No Yack Back Kayak Fishing, Now Down Under

Some people mistakenly think that older people are the only ones who suffer from back pain as a result of paddling conventional kayaks and fishing from them. This notion is false, of course, and young people suffer from yack back and kayaking injuries as well.

Kayak anglers down under! -Here is some good new for your lower back:

Steve suffered from kayaking back injuries, which brought him to look for a solution.
-“I have a love for water and paddling but after experiencing 2 months of pain and subsequent treatment as a direct result of using a S.O.T Sit On Top) Kayak, I thought there must be a better way. After spending many hours researching different options, I was convinced with out doubt that the Wavewalk was the way to go. I purchased a Wavewalk direct from the US in December of 2011 and has not looked back since. NO more PAIN or INJURIES.”

Stability: The Key To Good Fishing Kayak Design

A new article on Micronautical, the kayak design magazine, discusses the importance of stability in fishing kayaks, and how to design a kayak for greater stability.

It’s an interesting read for elderly anglers, as well as for those who suffer from balance impairement and other disabilities that make paddling kayaks and fishing from them more challenging.

The subject goes also to fly fishing from kayaks, since this technique is best practiced standing up when paddling and scouting for fish, or when sight fishing.

Needless to say that stable kayaks are safer anywhere, whether inland or offshore, and that there is no such thing as too much stability when motorizing your fishing kayak is concerned.

 

 

6’3″ 235 lbs, 70 Year Old With Back and Weak Legs Problems

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

I’m 6’-3”; 235 lbs. I have back and weak leg problems that will keep me from safely balancing in the standing position, let alone jumping up and down. Sitting, I can go all day! (at 70 yrs old that’s probably an hour or so)… The saddle and sitting positions it offers are the big appeal of the Wavewalk for me. Forget about the traditional L position – I couldn’t get up, even if I had managed to get down.
Once I saw the W500 I knew that was the boat for me, but, being me, and never having tried a W500, I kept thinking I could improve on the design here and there. During the acceptance process I learned a lot, and now I’m happy to accept the hull as it is.
I’m feeling a little guilty that I didn’t have any exciting adventures to relate.
The first time out, I went to a lake with a shallow beach where I figured I could walk back to shore if I dumped the boat. I started out cautiously, right from shore, without getting my feet wet. I paddled in the shallow area for less than a minute, then headed down the lake (how’s that for quickly gaining confidence?), then all the way up to the other end (a mile?), then back down the . . . oh, oh! The breeze has kicked up. This could be trouble. A couple of mental adjustments and I was paddling into the wind and doing OK. Remember, I’m not a paddler, not ever a rowboat. I rested a bit in the lee of the eastern lakeshore then headed back to the beach 1/2-way down the lake where I dis-embarked, without getting my feet wet.
So far, nothing out of the ordinary. I initially found the boat to be tender, but that was me, not the boat. Anything that only weighs 59 pounds is bound to be tender when it’s reacting to a 235 pound novice, and the more I use it, the more compatible we become. It took a bit of adjustment to handle the paddle, which I imagine every new paddler experiences. And even though I got a couple of scares out there on the lake by digging in too hard, I didn’t dump the boat.
I haven’t been chasing fish. I realized I’m not going to be an avid fisherman but the lure is still there, and watching Fisheries pour three tanker trucks of keeper size trout into the lake whets the appetite.

Can You Paddle a Kayak After Spinal Fusion Surgery?

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Spinal fusion is an extreme surgical intervention performed on patients who suffer from certain chronic, serious back conditions, including severe pain, which have not responded to conservative treatment.
One of those patients recently posted a short review of her W kayak. Her testimonial sends a message of hope to other people in her situation:
I had spinal fusion six years ago. I have always wanted to Kayak but I know there is no way that I can sit in the L position on a regular kayak.
I contacted Norm Craig, a W kayaker who had spinal fusion too, and he assured me I would be fine with the W500.
I love my W kayak. I have taken it out about 7 times, and my longest trip was about 2 hours. It is very easy on my back. I just bought a new life preserver today made for kayaking. I am planning on going out tomorrow morning.
I am also going to make a cushion for the seat.

