Kayak Review by Kayaker With Spinal Fusion – Laura Palestrini, Georgia

I had spinal fusion six years ago. I have always wanted to Kayak but I know there is no way that I can sit in the L position on a regular kayak. I contacted <a title="kayaker with spinal fusion" href="http://wavewalk.com/blog/2009/05/02/first-instant-review-from-w500-kayak-fisherman/">Norm Craig, a W kayaker who had spinal fusion too</a>, and he assured me I would be fine with the W500.I love my W kayak. I have taken it out about 7 times and my longest trip was about 2 hours. It is very easy on my back.

Spinal fusion is an extreme surgical intervention performed on patients who suffer from certain chronic, serious back conditions, including severe pain, which have not responded to conservative treatment.
Laura is one of those patients, and her short testimonial sends a clear message of hope to people like her:

I had spinal fusion six years ago. I have always wanted to Kayak but I know there is no way that I can sit in the L position on a regular kayak.
I contacted Norm Craig, a W kayaker who had spinal fusion too, and he assured me I would be fine with the W500.

I love my W kayak. I have taken it out about 7 times, and my longest trip was about 2 hours. It is very easy on my back. I just bought a new life preserver today made for kayaking. I am planning on going out tomorrow morning.

I am also going to make a cushion for the seat. I am also trying to figure out how to configure a cup holder. Has anyone come up with a cool design?

Thanks again.

Laura


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8 Comments

  1. April

    This is a great review, and I hope many people with back problems would get to read it, even if they’re not necessarily planning to go kayaking.
    April

  2. CJ

    As much as I love paddling, I’m not sure I would have tried to keep doing it if I had gone through spinal fusion.
    Norm and Laura are pretty courageous!
    CJ

  3. W kayak

    Going on water is a profound need for some of us.

  4. Chris

    Laura,

    I found an old aftermarket cup holder for the door of a car (before cars had cup holders). I placed a 3/4 inch piece of wood in the saddle groove which had been doubled up on the top and the cup holder hook rests quite well on it between the two rod holders I also clamp on there. There is a picture of it in a W300 review.

    Good luck and gentle waters.

    Chris

  5. Gary

    Laura…Since you’re looking for both a cushion and cup holder, you might want to check out Padz flat knee pads which are 12″ long, 10″ wide and 1/2″ thick self-adhesive cushions that fit perfectly on the W saddle. I use 2 of them on top of eachother as a 1″ high seat cushion, and have another two mounted on the front of the saddle to create a non-slide surface for holding most anything, including a cup of coffee. You should be able to check them out and order them by searching Padz flat knee pads.

  6. Flyrod

    I live on a shallow cove on the Chesapeake bay. A good fishing Kayak would be ideal for my fishing expeditions… The Wavewalk seems Ideal! Your thoughts ?

    flyrod

  7. W kayak

    Hi Flyrod,

    I’d say go for it, but I’m kinda biased 🙂
    We have many clients who flyfish from a W500, including in the ocean. They love its stability, which offers them to stand up easily and effortlessly, without the need for constant ‘micro-adjustments’, and knowing that if they happen to lose balance they’ll drop on the saddle, in the solid Riding position, and regain their balance instantly and intuitively.
    Here are some examples: http://www.wavewalk.com/Outfitting_Your_W_Fishing_Kayak.html#FLY_FISHING

    Yoav

  8. Mike Ratigan

    Laura,

    I have some back issues, although not as extensive as yours. Bulged disks on L 3 and L 4. That’s why I went with the W as well. Great choice as I’m sure you’ll agree. You can fashion a cupholder out of the bottom half of a litre bottle and tie it to the deck bungee. Also you can tie 2 detergent bottles together with a line to fashion a sort of saddle bag with the line resting in one of saddle grooves. I’m delighted that the W worked out so well for you.

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