Do You Suffer From Compulsive Kayak Fishing Disorder (CKFD)?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

The name of this disorder is self-explanatory, so there’s no need to describe the symptoms in detail. Basically, it’s that urge to take your kayak and go fishing whenever you can, and what could possibly be wrong with that?
People who have Compulsive Kayak Fishing Disorder often describe themselves as as fisholic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a real problem for them, or for anyone else.
So what could possibly be wrong with fishing from a kayak? It’s a fun, relaxing, quiet, non-polluting outdoor activity that disturbs no-one, and unlike fishing from big motorboats, its impact on the environment is minimal.

The only problem is that for many people kayak fishing leads to unwanted physical results, such as fatigue, leg numbness, leg pain, butt pain and back pain (yak-back). Spending too much time fishing from a sit-in or SOT kayak, or paddling such kayaks, can result in acute and prolonged pain, and in extreme cases even in back injuries. These symptoms increase with age and weight, and less-than-perfect physical shape.

But not all fishing kayaks have the same physical impact on paddlers and anglers.
Kayaks that do not require their users to paddle or fish seated in the L position don’t cause these problems, even if you’re addicted to kayak fishing and paddling, and must go on long fishing trips.
The key is to be able to operate the kayak from a different position, and preferably from several positions that can be alternated at will, so when you spend long hours in the kayak, you’re able to relieve stress and tension from your back and your legs by changing positions anytime you feel like it – Stand up, stretch, etc., and such are the new, patented Wavewalk fishing kayaks
So if you consider yourself as having Compulsive Kayak Fishing Disorder (CKFD), you shouldn’t necessarily give up your addiction, but rather make sure it doesn’t hurt you.

Kayak Back Pain – Why Is Everybody Silent About It?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Just a quick thought –
It took many decades before doctors began investigating the effect of smoking on their patients’ health, and it took even longer before a causal link was firmly established between smoking and certain lung and heart diseases.
This is although anyone could see that people who smoked had more breathing and lung problems then those who didn’t, and suffered from more heart problems as well as deteriorated health.
In the beginning, cigarette manufacturers promoted their products as being healthy, and later as ‘cool’, ‘in’ and socially appealing. The data related to health problems was concealed, and when anyone brought it up, cigarette manufactures would ignore or dismiss it, but that didn’t prevent them from offering low-tar, low nicotine and other types of ‘healthier’ cigarettes that were far from being healthy, unfortunately.

This is reminding of the situation with kayak seats designed for the traditional L kayaking position: Everybody knows they are uncomfortable and cause back pain, and in some cases may even cause certain injuries, but nobody wants to admit it, or investigate it.
Everybody knows there’s a link between kayaking and fishing in the L position and leg numbness, discomfort, fatigue and pain. However, that doesn’t prevent kayak and kayak-seat manufacturers from offering kayak seats that are promoted as being ‘ergonomic’, although they don’t really solve any problem.
It’s possible to say that the equivalent of the ‘improved’ cigarette filter is the extra padding in the newer, more expensive kayak seats, and the equivalent of the low-tar and ‘healthier’ cigarette is the ‘ergonomic’ kayak seat.

Let’s say it again: Sitting for long hours in your sit-in or SOT kayak in the L position isn’t a good thing for your lumbar spine, your circulation and your well being.
Padded seats won’t help you, because the problem isn’t related to insufficient padding – It comes from the fact you’re locked in a single position and unable to switch to another position, while your legs keep pushing your lower back against the backrest of your kayak’s seat.

Don’t expect paddling or fishing magazines to expose this story. It won’t happen because those publications depend on kayak manufacturers’ advertising dollars.

Kayak Fishing USA Magazine

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Kayak Fishing USA Magazine is a new online publication, sponsored by Wavewalk Fishing Kayaks.
The magazine is still in its initial phase, offering fishing reviews and kayak fishing stories classified by region: Northeast, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, Texas and Southeast.

Interestingly, the recurring theme in many of the reviews is ergonomics. In other words, kayak anglers nationwide have problems adapting to pain and discomfort generated by old fashion sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks. Many of these anglers quit fishing from kayaks and go back to fishing from shore, or from full-size boats.

Those who switch from traditional fishing kayaks to W fishing kayaks seem to have found the solution that enables them to paddle and fish comfortably, without feeling premature fatigue, leg numbness and pain, butt pain, and a sore back.

