2012 was the year of the motorized fishing kayak – Not just a common sit-n or SOT kayak outfitted with a lame electric trolling motor, but the real thing: a motorboat as American anglers understand it, and this means a boat powered by a gas engine – typically an outboard motor.
And by motorboat we don’t mean one that offers just inland fishing on flat water but cannot be used for offshore fishing – What we’re talking about is real ocean fishing capabilities, from surf launching to trips that are several times longer than what electric motors may enable before they run out of electricity.
This also means sufficient stability for stand up fishing, dryness (sorry, we don’t buy the notion that kayak fishing is a wet sport…), sufficient storage space for long trips, and a comfort level that’s acceptable for anyone, and not just for young, lightweight and athletic fishermen.
And when trailers are concerned – we find that unless you’re looking for a boat that will carry you and several passengers on board, you can and should do without a trailer, not just because of the additional expense, but also because it takes room in your yard, and it takes precious time from each and every fishing trip you make. And when you consider the fact that a trailer also limits your launching and beaching options to the same spot, and one that features a boat ramp, we’re talking about a new level of freedom…
No-motor-zones? Not necessarily a problem when you can instantly switch to a human powered mode of propulsion – paddling in most cases, poling in shallow water, and rowing if you prefer!
This is no longer an experimental concept – People enjoy the advantages of fishing out of W motor kayaks worldwide, and if you ask many of them, the boat they fish from is a personal skiff that offers some extra advantages compared to small motorboats (skiff, jon boat, bass boat, etc.) and kayaks.
From now, this online kayak fishing magazine will focus exclusively on Motorized Kayak Fishing. We’ll publish articles, videos and reviews related only to motorized fishing kayaks: Inland and offshore, in shallow and deep water, in cold climates and in warmer ones, in bass fishing trips and when fishing for other fish species.
Kayak fishing is viewed as an extreme sport by most people who fish from more traditional settings, i.e. motorboats and dry land. The factors that make kayak fishing relatively extreme are:
Compared to motorboats, fishing kayaks offer inadequate stability and they basic comfort. In addition, they fail to provide a real storage solution. Fishing kayaks are notoriously unstable, and are extremely uncomfortable, in comparison to motor boats.
The Unfulfilled Promise
Although tens of millions of Americans fish from motorboats, only one in a thousand fish out of a kayak. This is after more than a decade of hype about ‘kayak fishing being the fastest growing outdoors sport in America’. The fishing kayak’s promise was an inexpensive, easy to use, lightweight, car top boat. It also promised to deliver a sporty outdoor experience. The huge majority of US anglers followed neither kayak anglers nor kayak vendors’ hype. The growth in kayak fishing participation is much slower in recent years than it was in the beginning of the century. It is possible that the market matured. This is the result of participants being less enthusiastic, and a high rate of participants dropping out of the sport, which has been typical of kayak fishing since the beginning.
But kayak fishing is very uncomfortable if you’re fishing out of a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak, sit-in kayak, or a hybrid kayak. When you fish out of a W kayak, you experience a comfort that’s equal to that of fishing from a motorboat. Some W kayak fans may say it is more comfy.
The level of stability an angler benefits from when they fish out of a W500 kayak is equal to that offered by a typical small sized motorboat, namely that they don’t have to constantly balance the kayak. Fishing standing up is easy, and can be done with confidence, unlike all other fishing kayaks.
Only the W500 offers sufficient storage space that is dry and accessible, even for long fishing and camping trips that require carrying on board a lot of cumbersome gear that only canoes and small motorboats can carry.
Kayak Fishing In The Future
If kayak fishing has a future, it is not as an extreme sport. Kayak fishing’s future depends on it becoming a popular leisure activity that is comfortable and easy, namely, the future of kayak fishing is W kayak fishing.
The term “Lumbar Support” is one of the most prominent subjects of the Kayak Fishing back pain discourse. This topic mainly arises in those discussions with the consensus that the lumbar spine needs support, which will consequently alleviate back pain.
What Is The Lumbar Spine?
The dictionary definition states that lumbar is:
▸ adj: [pertaining to] or near the area of the back between the ribs and the hip bones . “Lumbar vertebrae”
The lumbar spine consists of the stiff vertebrae and flexible cartilage of the lower spine. This area holds the weight of the upper body, and is supported by the hip bones.
