Best Kayak In The Minneapolis Sports-Show

Gary Thorberg and the MinnYaks Team will be exhibiting the world’s best fishing kayak at the 80th Annual Northwest Sportshow, March 28-April 1st, in Minneapolis Minnesota.

Gary is a lifelong fisherman:

-“Being a native Minnesotan, I was exposed to boating and fishing at an early age. My first experience sailing was at age 8, and it has been my passion ever since. I have captained many a charter on large catamarans in the Caribbean. Fishing has also been a large part of my life. I lived in the Florida Keys for a while, where I was a commercial fisherman and diver. Our families are fortunate to have owned lake cabins in northern Minnesota for 50 years, so fresh water fishing and boating is also in my blood. Many boats have come and gone in my life, and I am so very pleased to have added the W500 to my fleet. It possibly will be the last boat I will own (unless I buy another W500 for my wife!).”

Gary is an expert on outfitting fishing kayaks, including with powerful outboard gas engines, and he loves to fish out of his kayak >>

Visit MinnYaks – fishing kayaks in Minnesota >>

Gary and the MinnYaks team expect anglers from Minnesota, the Midwest and Canada, to visit this show just to see the W fishing kayak.

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 >>

 

Will Kayak Fishing Be An Extreme Sport In The Future?

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.


Your Lumbar Spine When You Kayak

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.