About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.

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:

Thanks Dan,

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.

8 Comments

  1. Pete

    Typically, people who are new to the fishing from kayaks tend to be impressed by things that are not necessarily meaningful, such as hatch covers, seats that are hyped as being ergonomic, “consoles”, cup holders and other accessories.
    The W500 is the leader in performance and versatility among personal fishing craft including kayaks, canoes, dinghies, jonboats, and small microskiff.
    Foam noodles may not look great to some people, until they realize how useful they are.

  2. Michael Chesloff

    The best source for aftermarket accessories and ideas on custom outfitting of your W500 is fellow owners. Searching this blog will allow you to see what has actually worked (and not!) for people in many different circumstances. While not for everyone, most of us get great satisfaction (and results) from custom rigging to match our individual requirements (fishing, camping, photography, hunting, etc.). It also enhances the incredibly low cost of ownership

    Regarding the foam noodles, they are to float your boat for recovery in the event of an accident, not to prevent tipping. I have mine (4) bungeed against the underside of the hull, between the pontoons. This puts them out of sight and out of the way.

    I use my W500 for fishing and have owned numerous other crafts over the past 35 years: fiberglass skiff, ultra-light kayak, john boat, inflatable, aluminum bass boat, folding boat and square-ended canoe. The W500 exceeds them all in fishability, transportability, maintainability and access to ANY water. I usually just use the paddle but when I am on larger bodies of water I just snap on my 2hp-4stroke Honda and jet to the next likely spot at about 8 mph. When I’m done the W500 slides on top of the car and the motor goes in the trunk.

    Sorry for the enthusiasm, it is the one hazard of having bought this as my LAST boat.

  3. fish

    I think most of our clients end up not using flotation modules, possibly because after using their W kayak many times, they can’t imagine capsizing it. That might not be the wisest attitude to adopt, especially if you go in deep water.

    Yoav

  4. Fish Wiz

    I remember the times when W offered for sale anchors, stakeout poles and other kayak fishing stuff … I used to wonder why would anyone buy this particular model of paddle clips or paddle holders from W, instead of going online or to a big store and choosing from a broad selection of many brands and models?… Getting rid of all those generic fishing products and focsuing on items that are unique and offer the most value to the client was a smart move, and I’m pretty sure that clients who order from W now are happier dealing with a shorter ordering form 😉
    As for W dealers, I guess they’re happier too, since they have to carry less items in stock.

  5. PackerYaker

    And don’t forget how useful the noodles are in creating stealth while fishing in shallow water. Without them, even the slightest noise created by constantly rotating between fishing rods and paddles would send redfish into the next county. They also serve in securing additional lures within easy, quiet reach by inserting the hooks into the foam.

  6. fish

    True. Rigging your kayak for fishing is not just cheaper and more effective, it’s also fun!
    Here’s a link to our website’s rigging section: http://www.wavewalk.com/Outfitting_Your_W_Fishing_Kayak.html

  7. fish

    And just for the record – In a little over a year we rolled out 4 new products (real ones, not re-designed cup holders):

      1. The XL detachable flotation modules for motorized kayaking
      2. The 20″ propeller shaft motor mount
      3. The 15″ propeller shaft motor mount
      4. The saddle bracket for increasing the W kayak’s load capacity, and for adding structures on top of the saddle
  8. Marco

    I can’t wait to see a W cup holder! 😀
    Marco

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