Therefore, nothing holds, pushes, or supports the lumbar spine from any direction except from the top and bottom when in its normal position.
How did the Lumbar Spine turn into a Problem for Kayakers?
The first kayakers, native Arctic people, sat on the floor of their kayak with outstretched legs, eliminating the need for lumbar spine support. For this reason native kayaks did not have a backrest, or any other means of support.
When Westerners began using aboriginal kayaks they realized they had trouble staying upright with their legs stretched forward, in the L position. This is due they to the lack of sitting in this way in everyday life, and the muscles in their body were not adjusted. Rather than adjusting the passenger to the kayak, manufacturers and designers decided to change the kayak to match the paddler, introducing a system of back and foot rests engineered to clasp the kayaker in the L position, preventing the upper body from moving backwards or sliding forwards.
The kayaker is supported by three non moving points in the kayak: two footrests and a back rest. By constantly pushing against those points, the kayakers legs give the force needed to keep the body in place.
How Does the L Posture Affect the Lumbar Spine?
The legs have the most powerful muscles in your body, allowing you to run, jump, e.t.c. When you are stuck in the L position, your legs are constantly pushing against the kayak’s footrests, and against the lumbar spine, which is held in place by the backrest behind it. The hard, constant pressure on your lumbar spine comes at an unnatural angle, that is caused by the backrest. There is no solution to ease this pressure, when seated in this format, which is also the only possible posture allowed by Sit-On-Top kayaks and Sit-in kayaks.
In other words, when paddling or fishing from a kayak, the only solution to relieve this stress and pain is to leave the kayak and stretch.
How Does it Lead to Pain, and to the ‘Yak Back’ Syndrome?
Leaving the kayak to abate pressure on your lumbar spine is not a pliable option in most situations, and this is why most kayak anglers and paddlers continue to sit in their kayaks braving growing discomfort, and pain in their back.
This pain known as ‘Yak Back‘, is experienced by most kayak fishermen and paddlers who use their boat for longer than an hour. This pain is caused by pressure on the cartilage, and muscles in this area, as a result of the force they have to exert to stop spine injuries, or to at least lessen the severity
Try to imagine this situation as a fight between the very strong legs shoving your lumbar spine back against the backrest, and the less powerful muscles in the lower back that are attempting to protect the spine, and avert it from being injured.
Luckily, your body will warn you of this, in the form of pain. The pain will tell you to stop this unhealthy “battle” between your legs and your back, before you get seriously injured.
Disregarding this pain will lead to an increase in the severity of the problem, resulting in more pain, and ultimately to a more severe back injury.
How much force do your legs exert on your lumbar spine in the L Position?
We have measured the force as anywhere between forty and sixty pounds.
To measure this pressure by yourself, position a bathroom scale upright between your lumbar spine the backrest of your kayak. Sit i your kayak as you would normally, and have someone read the dial for you.
Even worse than this huge amount of pressure is that it is constant and unavoidable.
More alarming than the total pressure is the pressure per area measurement, which would be alarming.
Correct Paddling Form, Cushioning Your Seat, and the Truth of Back Pain and Spinal Injury
Kayaking and kayak fishing instructors will tell you to sit straight as to better your kayaking style and perform more efficient torso rotations. Despite this, you must remember that the people who initially created and polished this style did not have backrests, as they did not need them. Therefore, theses first kayakers did not suffer from ‘Yak Back’ .
In general, polishing your kayaking style will not improve the situation in your back: You will continue to experience discomfort and pain, and still be at risk of spinal damage.
The clear reason for this is due to the fact that your legs will keep pushing your back.
Sit-in and SOT kayak vendors will offer to “upgrade” your kayak to the latest “user friendly” seat, that is certain to be more expensive. Vendors will praise the extra cushioning of the seat on your hips and lumbar spine, claiming that these seats will nullify fatigue, leg numbness, and back pain.
In reality, special kayak seats, that have been around for decades,have never produced the wanted effect of ending Yak Back. These seats don’t work, because all kayaks have a backrest by definition. No amount of cushioning will lessen the amount of force that your legs exert when they push that backrest against your back.
These seats can be counterproductive, as the soft cushioning can lessen the pressure on softer tissues in your lower back, like skin, delaying the feeling of discomfort and pain in your back, and in its supporting muscles. The problem will surface when it as a more advanced stage, which is dangerous, from a health stand point.
