This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.
Statistically speaking the almost sure answer is ‘Yes’: You have been fishing from the wrong kayak, since most anglers do, as most of them still use sit-in and SOT kayak for fishing, and only a minority has discovered W kayaks, and switched to them.
How do you know if the kayak you’re using is bad for you?
That’s easy to tell, and all you need to think about is how your back feels after about one hour paddling it, and fishing from it.
If you feel an urge to get up and ‘unkink’, that is stretch your legs, walk, do some physical exercise, and stretch your back and shoulders, it means that it won’t be long before you start suffering from a sore back, which is the hallmark of sit-in and SOT kayaks, because they force you into the L kayaking position, while not offering real alternatives for operating the kayak.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re paddling your kayak or propelling it with a pedal drive – In fact, the latter means of propulsion demands that your legs push your lower back even harder against your seat’s backrest.
A sore back simply tells you ‘Stop Using This Kayak!‘.
Why? Because if you keep paddling and fishing from this kayak, you’d be risking back injury, such as sciatica and even a herniated disk, and whether mild, severe, or permanent – it’s not worth it.
If you consult with a primary care physician, and especially with a doctor who’s a spine specialist, you’re likely to get both good advice, as well as a detailed assessment of your situation.
If you think back pain and injuries are worth it, you may want to consider consulting with another kind of specialist 😀
And here’s another point to think about: Paddling and pedaling kayaks while suffering from back pain, or any pain for that matter, is unsafe, as this article about kayak fishing with a sore backexplains fairly well.