COMMON KAYAK INJURIES

This article first appeared on the PAINLESS KAYAK FISHING blog.

Paddling a common kayak, be it a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak or a sit-in kayak (SIK) involves being seated in the non-ergonomic L position, and paddling it in the traditional kayaking style, the latter requiring typical, repetitive motion that can lead to various injuries.

Lower Back Pain
Traditional kayak paddling technique, a.k.a. kayaking is based on torso rotation initiated from your hips. This motion is impossible to perform while you’re leaning backward (“slouching”) and it’s best performed while you’re slightly leaning forward. The combination of leaning with continuous, repetitive rotation puts strain on the lower part of your spine, known as the lumber spine, as it must support the body even while rotating. What makes matters significantly worse is the fact that while your lumbar spine is constantly rotating, your legs compress it against the backrest of your seat in order to transmit your paddling effort from your paddle, through your body, and finally – to your kayak, so it can move forward through the water. This considerable force is applied constantly on your lower spine, an area that has no other bones to protect or support it.
Regardless of how much padding your so-called “ergonomic” kayak seat my have, you will always feel discomfort to some degree, as long as you paddle either sit-in or SOT kayaks.
Only W kayaks do not require that you be seated in the L position, and only W kayaks offer a wide range of paddling positions that you can switch to anytime you feel like it.The ability to introduce change into your posture offers to reduce stress levels from particular areas in the body, and provide relief. Similarly, the ability to stretch offered by the W kayak’s saddle is highly beneficial in this regard.

Sciatica
The L seated position in a kayak forces the lowest part of your spine, known as the tailbone, down onto the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve is formed by nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord in the lower back, and it runs from the lower back down through the buttocks to the feet.
Prolonged sitting in the L kayak position can result in pinching of the sciatic nerve. As a result, you will feel an acute pain starting deep in the rear that could travel down the leg.
Being unable to stand up, stretch, or even switch to another sitting position will increase the severity of the problem.

Shoulder Pain
The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles in your shoulder, which connect the upper arm (humerus) to the shoulder blade (scapula).
In kayaking, the rotator cuff has to withstand a great deal of torque (twisting motion), especially in turning maneuvers and control paddle strokes. Such force applied on the shoulder often results in injury in the the rotator cuff tendons and muscles.
Being able to change paddling positions and paddling styles is beneficial, as well as changing paddle strokes, but only W kayaks offer a variety of options that are sufficiently different from each other.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Wrist Injury
Carpus is a word derived from the Greek word karpos, meaning ‘wrist’. The wrist joint is surrounded by a band of fibrous tissue that normally supports it. The Carpal Tunnel is tight space between this fibrous band and the wrist bone. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and receives sensations from the thumb, index, and middle fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include numbness and tingling of the hand in the distribution of the median nerve, that is the thumb, index, middle, and part of the fourth fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome may be a temporary condition that completely resolves or it can persist and progress.
Traditional kayaking technique involves repeated, typical wrist flexion combined with torsion, and can often result in carpal tunnel syndrome. In order to minimize the risk for such injury to occur, you need to be able to change paddling styles and paddle strokes as often as you feel like, but the range of change and motion that common sit-in and SOT kayaks present is minimal.
Only W kayaks enable you to switch between a wide variety of paddling styles and paddle strokes, and paddle from totally different positions, including standing up.

Foot Pain and Ankle Pain
When you sit in a sit-in or sit-on-top kayak, your feet are positioned at an unnatural angle, and they serve to lock you in the kayak so that you’re well connected to it. This is especially true when you’re paddling and controlling the kayak, but it’s true for when you’re fishing as well.
This frequently leads to injuries known as Pain in the Arches (I.E. the arches of your feet), Achilles Tendon (in the back of your ankle), and Ankle pain.