When to motorize?

The nature of the problem

Should I motorize my fishing kayak, and if so, when, and with whet kind of motor – A battery powered electric outboard motor, or a small, portable outboard gas engine?
These are questions that many kayak anglers ask themselves, for various reasons starting from being tired of spending so much time and efforts paddling or pedaling to one’s favorite fishing hole, through a need to have a backup plan and the means for going back home in case the weather and/or current change, and through the wish to extend one’s range of travel, and go for long fishing trips, as motorized fishermen like to do.
This is comparable to the decision about getting a snow blower –
If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow in winter, and if your house happens to have a long driveway, you realize at some point that a snow shovel no longer works for you, and you need a snow blower. You’d obviously get a gas powered snow blower, because big snow storms are often accompanied by power outages…

What factors to consider?

1. Ergonomics and safety

The first factor to consider is the human factor – yourself: Do you feel capable and comfortable paddling long distances, or does paddling drain your energy before you even get to start casting your baits, lures, flies, net, or whatever tackle you use? This question has to do with more than comfort – it’s about safety as well. Paddling long distances and while being tired can cause injury, and in rare cases it can lead to accidents. Not everyone is young and fit, and in fact, most kayak anglers are either middle aged or elderly, and many don’t benefit from being athletic. Furthermore, problems such as overweight and back pain are common in these populations.

2. Weather and water conditions

You may be a great kayaker and eager to paddle, but bad weather and strong currents are stronger, and may cut your trip short, or make it extremely difficult for you to get back to your launching spot, and even just back to shore, due to lack of propulsion power. Even an electric trolling motor might not be powerful enough in extreme adverse conditions such as a storm, a sudden swell in a river, strong wind, a fast tidal current, etc.

3. Weight

An electric trolling motor weighs about half the weight of a small outboard gas engine, but the battery that powers it can weigh twice as much as an outboard motor. Such setup can be inconvenient in several ways, starting from carrying your kayak from your vehicle to the launching spot (and back), and if the battery runs out of electricity, you’d have to paddle a kayak that’s considerably heavier.

4. Cost – performance

While you can get a small electric trolling motor, battery and charger for less than $300, a new outboard motor would cost more than twice as much. But if you go for an electric motor powered by a Lithium-Ion battery, you could end up paying more than what you’d pay for a top of the line outboard gas engine, and you won’t necessarily be better served than if you got an outboard motor.

5. What type of kayak?

You can’t put an outboard motor on any fishing kayak – In order for the motorized kayak to be safe and comfortable, it needs to be ultra stable and fully ergonomic to begin with, and the only kayak that fits this description is the W500. Rigging other kayaks with an outboard motor could be anything from uncomfortable to hazardous. As for electric trolling motors, most fishing kayaks including SOT and SIK can take them, although results may vary…

Bottom line

In sum, if you need to go far, and the water you’re going through can get choppy or fast moving, and if the wind can drive you where you don’t want to go – you’d better outfit your fishing kayak with an outboard gas engine. In contrast, if you fish in smaller bodies of flat water, an electric trolling motor could very well do the job for you.

Stop Wasting Time And Hurting Yourself, And Stop Using Conventional Fishing Kayaks

Kayaks’ sub-par ergonomics are putting thousands of kayak anglers in harm’s way, a problem that is easily surmountable by switching to a more ergonomic kayak such as the W fishing kayak.

There are a variety of dangers associated with using a traditional kayak:
First, there’s the peril of being unable to paddle back to shore due to fatigue or exhaustion.
In addition, anglers who are elderly or inexperienced, or just plain tired, can be at risk from outside hazards outside of their control such as strong wind or tidal current. If kayaking in your traditional kayak makes you tired quickly, consider switching to something more comfortable, with better tracking and easier paddling, namely a Wavewalk kayak.

Seasonal problems, such as overheating in summer, and hypothermia in winter, are also big threats, since they drain your energy and make it difficult or even impossible to return to shore.
Traditional kayaks that expose the user to the elements are costly both on your health and your wallet, for when buying extra gear such as dry suits to protect yourself you are potentially forking up hundreds of unnecessary dollars. Other heavy clothing, such as boots and waders, can disable you from swimming, and from getting back into your boat, or kayak, a very precarious situation to say the least.

Paddlers of traditional fishing kayaks are also susceptible to cramps, leg numbness and even partial paralysis, a problem that is virtually nonexistent in the W Kayak.

Leg cramps can be very painful and long-lasting if you can’t stand up safely in your craft to loosen up. Sit-in and SOT kayaks restrict you to sitting in an L shape, with your legs forced forward and clamped by footrests. Paddling or fishing in this position for extended period of time all but guarantees the onset of cramps and leg numbness, a very uncomfortable paddling experience.
Both leg pain and leg numbness also prevent you from balancing and maneuvering your kayak efficiently, a very dangerous dilemma.

