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 >

All You Wanted To Know About Kayak Back Pain

All You Wanted To Know About Kayak Back Pain
This is a relatively new blog that’s dedicated entirely to information about kayak back pain, and other problems and limitations associated with paddling kayaks and fishing from them.

This is about a relatively new blog that’s dedicated entirely to information about kayak back pain, and other problems and limitations associated with paddling kayaks and fishing from them.

It’s called Painless Kayak Fishing, and it features articles about the causes of back pain in kayaking and kayak fishing, and how to overcome the problem.

The blog also talks about other physical issues, such as leg pain, leg numbness, and butt pain (commonly known as ‘yak ass’). The articles are original, or borrowed from other websites that discuss these ergonomic problems.

Painless kayak Fishing also features fishing kayak reviews describing cases of paddlers and kayak anglers who used to suffer from back pain, to a point they couldn’t paddle their kayaks, or fish from them.

The information featuring on the Painless kayak Fishing blog includes in depth articles too, for example, this article about Lumbar Spine Problems Associated With Kayak Fishing talks about how siting in a common kayak (sit-in or SOT) pressurizes your lumbar spine.

Here’s an excerpt from a fishing kayak review recently published on Painless Kayak Fishing:

“I have been looking for a kayak or canoe that fits my needs for quite a while.
I love the sport, and find it a relaxing and useful mode of transportation. However, as I get “older” I found that the body does not necessarily wants to do everything my mind wants to do. I am 65 years old, 5’9” and 190 lbs having had back surgery a few years ago.
The hours on end I used to spend paddling along the coast, around lakes and down rivers looking for thinks to photograph, enjoying the views or drowning some worms became a painful experience after half an hour of sitting in a standard kayak in the infamous “L” position.
I could not find a comfortable position and after about one hour I could not get out of the kayak in a graceful manner (actually I had to roll out on the dirt) and was unable to straighten for several hours.

I had to either stop doing what I enjoy, or find a different way to do it.”

It illustrates how bad the problem of back pain is for many kayak anglers and paddlers.