The W is unlike any other kayak that you’ve paddled in more than one way.
While it’s plain to see that it looks differently and performs differently, it’s more difficult to see that the paddler operates this kayak in a manner that’s not even close to traditional kayaking.
When you see the paddle moving left and right it’s easy to assume that the paddler is ‘kayaking’ but he’s not- he’s W kayaking, and that’s not the same.
The W paddler’s preferred posture is Riding (mounting) the 14″ high saddle with his legs on both sides of his body: The tip of the foot below the ankle, and both are in a direct line below the hip and the torso. The upper body rests both on the saddle and on the hull’s bottom – through the legs and feet. Riding (mounting) a W kayak is very similar to mounting a pony, when the rider’s torso is supported by the saddle on the horse’s back as well as by the stirrups through the legs and feet.
This means that the W paddler shifts his weight from side to side using his feet, legs and hips in a way that doesn’t even resemble traditional kayaking. It also means that the W paddler applies paddle strokes that are unlike the traditional kayaking strokes: They are longer and more powerful, and the lower body takes an active part in each and every one of them.
This W kayak Riding (Mounted) position is also the most effective for casting fishing lines and reeling in fish, but first you need to know how to paddle your W before you can go kayak fishing with it. This is because fishing, like surfing and sailing is a secondary application in any kayak, the primary application being paddling.
Remember that your experience in traditional kayaking and kayak fishing might be irrelevant to W kayaking and W kayak fishing. In fact, such previous experience might even make it harder for you to get used to your new kayak in case you insist upon using traditional kayaking style techniques for balancing, controlling and paddling your new W kayak. If this is the case you should remind yourself that in order to learn this new paddling style you’d need to ‘unlearn’ the old one. It’s easier if you keep in mind how canoing and traditional kayaking are different from each other, and W kayaking differs from both although there are some similarities.
You can expect a learning curve but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long one. Those things are personal and unpredictable, and becoming an accomplished W kayaker may take you anything from one hour to a few weeks. The more closely you follow instructions the easier, faster, more fun and more rewarding your learning process will be.
Needless to say that fishing, like paddling, is an acquired skill, and fishing from kayaks is a set of skills that you can’t expect to master immediately, even if you’ve been fishing from shore or from bigger boats before.