There’s no doubt that levels of exercise among the youth of America are at an all time low. Kids would rather sit and play video-games than go outside and do something active. However, the W Fishing Kayak, which allows superior maneuverability and the ability to stand up, has kids and teens excited to actually do something physical- whether it be jumping in the boat or paddling standing up, the fun is endless. Youth kayak fishing is a new website that is dedicated to showing how much fun the new generation is having using the W Fishing Kayak- check it out!
This morning I decided to venture out into the nearby marshes with my W fishing kayak. Over the course of my trip I traversed around 6 miles in about 2 hours.
The wind was blowing about 8 mph when I started and picked up to 15 to 20 towards the last half of the trip. We had a thunder storm moving in with the usual increase in winds, cloudiness and slight drop in temperature. Literally “no sweat.”
This gave me a chance to compare how the WaveWalk handled the wind as compared to my experiences with both sit in and sit on top kayaks. I think that I can sum it up as WOW! All I had to do was shift my position to raise the bow or stern enough to give me enough weather vane effect to keep me pretty much on a straight course. It took a little experimentation, but I picked up on it pretty quick. I also think that the wind being channeled between the 2 hulls helped me stay on line to a degree. The main point is that I did NOT have to paddle just on one side to keep my heading in a quartering or broadside wind, even when crossing open water. Just scoot towards bow or stern and keep on truckin’.
I had a tug pushing a load of barges up the Neches River throw a pretty good wake at me when I was fixin’ to cross on my way back to the launch. I was pretty nervous, but I shifted my weight all the way to the back of the cockpit and took the 1.5 to 2 foot wake head on. No problems once I got over the initial “oh crap” moment, and the boat took the waves just fine.
I got caught in the rain for the last 40 minutes or so, but I was having so much fun that I decided that if Indians didn’t have ponchos then I didn’t need one either. I wonder if Hyawatha got as nervous as I did when the lightening started popping…
I had a great paddle.
Snuck up on birds, fish, a boat full of fisherman and the one small gator who wasn’t paying much attention. (choot ‘em, Lizabet) Got a few blisters and my muscles are a little sore (hey, I’m 60) but no yak back and my shoulder with arthritis feels pretty good. I was kind of surprised when I stepped out onto land at the end of the trip and staggered around for a few minutes. It’s true – you do use the muscles in your thighs when you paddle a WaveWalk, you just don’t notice it.
Being able to change positions while paddling also helped my knees tremendously. Years ago I shattered one knee cap twice (full of screws now) and tore cartilage in the other, so that was a big plus for me.
I only have one question – how come nobody thought of a catamaran hull concept for paddling craft a long time ago? Ok, so the Polynesians may have figured it out first on a larger scale. It needs less energy to paddle than a sit in, is much more stable than a SOT, your back doesn’t hurt and your butt stays dry! What more could you ask for?
I want to thank both of you for the amount of time that you spent giving me and my friend a test drive and a few tips. The only thing that I would suggest so far is a couple of tie downs inside the hull to tie a small dry box or whatever to securely keep your ID, cell phone, fishing license and maybe a few bucks from going swimming if you get swamped or capsize. Just a thought…
Anyway, thanks guys! I’m having a blast! I’m gonna infect my son with WaveWalk fever the first chance I get, as he is still using a SOT. I think Village Creek would be a good place to start him out.
Read more about W Fishing Kayaks on the main website >
We decided do a bit of kayaking today because the weather was amazing here in Wisconsin. Today we kayaked along the Kettle Moraine Loew lake unit – Oconomowoc river.
We tried a little fishing and my brother caught his first fish in a Wavewalk.
He said that these kayaks make pretty good fishing vessels…
I said you don’t have to tell me that!
We also had to do the “limbo” today to get under a bridge. Don’t try this in a conventional kayak! It may be difficult to keep your balance laying down and getting up again.
More about W Fishing Kayaks >
List of Busted Fishing Kayak Myths:
First fishing kayak myth busted:“A kayak can get you where other boats can’t”
-This assertion is inaccurate since those who claim so disregard a multitude of small water crafts including motorized, as well as human driven, pirogues, canoes, dinghies, rafts and more. Both down river canoeing and whitewater canoeing are still practiced by many, and so is fishing from canoes, dinghies etc.
Second fishing kayak busted: “A kayak is faster than a canoe”
–This statement is based on an erroneous comparison between some faster kayak models and the most common canoe models that are usually large and very stable, while in fact fishing kayaks are rather slow by nature and some racing canoe models are very fast.