Pain in your back and butt can compromise your paddling ability. Moreover, you might find yourself near shore but still unable to beach your kayak, or get out of it, as Don, this California kayak angler describes in his kayak review:

“I fished for 8 years in the “L” sitting position and it’s effect on my back is what finished standard kayaking for me… One day I beached the bow of that 16 footer and was still about 10-12 feet out in the water where I was sitting.  I discovered I couldn’t move my legs.  Getting out of that thing without causing all kinds of laughter from spectators was one of my greatest physical accomplishments. I was sure I’d avoid those scenarios with the”W”, and I could hardly wait to find out all the wonderful differences.”
Read this entire kayak review >>

Examples like this are very common, many regular kayakers report experiencing similar discomforts with their sit-in and SOT kayaks. Many kayakers and kayak anglers have become so accustomed to this stiffness that they regularly stop their paddling and fishing just climb ashore and ‘unkink’. ‘Unkinking’ basically means stretching and allowing some reprieve for the tensed back and sore legs. This hassle is completely unnecessary when using the W Kayak because the user can easily stretch within the spacious confines of the craft itself, allowing you to finish uninterrupted and comfortably. So in order to enjoy more hours of kayak fishing without the pain, danger, and hassle of traditional SOT and sit-in kayaks, make the switch to the W Kayak, and if you want, learn more about kayak fishing pains on Wavewak’s website.

Own A Kayak Fishing Dealership After You Retire

For many longtime anglers retirement sounds like a golden chance to have as much free time as they want to follow their passion of fishing, boats, etc…
While this relaxed life appeases some retirees, for others it seems like their life is lacking some action – they want to do something extra that would add some more fun and excitement to their lives, and even bolster their income.
Here’s a few life long anglers who upon retirement opened their very own fishing kayak dealership:

Gene Andrews, High and Dry Kayaks – Florida

Fishing Kayaks, Northeastern Florida, Palm Coast

Gene Andrews, who retired several years ago, moved to Palm Coast, in Northeastern Florida, south of Jacksonville – the kayak fishing capital of the world, in order to pursue his passion of kayak fishing.

Due to the ubiquitous yak-back problem that afflicts many older anglers, Gene bought himself a W500, the only back pain free kayak out there. Gene fished from it contentedly and free of back pain, and eventually realized he could further his love of the Wavewalk Kayak by starting his own dealership where he could resell this fishing kayak locally.
Visit Gene’s website, High and Dry Kayaks, which sells W fishing kayaks in Palm Coast >>

 

More Foam, More Lumbar Problems

Research on lumbar support in kayaks, demonstrates that remaining seated in the L position with footrest/backrest combo creates tension that is greatly unhealthy for your back, and results in an excessive amount of discomfort and pain.

Cushioning the seat of your fishing kayak with extra padding may alleviate pain for a short while, but it fails to solve the dilemma in the long run. What pushes the Lumbar spine up against the backrest while in the L position is the strongest muscles in your body, your legs, which are perpendicular to your back and are pushing against the footrest:
You don’t want something pushing against your back that can also propel you for long distances at running speeds, as well as lift your entire body of the ground when your jump. 

Your legs act as a sort of piston when in the L position, slamming your back against the backrest of your fishing kayak. Since there are very few bones and no large muscles in the are where the backrest and back meet, all the pressure is focused on a small area, your lumbar spine.

The forces pressing against your back are almost equivalent to the force needed to support your body weight, to put the pressure in perspective.

The harder you paddle, cast, or do other activities that require your legs to keep you in place, the more pressure is applied to your lumbar, or on top of your fishing kayak.

The more tired your body becomes, and the more uncomfortable, the more tense you become, and the more your legs have to work to keep you stable and in place, greatly increasing the pressure on your Lumbar spine, as well as exponentially increasing the pain, and creating an endless circle of fatigue.

Foam does not provide a good solution to the lumbar spine problem to start off, and due to foams compressing over time tendency, initial temporary relief will vanish after a time, and will increase the back resistance, as there is less movement room between your back and legs.

Also, if you are a heavier person, you have the possibility of experiencing butt pain, or as it is more commonly know among kayak fishing circles, yak ass, after kayak fishing in the L position. The nerves in your body, and the foam of your seat, will both become as compressed as pancakes. Leg numbness, leg pain, and butt pain are all directly correlated to compressed nerves, and are a common phenomena in the kayak fishing world. This intense pain is not a joke once you start feeling it, and has discouraged many prominent kayak anglers.

In summary, most sit-on top kayaks nowadays are equipped with heavily padded foam backrests, designed to reduce pain. Even with these specially designed seats, kayak anglers that use these fishing kayaks experience many of these symptoms: Fatigue, back soreness, yak ass, yak back, and leg pain. This creates a need for rest periods, where you must interrupt your kayak fishing for a “un-kinking” rest break.

In the Wavewalk fishing kayak, there is no L position, instead there is the Riding Position. Similar to riding a horse, your legs support your body weight, while helping you paddle, balance, and fish.

This revolutionary new type of fishing kayak allows the angler to change between a number of other positions at any time, which include the Standing Up position and the Sitting position (this position is like being seated in a canoe) . This means you can relax, stretch, and fish comfortably for very long stretches of time, without having the problem of pain, numbness, or soreness in any part of your body.