Retired businessman and county official starts a new career as kayak dealer and fishing and diving guide in southern Florida

For decades, Captain Larry Jarboe owned and ran sawmill in Maryland, and served as a county commissioner there, and all this time, his passion was fishing and diving.
When Larry retired in Key largo, his plan was to keep fishing out of a commercial fishing boat that he owns named the Line Dancer, and offer guided fishing and diving tours from this boat. At that time, Larry was already a fan of the Wavewalk 500, which he had used in Maryland, and he became a Wavewalk dealer.
Then came the Wavewalk 700 series, and Larry discovered the potential for using it for guided fishing tours in the mangroves and for diving tours on the reef. He also discovered motorized kayaking. Both discoveries led Larry to reassess the business potential of the Wavewalk 700, and put a greater emphasis on this small watercraft, in combination with the Line Dancer, serving as a mother ship.

 

The Line Dancer mother ship carrying three Wavewalk 700

 

Captain Larry Jarboe and a client on board the Line Dancer

 

 

 

Larry also discovered the option to use a motorized W700 for driving clients into the mangroves, and as the creek becomes narrower and tortuous, continue in a paddling mode.

 

 

The advent of the S4 changed things for Larry and his business. He found that he could use a motorized S4 to tow two Wavewalk 700 kayaks, each one attached to each side of this versatile boat. This innovative setup is extremely stable and comfortable, and it allows its passengers to chose between paddling autonomously or being towed by Larry’s S4 skiff.

 

 

Larry developed a climbing ladder for the S4, which allows practically anyone, including big and heavy clients, as well as elderly ones to get back into the boat easily.

 

Underwater view.

 

Wavewalk S4 with diving ladder.

 

Wavewalk S4 with ladder for divers.

 

In addition, Larry found that practically anyone could drive the S4 and fish out of it, and this includes people who simply cannot used any other kayak, and would feel uncomfortable in a conventional small boat such as a Jon boat or a skiff, such as this 330 lbs guy –

 

 

As Larry keeps finding new ways to use the Wavewalk S4 and 700 to better serve the clients of his burgeoning fishing and diving business, he’s very excited about advising others who may benefit from the versatility and high performance of these skiff-kayaks that practically anyone can use, including people with a sensitive back, back problems, back injuries, arthritis, sciatica, excess weight, and other limitations and disabilities.

 

 

And let’s not forget couples who just want to paddle in tandem, or go motorizing in the mangroves –

 

 

Larry driving an S4 with two passengers on board. This crew spent three hours touring the mangroves.

 

Visit Capn’ Larry’s website Florida Fishing Kayaks »

More about the Wavewalk S4 skiff kayak »

 

 

A New Look At Motorized Fishing Kayaks and Portable Boats

Elderly fishermen welcomed the kayak fishing trend that became popular about a decade ago, mainly because they felt jaded with having to deal with big motorboats and cumbersome canoes, and they welcomed the promise for physical exercise that came with paddling kayaks.

Nowadays, many senior anglers perceive the reality beyond the hype, and they are not as enthusiastic about kayak fishing as before. The reasons for this are primarily ergonomic, namely the discomfort and fatigue associated with staying seated in a kayak for long hours, and the risk of developing sciatica and other back injuries as a result.

Pedal driven kayaks have failed to provide solace to senior anglers, and in fact they proved to be harsher on the operator’s back and legs than regular, paddle propelled kayaks.

Electric trolling motors proved to be a good solution for ponds, small lakes and slow moving rivers, as far as shorter fishing trips are concerned. Whether trough assisted paddling or as an alternative to paddling, electric motors have become quite popular with older anglers who can tolerate being seated in the L position, or similar uncomfortable postures.

Wavewalk is a manufacturer of patented kayaks that solved the back pain problem in this field, as well as a host of other physical problems that plague kayaking and kayak fishing. Wavewalk also solved the motorizing conundrum, namely the insufficiency of electric trolling motors as means of propulsion for long fishing trips and for traveling in fast currents and in choppy water – something that only outboard motors can do.

Wavewalk offers three products lines of different sizes, all of which can be easily and effectively paddled and motorized with either electric motors or outboard gas motors.

The Wavewalk 500 is a lightweight (60 lbs) super stable and back pain free twin-hull (catamaran) kayak that anyone can car-top, launch paddle and beach anywhere, including people in the late seventies and even early eighties, as well as people with serious disabilities.

The Wavewalk 700 series is a lightweight (80 lbs), super stable and back pain free twin-hull tandem kayak and portable skiff. Anyone can car top a W700 on their own, as well as carry it and launch it. It can take powerful portable outboard motors, and it’s fun to drive, even in choppy water.

 


 
The same skiff serves as a fishing kayak in places that can be accessed only by the smallest and most nimble paddle craft:

 

 

Wavewalk is now offering a third line of small craft named Series 4 (S4). This portable (car-top) skiff can take on board two big and heavy anglers, a strong outboard motor, and plenty of fishing gear. It can also serve as a paddle craft (canoe, tandem kayak) when its crew needs to go in extremely shallow water, or in no-motor zones (NMZ). Being more stable than bigger boats makes it an ideal solution for elderly anglers who fish in a variety of waters, and do it either solo or together with a fishing buddy.
 

Gary Rankel Tour Tampa Bay in his W Fishing Kayak

Neil, kayak fishing guide extraordinaire, took me on a 2-day fishing tour of the Tampa Bay area this week, and took these pictures of some of the snook and redfish we caught. We had nice overcast weather and the Wavewalk fishing kayak performed great as usual. Thanks to Neil, I’ll now have a few more places to check out when fishing slows down in Ozello.

Gary

Kayaking for the Next Generation

Kayak fishing is a tried and true sport that many senior anglers have had years to master. However, kayak fishing has never been very popular with kids and teens, who might find it lackluster and tedious. However, the W Fishing Kayak has proven to be a solution to this issue, for its ease of use, super stability which allows stand up paddling, and aesthetic appeal has made it a hit among younger users. Youth kayak fishing, a new blog dedicated to highlighting the younger segment of the kayaking and kayak fishing community, is now up and running with plenty of great content. Check it out!

First WaveWalk Paddle Trip, Kayak Review By Retired Gentleman From Texas

Took my WaveWalk out this morning for my first paddle and decided to take a trip thru some of our marshes down here. According to a google earth retracing of my steps I covered about 5.7 miles in 2 hours at a leisurely pace (as would be expected from a Retired Gentleman of Leisure).
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.

Lee,
Nederland, Texas

Addendum:

I did a lot of research on the W500 – read all of the blogs and watched most of the videos – before I started saving the funds to possibly purchase one. I had the “book knowledge” on the W500 but not the practical experience. The purchase was totally dependent on a test drive to see if it was as advertised. It didn’t take long to get the basics down.

Although I do plan on doing some fishing from the W, I realized that I need to get more practical experience learning the boat before I do some inshore fishing in it. Plus it’s really great to get back to cruising the marshes & bayous like I used to do years ago. If you’re going into unfamiliar territory, especially back in the marshes, take the time to use GoogleEarth to print a map of the area. A compass is great, but the bayous twist & turn quite a bit and you often can see where you want to be but can’t get there without a map on board. Man, do I love GoogleEarth!

So I’m looking forward to spending some more time just wandering around and getting better with the W and enjoying the sights before I actually go fishing. I’d rather be in a narrow twisting bayou than just about anywhere. Thanks to the wealth of info at the W web site, for making retirement even better than it already is.

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