bob Finley

Director of Finance & Accounting

Meet Bob – boater, baker, financial statement maker.

Jess Anthony

Community Liaison

The only thing quicker than Jess's wit is her ability to make connections or whip up a stack of brunch cakes.