A Look To The Future Of Fishing Kayak Design

There is no doubt that certain kayaks are more suitable for fishing than others. It is widely accepted that the more stable the kayak, the more ‘fishable’ it is. Since kayak fishing trips can take long hours, and sometimes days, properly designed fishing kayaks should offer their users the means to keep fishing and paddling without having to stop because of problems such as leg pain, leg numbness, butt pain and back pain, a.k.a ‘yak-back’.
Those who have tested W kayaks, especially the new generation of W500 models, would find it easy to understand why old-style fishing kayaks commonly known as sit-in and sit-on-top kayaks (SOT) are poorly designed, and do not fit the needs of the modern kayak fishing community.
Although certain kayak manufacturers have been pushing forward the notion that some of their wider fishing models are fit for stand up kayak fishing, there doesn’t seem to be a considerable number of kayak fishermen who would agree. Stand up kayak fishing is a misnomer when SOT and sit-in kayaks are considered.The main reason why kayak fishing is not as popular as it could have been, is the problem of discomfort and poor ergonomics. In other words, fishing kayaks are a pain to fish from, literally. This is especially true as the anglers get older.
Here is a link to an article about fishing kayaks and elderly kayak anglers, courtesy of the Painless kayak Fishing blog. The article has links to fishing kayak reviews written by elderly kayak anglers.

This movie shows the W500 fishing kayak. It is the second generation of W Fishing Kayaks, and offers a glimpse at the future of kayak fishing: Better ergonomics, better hydrodynamics, and better stability, enabling a good experience in both paddling and fishing – unlike the sit-in, SOT and hybrid kayaks commonly used today.

70 Year Old Kayak Angler With Back and Leg Problems: “The Boat For Me”..

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.

Jim, B.C. Canada

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.

Understanding Kayak Back Pain

With old age, many people suffer from chronic pain, usually in their joints, so they would and should rather avoid more pain, and this time in their back – as a result of paddling the wrong types of kayaks, and fishing from them.

What is pain, actually?

Can pain be useful to you?

What to do once you feel pain after being in a kayak for some time?

How to avoid back pain resulting from kayaking, and fishing from kayaks?

This new article called “What Is Kayak back Pain, and What Does It Mean For You” explains these issues, and offers some pretty good advice, which is basically: When you feel pain as a result of doing something (e.g. kayaking) – stop doing it, and don’t do it again unless you found a way to eliminate the source of pain. In other words – don’t paddle kayaks, or fish from them, if it makes your back sore, because you’ll be sorry for doing so.

Older Age and Kayak Injuries

Old age doesn’t at all mean you should stay at home, and you definitely can and should seek physical activity, but at the same be aware of the risks of being injured while practicing your favorite sport, whether it’s fishing, kayaking, or the combination of both, namely kayak fishing.

Elderly kayakers and kayak anglers are more prone to getting injured while using their fishing kayaks than younger kayakers and kayak anglers are. The older you get the more vulnerable your body becomes to being mistreated and abused, including when praticing various sports and outdoor activities, and the more serious the injury gets to be, in terms of pain, gravity, and the time and means it takes to heel, and for you to recover.

Old age doesn’t at all mean you should stay at home, and you definitely can and should seek physical activity, but at the same be aware of the risks of being injured while practicing your favorite sport, whether it’s fishing, kayaking, or the combination of both, namely kayak fishing.

Before you start fishing from kayaks, you’d better know what type of injuries you may be risking, and the best ways to avoid them. The best article that covers these issues is called Common Kayak Injuries,  and it relates to both kayaking and kayak fishing, since paddling sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks is not different from operating any other recreational or touring kayak. Typically, such injuries are the result of having to paddle while being seated in the L position, and from the application of traditional kayaking technique in this position.

Needless to say that elderly kayak anglers can get injured while entering a sit-in kayak, or when they come out of it, since these actions become increasingly difficult and demanding as one grows old, to a point where many old kayakers and kayak anglers can no longer take the physical abuse involved, and are forced to quit the sport they love.