Third fishing kayak myth busted: “Kayaks are more stable than canoes”
-This statement is false, and canoes are still popular for fishing, mainly because they are usually wider and offer more stability. You can sometime see people casting standing in a canoe if water and weather permit, but have you ever seen someone fishing standing in a kayak? (in reality, not on a vendor’s website or brochure) -It is said that very small and lightweight people can, but this is certainly out of the question for the overwhelming majority of people. Try it (in shallow, clean and warm water…) and you’ll see for yourself.
Fourth fishing kayak myth busted: “The Sit-On-Top (SOT) is a new type of kayak”
–Wrong. The first commercial SOT models were introduced on the US market in the beginning of the seventies. Native peoples all over the world have used small sit-on-top paddle crafts for millennia, often with double blade paddles.
Fifth fishing kayak myth busted: “Kayaks were the fishing boats of choice for native people of the arctic circle.”
-In fact these people preferred large and stable canoes called Umiaks. Kayaks were used more often in protected waters, and mainly for hunting.
Sixth fishing kayak myth busted: “Modern kayaks are both stabler and faster”
-Totally false: Paddle sports are generally slow, and the slowest kayaks are those designed for fishing. The reason for that being that the monohull design is constrained by the laws of hydrodynamics to a tradeoff between speed and stability, and since fishing kayaks are required to offer more stability than other kayaks they are slower. Furthermore, Sit-On-Top (SOT) kayaks are even slower than sit-in kayaks are since their scupper holes substantially increase drag.
Seventh kayak fishing myth busted: “A good kayak seat is very important”
–The fact of the matter is that the original native people’s kayaks never had seats, and the whole concept of kayak seat is rather misleading since leg numbness is the result of bad circulation in the legs coming from being seated in the “L” kayaking position, which most of us stopped using since we were toddlers. As for lower back pains, they result from the legs pushing your body against the seat’s backrest (AKA ‘lumbar support’) in an attempt to prevent your body from sliding down. Expensive, cushioned seats advertised as being ‘ergonomically designed’ may delay these annoying and potentially dangerous physiological symptoms, but eventually they will appear simply because kayaks offer you just a single, unusual and non ergonomic and therefore problematic sitting position, without any option to switch to other paddling or fishing positions.
Eighth fishing kayak myth busted: “Kayak fishing is a water sport and therefore you have to get wet!”
-Not acceptable. First of all kayak fishing doesn’t necessarily have to be wet if you use a sit-in kayak on flat water. Second, getting wet and staying wet for long hours is not an option in colder climates and waters, that is in about half of the US territory. Third, being wet for hours is unpleasant even in warm climates and waters, and can cause rashes and infections. Conclusion: You don’t have to listen to SOT manufacturers’ excuse for not having found better solution to “wet ride” and “soggy bottom” problems that are plaguing people who fish from SOTs, and are a main turnoff for those who want to fish from kayaks. And just for the record, you don’t really want to wear waders while in your kayak, not just because it’s uncomfortable but because it’s dangerous.
Ninth fishing kayak myth busted: “Scupper holes drain the water from your SOT.”
-Yes but since kayaks are not static and they move both up and down as well as laterally the scupper holes also let water into your sitting space, which is the main cause for the infamous ‘wet butt syndrome’ that’s typical of kayak fishing and paddling from SOTs.
Tenth fishing kayak myth busted: “Kayak stability is important only for beginning fishermen.”
–Not when it comes to fishing kayaks, since the overwhelming majority of North Americans have neither the skills nor the physical attributes that Inuit and other native kayak fishermen had, and SOT kayaks are essentially less stable than comparable sit-in kayaks since their center of gravity (CG) is higher. Therefore, modern, recreational kayak fishermen are exposed to a much higher risk of capsizing than the original, native kayak fishermen were. You may get used to fishing from an unstable kayak until the inevitable moment comes when you’ll capsize in unsafe or unpleasant conditions. –Some people can ride a mono cycle quite easily but that doesn’t mean you should try it…
Eleventh fishing kayak myth busted: “SOTs are more versatile than Sit-in kayaks.”
–Not if you would even consider fishing with a SOT in cold water and/or cold weather, -conditions that are common in much of the US and Canada, and present even in the South in winter. Also, SOTs offer you little or no protection in the surf, and are less maneuverable than sit-in kayaks, which elevates the risk of injuries and accidents even in warm waters (e.g. shark bytes, jellyfish etc.)
Twelfth fishing kayak myth busted: “You can roll a SOT.”
-In fact, the overwhelming majority of people who paddle kayaks nowadays can’t even roll a sit-in kayak, although it’s basically easier than rolling a SOT, so it would be a waste of time for you to try to roll a fishing SOT, considering the fact that in order to do so you’ll have to strap yourself to your boat, which is unsafe, especially in the surf where capsizing is more likely to happen.
Thirteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “You can fish standing in a kayak.”
-Do you really believe this one? Few people do, and rightfully so.
In fact, most kayak fishermen don’t even feel that confident just sitting in or on top their kayak.
This myth keeps being mentioned on Internet forums in discussions about stable fishing kayaks, and some fishing kayak manufacturers go as far as claiming that certain models they offer enable it, and even show pictures. Technically speaking, children and small size adults can sometime stand in a kayak, usually a wide sit-in since it has a lower center of gravity than a SOT does, and always on perfectly still, flat water. However, no full size adult can stand in any monohull fishing kayak confidently enough to cast in full comfort and seriously fight strong fish. As hard as you may try you won’t be able to find any proof to substantiate such claims, because they are not true.
The problem is simple, and has a lot to do with ‘what if’: Some people can cast standing in large-size canoes, some can fish standing from kayaks outfitted with a pair of fairly big outriggers on both sides, and practically anybody can cast confidently and comfortably standing in a Wavewalk kayak, as demo videos and customer reviews prove.
So what? -Stuff happens (that’s the rule in boating), and sooner than later any stand up kayak fisherman is bound to find himself destabilized by a fish, a wave (or boat’s wake), wind or simply a wrong move in a moment of distraction – and things like that happen all the time, and to everybody.
Since neither SIKs nor SOTs offer any ‘plan B’ solution for such cases, such stand up fisherman is bound to go overboard, and is likely to do it while overturning his kayak. Such accident could be quite unpleasant, cause loss of equipment, etc. Even those rare daredevils who insist they can fish while standing on top of their wide SOTs admit they ‘go swimming’ from time to time, or in other words: have frequent accidents, which is not acceptable because sooner or later one of those accidents is likely to turn ugly.
In summary, you’d better trust your basic intuition and common sense in this case.
Things are very different in Wavewalk kayaks not just because they are overwhelmingly more stable than other designs are, but also because in case of destabilization while standing you’re likely to simply drop down on the 14″ high saddle, and find yourself in the Riding position with both your feet planted at the bottom of the hulls, several inches below waterline – as stable as possible.
Fourteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “Rudders solve your tracking and maneuvering problems.”
–Although many would like to believe so, the reality is more complex and not particularly encouraging one to use a rudder: Native kayakers never used rudders but kayak manufacturers introduced rudders with the intent to improve kayaks’ directional stability (i.e. tracking) and maneuverability.
Keeping any monohull including kayaks going straight (i.e. tracking) is a problem, and zigzagging makes the boat go a longer distance. Constantly correcting the kayak’s course requires energy and time from you. Moreover, tracking becomes more difficult as water and weather conditions deteriorate. But looking only at (unpublished – one can only wonder why…) results of hydrodynamics tests shows that rudders increase total drag by up to 10%, and considering the constant mental and physical effort that manipulating the rudder requires from the paddler it is possible to say that rudders reduce effective speed by about 25%. Naturally, the more experienced the paddler the less effort is wasted, but the less the rudder is required the better.
As for maneuvering, a rudder can make a noticeable difference especially if the kayak is very long (e.g. 16’-18’ long sea kayaks) and the paddler inexperienced, but its effectiveness is dubious in shorter (i.e. more maneuverable) kayaks.
Fourteenth fishing kayak myth busted: -“Modern fishing kayaks are so stable you can hardly tip them over, even if you try.”
-This is an absurd falsehood: The only people who are not in danger of tipping a modern fishing kayak are small children who sit and behave nicely in their kayak. In fact, when you need to struggle with a big fish kayaks are impractical since they can offer little support to your pulling effort. Only few kayak anglers are capable of catching big fish from their kayaks without any assistance.
Fifteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “Most kayak anglers fish at sea.”
–This image doesn’t fit reality, where most people who use kayaks for fishing tend to do it in protected waters such as estuaries, rivers, flats, lakes and ponds – and for obvious reasons.
Sixteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “Kayaks are very mobile.”
-While this may be true compared to boats that require towing, it’s not necessarily true within the class of paddle craft since kayaks are more difficult to get into and out from than canoes are, and consequently also more difficult when it comes to launching and taking out.
Seventeenth fishing kayak myth busted: “SOTs are stabler than SIKs.”
-Quite the opposite: SOTs offer paddlers to sit in the unstable “L” kayaking position on top of a deck, while SIKs offer them to sit it that same position at the bottom of the hull. This difference in the center of gravity (CG) height works against the SOT and needs to be compensated by a wider hull.
Eighteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “Hatches offer practical means for storage.”
-Few thing could be further from the truth: In fact, hatches are small and you can’t access what’s inside them from your seat, and in most cases the hatches fail to be totally waterproof.
Nineteenth fishing kayak myth busted: “SOTs are very safe kayaks.”
-This is partly true: SOTs are self bailing, which means they are designed not to let water in the hull even if the kayak is capsized. The problem is that eventually some water can get in through small cracks or mainly through holes made in the hull for attaching various accessories. When this happens you can’t notice the leakage until it’s too late.>
Twentieth fishing kayak myth busted: “Foot activated pedal drives offer hands free fishing.”
-…Unless you need to go somewhere, and then you’ll be required to steer using a hand activated rudder system, so you’ll be left with just one hand to hold a fishing rod.
But reality doesn’t stop here, and if you happen to observe pedal kayakers you’ll probably notice that in most cases they hold their kayak’s sides with their hands while they pedal, and that’s because recumbent pedaling (even in recumbent bikes) requires some kind of extra support and stabilization.
Twenty first fishing kayak myth busted: “Tunnel hulled monohull kayaks are stabler than other monohull kayaks.”
-Not really. In fact, most SOT kayaks have some kind of groove or tunnel (often more than one) at the bottom of their hulls. This reinforces the bottom and somehow helps correcting poor directional stability.
Such tunnels can be very narrow (1″) or wide (1 ft), but as long as the design is a monohull, meaning that it does not feature two distinctly, full size and fully separated hulls, the kayak will be unstable simply because nearly all its buoyancy is distributed along its longitudinal axis, where it offers minimal or no stabilizing effect.
Kayak fishing is becoming increasingly popular, but many people who fish from kayaks end up going back to more traditional forms of fishing because of the problems described here. Kayak anglers as well as people who are considering fishing from kayaks need to be informed, and we bring this information to you as food for thought.
What’s a fishing kayak, actually?
The customary ‘fishing kayak’ is traditionally a wide, more stable version of a recreational kayak outfitted with ‘special’ accessories for kayak fishermen such as rod holders and hatches. But whereas recreational kayaks are typically relatively inexpensive, fishing kayaks are considerably pricier. No wonder many kayak fishermen prefer to purchase recreational kayak models and outfit them for fishing with off-the-shelf fishing accessories and sometimes even home-made fishing accessories created from inexpensive materials offered in hardware stores.
So, do you really need a ‘fishing kayak’ or could you be satisfied with a self outfitted recreational kayak?
This is a question that only you can answer.
How to test a fishing kayak?
Leg numbness, back pain etc. are problems that usually appear after some time. Don’t think that because you felt comfortable paddling a certain kayak for half an hour and casting from it a number of times that you’ll be comfortable after two or three hours in or on that kayak.
Test kayaks in real life conditions i.e. wind, and if you’re planning to fish at sea you must check how you’re doing with the kayak in the surf and with some real waves… The reason for this is that even if you decide to fish only on beautiful and windless days the weather may change by the time you go back home, which can mean difficulties in the surf zone and even at sea. Remember – the wake of a motorboat passing by can overturn your kayak, especially if you didn’t notice it because you were too busy fishing, which means you can’t stabilize yourself using your paddle.
Check if the boat is stable enough to support you when you’re struggling with a strong fish -Do you feel safe and confident enough?
Ask yourself in all honesty:
–“Am I going to like this in a year from now?”
–“How do I really feel about sitting in wet clothes for hours?”
–“Do I miss casting standing?” (yes, of course, but don’t try standing in or on a regular kayak, or you’ll learn the hard way that pictures on vendors’ websites and forums are one thing, and your reality is another)
–“Do I really get along with carrying and car topping this heavy,14′ long kayak?” (you probably don’t)
–“Would I rather spend this time in a more comfortable boat?” (indeed you would)
After all, fishing should be about you enjoying your free time safely and comfortably, and not about trying to accommodate yourself to an inadequate and greatly over hyped craft.
What else would I like to do with my kayak besides fishing?
Go on long touring, camping (and fishing) trips, take passengers on board, play in the surf, stand up paddling (it’s fun!) and more. There’s no reason why such an expensive toy shouldn’t offer more than just fishing, but most fishing kayaks barely do that.
This the dimension we call versatility. After all, when you own a motorboat you don’t just cast lines from it, but you’re supposed to do other things as well. Although fishing kayaks are smaller and cheaper than motorboats, they should be versatile enough. A kayak that’s not versatile is an under performing one, and nearly all fishing kayaks on the market are such.