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.

More fishing kayak reviews >

“The W500 Rules the Water!” Says Kayak Angler With Fibromyalgia and Sciatica

Neither the fibromyalgia nor the sciatica that Rox suffers from would stop her from fishing for stripers (striped bass) in her W fishing kayak, which she outfitted with an outboard motor, so that she could cover more distance. Rox fishes standing up most of the time, yet another thing she can do only from a W kayak:

Epic, That’s what this day was……Epic. 🙂

I took the W500 fishing kayak out for my first solo Striper fishing on the Connecticut River In Windsor Locks, CT.
My buddy Mike was already on the water, I launched at 12:00 noon. I took the 1.2hp Gamefisher outboard since I knew I could count on it running well. My first slam came at 12:25, but the fish came unbuttoned.
I was drifting and casting my top water lure and working it slowly back to the W500, when BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fish on, and it’s a big one………………..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Off goes the drag, and the sleigh ride began. It was an awesome Battle, she circled me twice, and shot up river, still towing me ………….. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

I start to tire her, and get her yak side, went to grip the lip with my boga, and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ she wasn’t ready.
Now she is tired, I get her yak side one more time, reach with the bogas ………… and SHE IS MINE!!!!!
You could here me hooting for miles I’m sure.

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

29” Fat and Healthy, 14 1/2 lbs of fighting fury.

Many more Battles happened after that.

Today was one of the Best Fishing Days of my LIFE!!
I landed 3 keepers, and 9 smaller Stripers.

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

I had some awesome blow ups, and Lost 4 Bigger Stripers, but That’s okay, that’s why its called fishing.  😀

I can’t Thank Wavewalk enough, for this wonderful yak, The W500 Rules the water.

Rox

kayak angler standing with big striper in stand up fishing kayak, Connecticut river
Ergonomic, stable, stand up fishing kayak

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

big striper in fishing kayak, CT

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.