Naturally, different kayak anglers appreciate different things in their kayaks, and the consequently, the reviews focus on different aspects of the reviewer’s kayak fishing experience. Kayak anglers in their teens and twenties seem rather unaware of serious ergonomic issues, and like paddling and fishing standing, but the older the kayak angler gets the more they seem to appreciate comfort in its broadest sense.

Kayak Fishing Safety: Is It Safe To Paddle An Uncomfortable Kayak And Fish From It?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

This question is an important one, as thousands of kayak anglers are risking paddling and fishing accidents because of their kayaks’ poor ergonomics.

The hazards are many and diverse:

First, there’s the danger of being unable to paddle back to shore, as a result of fatigue, and even exhaustion.
Strong wind and tidal current are external forces that could be hazardous to a tired kayak angler, especially if elderly or inexperienced. If your kayak makes you prematurely tired, you need to consider switching to something more comfortable that tracks and paddles better, namely a Wavewalk kayak.

Additionally, overheating in summer, and hypothermia in winter should not be underestimated, since they reduce your ability to paddle effectively and get back to your launching spot, and could even prevent you from getting back to shore.
If your kayak exposes you to cold wind and water, you should avoid paddling it under such circumstances, unless you’re willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a dry suit. Remember: wearing waders and boots while operating small boats is very dangerous, since such heavy clothing might prevent you from swimming, and from getting back into your boat, or kayak.

Furthermore, there’s the hazard of cramps, leg numbness and being practically paralyzed by pain in your back, or in your butt.

Cramps in your legs can be very painful, and last a long time if you can’t stand up safely and relax. Sit-in and SOT kayaks offer only one position, which is sitting in an L shape, with your legs pointing forward and being restricted by footrests. Paddling or fishing in this position for a long time is s recipe for cramps, and for leg numbness, which is not as dramatic, but still most unpleasant, and undesirable as far as paddling is concerned.
Both leg pain and leg numbness are also dangerous because they prevent you from balancing and maneuvering your kayak efficiently.

Pain in your back or butt is dangerous, since it can literally cripple you, and compromise your paddling efforts. Moreover, you might find yourself close to shore and 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 an [Brand, Model].  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 >

This is not a rare example, and in fact many people report experiencing similar things with their sit-in and SOT kayaks.
Actually, most kayakers and kayak anglers have grown used to frequently stopping their paddling and fishing, just to go on shore an ‘unkink’. This ‘unkinking’ basically means stretching, and allowing some rest for the sore back and aching legs. Stretching your legs and back improves circulation, and relaxes muscles and tendons.
Some kayak fishermen in warm regions just stand in the water, if it's shallow enough. If such frequent ergonomic stops are impossible, the only solution anglers face is to cut short their fishing trip, and paddle back to their launching spot.

The combined effect of back pain or leg pain and cold is dangerous because the cold further contracts your muscles, and thus increases the pain, and therefor makes it harder for you to paddle.

Paddling in intense heat, especially if you’ve suffered from a sun stroke or dehydration is dangerous if you have pains, because such combination can increase the danger of premature fatigue and exhaustion.

More on kayak fishing pains

Old Kayak Anglers and New Fishing Kayaks

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Most people over a certain age suffer from back pain and leg pain when they go kayak fishing, or just paddling. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes for us to paddle kayaks and fish from them. The main issue is comfort, obviously, but stability is another key factor.

Problems like sciatica, poor circulation in the legs, and fatigue are more common among old people.

Old age restricts our ability to withstand the effect of kayaks’ poor ergonomic design. We feel the discomfort and pain more quickly and for a longer time, and it takes us a longer time to recover. Sometimes we simply have to quit paddling kayaks and kayak fishing altogether.

Here are some fishing kayak reviews from elderly kayak anglers, who tell how the new, patented W fishing kayak help them overcome their physical problems, and fish comfortably:

Fishing Kayak Review By 80 Year Old Kayak Angler From Kentucky (saltwater, offshore)

Fishing Kayak Review By 72 Year Old Kayak Angler From Washington (saltwater, offshore)

Review of Fishing Kayak From Senior Kayak Angler, West Virginia

Review of Fishing Kayak From 67 Year Old Kayak Angler, Florida

Review of Fishing Kayak By 66 Year Old Kayak Angler, Texas

Fishing Kayak Review By Senior Kayak Angler, California

Fishing Kayak Review By 68 Year Old Kayak Angler, Florida