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 >

Sensible Kayak Angler – New Kayak Fishing Magazine

‘Sensible’ isn’t exactly what most people who practice fishing think about fishing out of a kayak. After all, not too many anglers practice kayak fishing, since it’s considered by most to be an extreme form of fishing, in the sense that fishing out of one of those SOT, sit-in, and hybrid kayaks just isn’t stable, comfortable or dry enough for most anglers to consider as being acceptable – or sensible.
But there’s also a type of kayak fishing that is safer, feels better, and it is also more practical. Sensible Kayak Angler is a magazine about fishing from kayaks that are more stable, don’t cause back pain, whose handling and use does not involve the hassle and discomfort commonly associated with with this sport.

Stability, ergonomics, and other problems are among the subjects discussed in the new kayak fishing magazine, and the more light shed on these subjects, the better, especially when elderly anglers are concerned, since they are both less capable of enjoying inadequate kayaks, and less willing to do so than the average kayak angler is.

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.

 

 

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.

Technical Review of the Hybrid Fishing Kayak

Senior anglers are on the look for any new idea that may improve their user experience when they fish out of kayaks, and some kayak manufacturers are trying to cater to this need by offering very wide fishing kayaks of a design concept known as ‘Hybrid Kayak’ – an abbreviation of hybrid kayak-canoe.

Kayak fishing magazines are filled with reviews praising the stability of such kayaks, and the new canvas on frame seats that some of them are equipped with. Some manufacturers claim the hybrid kayaks they make are suitable for fishing standing up, and those claims are faithfully echoed in the same kayak fishing magazines and websites that survive on paid advertizing fro these manufacturers, by we’re already digressing here to another subject, when in fact we’d like to know what’s the reality behind these claims – Are hybrid fishing kayaks that stable, or more comfortable than their traditional non-ergonomic kin the sit-in and SOT kayak?

A new article goes to the bottom of these questions, as well as some others, and offers a comprehensive review of the hybrid fishing kayak from the only perspective that matters – yours. It discusses a variety of subjects from kayak design to ergonomics, back pain, stand up fishing and paddling, safety, speed, pedal drives,  and even rigging the kayak with a trolling motor. It’s a must read for senior kayak anglers looking for straightforward answers. The article is entitled “The Hybrid Fishing Kayak – Facts, Hype and Plain Nonsense”.