This article is based on questions emailed to us by Dan from Southern Australia, and on our response to his questions.
Dan wrote us: -“Hi guys at Wavewalk. Congratulations on a great product. I am a recent convert to this kayak fishing scene and am still in the process of deciding what yak will suit me and my fishing. After trolling the net for weeks I found video of your craft and was very excited – OK it’s not the sexiest rig around but seemed to be the smartest design… So my problem is you guys have built this thing and stopped!… Where’s the upgrades, where’s the factory accessories, what’s the deal with the foam noodles everyone?…”
And this was our answer to Dan’s questions:
Indeed, the kayak business is extremely competitive.
We’ve started selling our kayaks back in 2004, and since then we’ve seen most of our competitors either disappear or change owners –
This includes small, medium size and big kayak companies.
Our competitors offer products that are essentially the same, namely variations on sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks.
If you look at the designs (forms) themselves, you’ll find no noteworthy change in the past 40 years since such kayaks were first roto-molded.
None of our competitors has any technological advantage over the others, so they are forced to compete by offering many accessories, whether that makes sense or not, plenty of unnecessary detail in their designs, intensive promotion (hype), and price.
Wavewalk has a proprietary technology that puts us in a different category.
Following a few, tested principles has helped us thrive in this highly competitive environment –
These principles are:
1. You can’t argue with success
We keep expanding, and we’re very attentive to what our clients say. Our clients spend long hours on the water, and they demand a system that’s robust, comfortable, and works perfectly in all circumstances, so this is what we offer them.
2. Simplicity rules
Nothing beats simplicity in design, and since our kayaks beat any other kayak in terms of functionality, there is no real demand from us to add accessories and detail to what we offer.
3. What’s best for the client is best for us
We used to offer anchors, stake-out poles, paddle clips, a variety of deck mounted rod holders, and even more paddles, until we reached the conclusion that our clients are best served when they buy such accessories in fishing and boating stores after they got the kayak from us, and know exactly which accessories they actually need. We may be losing a few dollars on each sale, but at least we know that our clients face a better choice than what we could have possibly offered them, and they’re not pushed to buy products they might not necessarily need, or may not be the best choice for them.
4. Focus on what you do best
Our clients consider the W kayak to be the world’s best fishing kayak (see customer reviews > ). Clients who’ve fished out of other craft including motorboats consider the W to be the world’s best personal fishing craft. Our recently introduced motorized W kayak successfully competes against small motorboats (see: http://microskiff.us ). This is to say that we keep leading in true, substantial and meaningful innovation, because that’s what we focus on.