Ten More Years on The Water for Mike Ratigan, New York – Fishing Kayak Review

I was thinking I was at the end of my kayak days due to my physical limitations, and this is why I've become interested in W kayaks, since I thought this craft will overcome them... I'm sure your design will give me another 10 years on the water.

Mike is a retired sailboat broker who doesn’t believe in ordering a boat without first seeing it. So he drove all the way from upstate NY to Sharon, Massachusetts, where he saw the W500 kayak, tested it, and took one back home with him.
This is what he has to say now, several weeks later:

I live in Rochester NY and I have been fishing from kayaks for the past 15 years.
I’m a retired sailboat broker with over 40 years sailing experience, and I hold a USCG maritime license.
My last fishing kayak was a [12′ long, popular sit-in brand].
Being a 220 # male with some physical limitations, including arthritis, knee, mobility and lumbar issues, my sit-in fishing kayak was getting very difficult to use. I was thinking I was at the end of my kayak days due to my physical limitations, and this is why I’ve become interested in W kayaks, since I thought this craft will overcome them.

Prior to the W kayak, the [brand name sit-in kayak] was as good a fishing kayak as was available. The W has totally raised the bar. Launching / landing it is actually enjoyable, and standing up is remarkable.

My maiden voyage:
My new W500 and I went on our maiden voyage, and I had a ball. I haven’t stood up in it then, as I took my time getting used to how it handles. I landed / launched it about 10 times and did some basic turning. A number of kayakers were intrigued at the new craft. It transports solid as a rock now that I figured out my system.
I was very pleased with the W and my progress on that initial trip with it. With my knee and back limitations, I knew I’d be advancing slowly.
I’m very grateful for being able to get out on the water again at all. Being able to launch and land easily is more than worth the cost of the W. I am now thankful that I’ll get many more years on the water.
I think it would make a fabulous yacht tender too.

Mike standing in his fishing kayak, Rochester, NY

Next voyages:
Well I’ve had my W out about 5-6 times so far, and I want you to know how happy I am with my purchase decision. I was paddling by a major canoe / kayak facility yesterday and noticed I had drawn some attention by the staff and a few of their clients. I couldn’t resist the urge to stand up and proceed paddling around a bend until I was out of their sight. Awesome.
I’ve been in 2-3 foot chop on a local bay with no problems. I’m not pushing myself, just going along as my confidence and experience builds. I haven’t been able to turn around in the cockpit, as my knee range of motion is too limited. It is wonderful to be able to go ashore at will.

Beached fishing kayak

– ‘High-Beaching’ W Kayakers’ Style –

I want to thank you again, and I’m sure your design will give me another 10 years on the water.

Please use me as a local resource for demo purposes, as I would be glad to let prospects touch and see my W and possibly try it out if my timing works. I would be very glad to show my W to anyone in my area that has some interest.

I think you have one hell of a nice product.

Mike Ratigan, Rochester NY

NEW: Read how Mike rigged his W kayak for fishing >>

Fishing kayak, Rochester, NY

Mike in his fishing kayak

Getting out of a fishing kayak to a dock


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >


  1. admin


    It was a pleasure having you visit us.
    Thank you for this nice review! I hope that ten years from now I’ll have an even better W kayak model that would add ten more years of kayak fun to you, and others 🙂


  2. derrek5456

    that’s reassuring to read. I think I’m going to get myself one of these yaks as soon as I can afford one. do you sell factory seconds or demo boats

  3. Knucklewalker

    Great review!


  4. Rox


    What a great review, I like the way you pointed out…….going to shore at will.

    Landing, beaching, climbing up a bank, getting out on docks, or into other
    boats from the W’s, then slipping back into the W’s and paddling off into the sunset. 🙂

    The W sure will keep us paddling right up into those golden years.

    Just Like you Mike, the Wave Walk yaks put me back on the water, for my sit-in,
    and sit on top yak days were over, do to health issues.

    Long Live the Wave Walk Yaks. 🙂

    Tight lines and Paddle Safe all.

  5. Petru

    I have no health issues, my weight is around 155Lbs (70Kg) and I still prefer the W500 over regular yaks.
    There is no yak out there with so many features like Wavewalk.
    I have search the Internet for almost 3 years. So far I did not find a real competitor for W500.
    Last Friday I just sent the check to Yoav for a W500 GT.
    I am very eager to get it wet as soon I see it in my driveway.
    All the best.
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  6. John Z

    I’m from Rochester too. I even made a dedicated trip up to see Yoav’s W kayaks last summer about this time like you. Unlike you though – I can’t leave well enough alone. My W500 is highly modified with a trolling motor and remote steering. I’ve got a bum shoulder (severed rotator cuff) so my paddling ability is limited. For months I’ve lamented the fact that the guys in Florida have this great fraternity of Wavewalk kayak owners. Maybe we could get together for a little fishing! I’d love to show you my ride. Call me. I’m in the book.
    John Zoltner

  7. Fishing Kayak

    Thanks for the review. I will look more into this model, it looks interesting.

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