That Fishing Yak Ain’t Good For You

Could it be that you’ve been fishing from the wrong kayak?
Statistically, the near certain answer is ‘Indeed, You Have Been Fishing From The Wrong Kayak, As Most Anglers Do!’
How is this possible? Well, most kayak anglers still use sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks, and only a minority of kayak anglers have already found out about W kayaks, and consequently switched to using them.

How can you tell if your fishing kayak is bad for you?
That’s pretty easy: You just need to think about how your back feels after about one hour of paddling and fishing.
If what you feel is discomfort and a strong urge to get up and stretch your legs, walk on shore, do some physical exercise, and relax your back and your shoulders, it won’t be long before your back starts feeling sore, as it often happens to kayakers and anglers who use sit-in and SOT kayaks. This happens because these outdated kayaks force you to sit in the L position, and they don’t offer you real alternatives for this unhealthy position.
It doesn’t change much if you’re paddling your kayak, or using a pedal drive. Actually, a pedal drive demands from your legs to push your lower back harder against your seat’s backrest.
What a sore back simply means is STOP USING THIS KAYAK, AND GO GET A SUITABLE ONE.
Why? Because if you continue using this kayak for paddling and fishing, you’d be risking back injury. This can be sciatica, and even a herniated disk. Mild, severe, or permanent spine damage, kayak fishing isn’t worth it, and the older you are, the longer it will take you to recover, and the smaller your chances are to recover.

Consulting about these things with a primary care physician, and especially with a spine specialist is always a good idea.

Another point to think about that too few few kayak anglers are aware of, is that paddling and pedaling kayaks while suffering from back pain, leg pain, etc. is not safe.

What Use Can Seniors Have Of A Typical SOT Fishing Kayak?

The typical fishing kayak these days is a big, long and heavy SOT kayak, equipped with all the bells and whistles one can imagine. Aside from the fact that sitting in it hurts your back, and is uncomfortable for your legs, it’s also very heavy, and hard to paddle.

The typical fishing kayak these days is a big, long and heavy SOT kayak, equipped with all the bells and whistles one can imagine. Aside from the fact that sitting in it hurts your back, and is uncomfortable for your legs, it’s also very heavy, and hard to paddle.
On top of that, those kayaks are advertised as being stable enough for stand up fishing, but it turns out that it’s not exactly a realistic description…

A  fishing kayak review combined with a fishing trip report recently published on the  the Jacksonville Kayak Fishing forum tells the story from the angle of a fly angler who’s not old, but has had back pain, and a herniated lumbar disk:

I bought a Wavewalk kayak  in anticipation of using it for fishing the flooded grass because of the ease of standing in it and also because my lower back had been bothering me after long trips in my [15 ft long SOT fishing kayak]. Since then I’ve actually herniated a lumbar disk and was out of commission for 6 weeks, but although I’m functional now using the [15 ft long SOT fishing kayak] is out of the question in the near future.
I finally got to try out the W for what I bought it for.  We had flood tides over the weekend and I was anxious to pole the boat around the flooded spartina grass in search of tailing red fish.
I was not disappointed, it performed flawlessly.
It poles very easily in the grass, the view is great standing, and there is nearly no balancing effort for standing in it. I actually put a board across the top of the seat and poled standing on top of that. The view there is about 12″ above the water and the perspective that gives you hunting for tails is incredible.
I’ve also used the boat for some short trips fishing, and find that it’s a great little boat to fish out of because it allows you to be in so many positions while fishing and you never feel the need to get out and stretch or get the numbness out of your butt.
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The Wavewalk is a keeper in my kayak herd now and for the near future will probably be the only boat I’ll be able to go out in. It’s nice and compact, stores a lot of stuff easily and keeps it dry, plus allows those of us with non cooperating bodies to fish more comfortably.
I’m also looking forward to staying nice and dry and warm fishing out of it this winter. This is a great boat to own even if my back wasn’t part of the reason I bought it.

K.

The Senior Kayak Angler blog chose not to publish the name and brand of the 15 ft long SOT fishing kayak mentioned here, similarly to the version of this review that was published on the Wavewalk Fishing Kayaks’ blog. Another version of this review was published on the Jacksonville Kayak Fishing forum, and it includes the SOT fishing kayak’s name and brand.