Raising the Bar in Kayak Design and Performance:
New Standards For The Third Millennium
This article discusses the changes in kayak design, usage and performance over the past century and in recent years.
Mobility: The New Dimension
1. KAYAK MOBILITY DEFINED
Anybody can understand that a 4×4 off-road SUV is more mobile than a common, two-wheel drive car. Most people realize that a skin-on-frame Inuit kayak is less durable than a modern plastic kayak, and you couldn’t paddle it in some of the places that you’re used to paddle in. But what does mobility mean when it comes to modern kayaks?
It basically has to do with whatever limits kayakers and kayak fishermen from going where they want to:
Such limits include spots that are too difficult to launch your kayak from, or too difficult to beach it in. Other limits can be water that’s too difficult to paddle in because of currents, waves, ice, vegetation or submerged obstacles such as wooden logs or rocks.
Weather conditions can limit you as well: Canoes are difficult to paddle on windy days and so are most kayaks, including touring kayaks.
So, if for whatever reason you’re prevented from using some beach or going somewhere with your kayak it means your kayak’s performance is limited in terms of Mobility.
2. WHY IS MOBILITY IMPORTANT?
Your kayak’s mobility goes two things that matter to you:
Safety: You won’t drive a two-wheel drive car in a snowstorm or on ice because it’s unsafe to do so. Similarly, you wouldn’t paddle a kayak with limited mobility in water or weather conditions that are not suitable for it, and you won’t launch or beach it where you might capsize.
Freedom: You don’t think of a two-wheel drive as a great outdoors vehicle since its limited mobility would restrict your freedom of movement. This argument may be circular, but apparently too few kayakers pay attention to this issue, especially touring and sea kayakers.
What’s a fast kayak good for if it requires special places for launching and beaching? Why can’t you paddle a fast, expensive touring kayak in a fast stream or have fun with it in the surf?
And if you’re a fishermen the advantage of replacing your big, trailed motorboat by a cartop fishing kayak is considerably reduced if you can’t launch it, fish with it and beach it anywhere you want.
3. KAYAK MOBILITY REDEFINED
The W kayak offers a level of mobility that’s unprecedented, and may even be inconceivable for some.
Mobility is a feature that’s easy to demonstrate, and a picture tells more than words, especially if it’s moving. Therefore, it seems like the most appropriate thing to do at this point would be to have the reader watch the some online videos:
NEW: read more about motorizing fishing kayaks >>