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.

 

 

The Future Of Kayak Fishing Is Not As An Extreme Sport

For most anglers, kayak fishing is an extreme sport. Extreme in the sense that an angler fishing from a kayak is compelled to give up the two essential things that any regular fishing motorboat provides, which are adequate stability and elementary comfort. The third requirement, storage space is important as well, but less than the first ‘must have’ two. Indeed, fishing kayaks are not stable enough, and they are extremely uncomfortable, when compared to regular size boats. As for storage in fishing kayaks, the situation is as dire as it is with regards to stability and ergonomics.

The Promise vs. Reality

Kayak fishing promised a cheaper, hassle free, low maintenance, lightweight, car top form of fishing craft, and a direct, sporty experience. However, today, out of tens of millions of Americans who fish from boats, merely one in every thousand fishes from a kayak, and this is after a decade of promises that ‘kayak fishing is the fastest growing outdoors sport’, etc.  The bulk of US anglers have followed neither the kayak fishing pioneers nor the fishing kayak manufacturers’ hype, and since growth in kayak fishing participation is no longer as fast as it had been several years ago, it is safe to say that the US kayak fishing market has matured. This is partly a result of decreasing enthusiasm from new participants, as well as a high dropout rate that has been typical to this sport since its early beginnings.

Yes, but…

But kayak fishing feels extremely uncomfortable only if you’re fishing from the old fashion, sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks and sit-in kayaks. In contrast, when you fish from a W kayak, you experience a level of comfort that’s equivalent to that of fishing from a regular size boat, and some W fans would argue that you feel even better.

When stability is concerned, the level of stability an angler experiences while fishing from a W500 kayak is on par with what they’d feel fishing in a regular size fishing boat, in the sense that they are not required to constantly address the issue of balancing, and they can fish standing up with ease, comfort and confidence that are outside the world of fishing kayaks.

The W500 is the only kayak offering storage space that’s dry and accessible any time, and as much as any kayak angler may need, even if their fishing trip includes camping, and therefore carrying on board numerous and bulky items that so far only canoes and regular size boats could carry.

The Future Of Kayak Fishing

This is to say that kayak fishing has a future, and a bright one, but not as the extreme sport it’s been for most kayak anglers so far. The future of kayak fishing as a broad base sport and leisure activity depends on the participation of regular people, who care about their personal comfort, and demand a performance level in stability and storage that is not sub-minimal.  In other words, the future of kayak fishing is W kayak fishing.


Short Kayak Review by Senior Kayak Angler With Back and Balance Problems

Tony is an elderly gentleman from New Hampshire who the following review of hos W fishing kayak:

The 500 is great. It only took a minimum amount of time of actual paddling to get used to the kayak.
The weather is still bad but I am planning to get out next week and see if I can catch a fish.
My daughter Lisa and I have spent many hours fishing out of the kayaks on the weekends but I have not slimed the 500 yet. Today we had to quit because our hands got so cold.
The 500 is very stable and easy to control. The stability is very important as I had a major surgery on my back last year and somehow it messed up my balance.
You have designed a great craft. Thanks to you I can enjoy fishing again.

Tony

Balance Problem for Seniors Kayak Fishing

With age, and sometimes as a result of medical issues, our sense of balance deteriorates. The implications for kayak fishing are clear – We either need to fish from a more stable kayak, or quit kayak fishing altogether. An impaired sense of balance increases the risk of the angler capsizing their kayak, and therefore is a safety hazard.

Paddling a kayak with  an impaired sense of balance
Check the kayak before entering it

 It is advised to check the kayak before entering it, and not rely solely on its being advertised as a stable kayak.

Angler with disability testing a kayak
Paddler with balance disability testing a kayak -

Clearly, the most stable fishing kayak out there is Wavewalk’s W500, and it happens to be the most ergonomic as well, which is equally important, since it should be as easy and intuitive as possible for the senior paddler to balance and control their kayaks, especially if they suffer from an impaired sense of balance that compromises their kayak’s stability.