This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.
Paddling kayaks and fishing from them is viewed by many as a pain just because the paddler or angler can expect to get wet, and stay wet for long hours on board their kayak, whether it’s a sit-in or sit-on-top (SOT) kayak.
Many people avoid using SOT kayaks just because paddling them and fishing from them inevitably means getting one’s feet and butt wet (soggy bottom). For others, even sit-in kayaks are a turnoff just because they require stepping in water when entering and exiting them, and they don’t assure the passengers’ dryness, to say the least.
An article named ‘A Wet Ride – Problem and Solutions‘ first appeared on the Wavewalk Fishing Kayaks website over a year ago. Since then, it’s been updated, as evidence and other information is accumulating.
This article exposes and explains the various ailments that may result from staying wet while paddling a kayak and fishing from it. Those ailments and problems include bacterial and fungal infections, pruritic eruptions, exposure to various aquatic parasites, diarrhea, jaundice, fever, headaches, muscle aches, rashes, and enlargement of the liver and spleen.
Obviously, exposure to wind while wearing wet clothes is increasing the risk of hypothermia, a condition that in extreme cases could lead to death. This is especially true for elderly people, and people who aren’t in good physical condition for other reasons (E.G. recent illness, weakness).
Needless to say, that if you’re suffering from other kayak fishing and paddling related problems, such as sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain etc., being wet and consequently being cold is not a good practice for you, as it would contract the muscles in the aching area, and increase your discomfort and pain.
In sum, avoiding prolonged wetness is a good idea, in general, and the old fashion sit-in and SOT kayaks commonly available for paddling and fishing don’t offer sufficiently dry usage conditions. This is yet another serious ergonomic issue that is hardly ever addressed by kayaking and kayak fishing professionals, or by paddling and kayak fishing magazines. The common attitude they usually display is “So what? If I get wet so can you, and besides, kayaking and kayak fishing are water sports, and that means you get wet!”. In our opinion, such attitude is unprofessional, inconsiderate, and non-constructive. It just increases people’s discontent and frustration with kayaks.
As for yourself, if you like paddling and fishing, and you don’t like getting wet, you may want to consider a W kayak, since these new, patented kayaks offer easy, dry entry and exit, as well as a dry ride, whether you’re fishing from your kayak or just paddling it for fun.