What Your Lumbar Spine Needs When You Kayak Fish
Of course you must avoid kayak fishing and paddling while in the L position, because it is harmful to your health, and sitting for long periods of time can lead to back injuries and long-term back pain.
So, what is the ideal kayak?
The ideal kayak would always be comfortable, and not damaging to your lumbar spine. But does such a kayak exist?
Indeed a kayak that matches those criteria exists. The Wavewalk Fishing Kayak has no backrest, and instead has a saddle; This saddle is similar to that of a bike’s, snowmobile’s, and horse’s saddle, as well as that of many other’s. The common factor in these examples is that your own legs support body. This factor is great for your lumbar spine, as no unnatural pressure points are present.
Secondly, the saddle seat of the Wavewalk Kayak offers a multitude of different stances, such as stand-up, and the option to change between two stances at any given time. Therefore, whatever ailment you feel in your back, or pressure in any part of your body can be relieved at your whim.
As a result, kayak anglers and paddlers, who suffer back problems, say that even after spending lots of time in their Wavewalk kayaks do not feel discomfort or pain. Reports on this can be found in fishing kayak reviews, where these anglers and paddlers state that without their Wavewalk kayak, fishing or paddling from a kayak would be nigh on impossible.
It’s common knowledge that many people in the Midwest love fishing, and that the Midwest fields some of the greatest places to fish in America, and arguably the world.
Midwest anglers, however, seem to ignore a lot of the hype about kayak fishing, sticking to the time-tested method of fishing from motorboats. Dryness and comfort are paramount to these anglers and sit-in and sit-on-top fishing kayaks just don’t make the cut in their book.
When it’s impossible to get out of your kayak and get into the shallow and lukewarm water that Southern anglers enjoy to unkink, and assuage the pain and fatigue in your legs, your back, and your butt, it just makes sense to keep fishing from a real boat, and leave those new-age, experimental kayaks to others.
If traditional kayaks were your only option this attitude would be completely justified, but with that said, kayak fishing doesn’t necessarily have to be such an unappealing experience if you’re fishing out of the right kayak. It seems like a select few anglers have started to discover a solution to this problem, the Wavewalk Fishing Kayak. These anglers have realized that there’s a way to fish that combines the maneuverability, ease of use, and inexpensiveness of a kayak with the stability, dryness, and comfort of the traditional motorboat. On top of all this, this fishing kayak offers some new and refreshing features, such as super mobility, and aesthetic appeal.
To read more about kayak fishing in the Midwest, and kayak fishing in general, you can read through Wavewalk’s blog for more information. In this blog you can find plenty of info about kayak dealers, kayak fishing trip reports, rigging tips, kayak fishing movies, and fishing kayak reviews.
So, if you’re from the Midwest, or are just an avid angler interested in fishing for bass, pike, salmon, trout, walleye, or whatever may capture your attention, check it out.
The phrase “Kayak Fishing in Canada” is sure to send a chill down (or up) your spine, doesn’t it?
Think about the cold water (brrr…) and the cold wind blowing (brrr as well…), and if you’re sitting in a SOT kayak or Sit In kayak you’re freezing – literally. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that, and not all fishing kayaks are prone to send you home with a wet butt and a running nose.
The notion of kayak fishing in Canada, a relentlessly cold area, will immediately bring up images of uncomfortably frigid trips and an overall undesirable experience.
The combination of bitterly cold wind and the constant splashing of icy water makes fishing from a traditional fishing kayak in Canada sound preposterous at any time except summer.
However, this need not be the case. Even though most fishing kayaks leave you with a soaked behind and a cold the next day, a new type of fishing kayak, dubbed the Wavewalk Fishing Kayak, will let you stay high, dry and out of the cold. The saddle design elevates you high above the water level, while increasing your stability and decreasing or even eliminating the chance that you will tumble into the cold Canadian waters. Even when fitted with outriggers, no fishing kayak matches the stability of the W.
Also, around the cockpit of this fishing kayak is an elevated lip, or freeboard, that protects the angler from freezing spray, a necessity while kayak fishing in Canada and any other cold climate in general.
Read more about kayak fishing in cold water on the Wavewalk blog>>