And the best touring kayak is: the W500… by John Fabina

We decided to explore a part of the Oconomowoc River we have never been on before. Right from the start we had to cross over some logs. This was good…. I knew we would have this part of the river to ourselves.

Throughout this stretch traditional canoes and kayaks would not be able to navigate obstacles. With a Wavewalk kayak simply slide yourself to the rear of the kayak, paddle up on the partially submerged log, shimmy or paddle a bit until you feel you have centered the kayak, slide yourself to the front of the kayak and paddle or shimmy to the other side. WARNING: do not attempt this with a traditional kayak with a rounded hull… you will flip over.
It was a fun day and made possible by Wavewalk kayaks. We saw three deer, all sorts of big birds, and had the entire stretch of the river to ourselves – on a Saturday!


Touring previously inaccessible waters – John paddling his kayak through submerged and above-water obstacles
All-Water Touring – Jeanne paddling her W kayak over fallen trees
John goes through a part of the Oconomowoc river that’s inaccessible to other kayaks
Jeanne touring the Oconomowoc river in a W fishing kayak that happens to be the world’s best Touring kayak as well…

More kayak fishing stories from John >

6 thoughts on “And the best touring kayak is: the W500… by John Fabina”

  1. Thanks for this great story John!

    Here’s a video that shows how going over obstacles is done with rocks:

    And this one is a classic oldie that shows the early version of the W300 used to achieve the same extreme mobility, which is yet another unique aspect of the W kayak:

    Man, that W300 boat was tiny! 🙂

  2. Beautiful, in every sense. Hey, maybe there’s more to life than fishing? at least sometimes 😉

  3. John, you’ve done it again, what a great post. Kayak stability is an abstract concept to most people. Your photographs should make it clear to readers how ridiculous the stability claims of most manufacturers really are. Get a Wavewalk or get wet! 🙂

  4. It’s another example how people’s views are distorted by the hype that vendors feed them. When most people think “kayak touring”, they think of a very long and narrow monohull kayak. I guess some even narrow down their mental image to a fiberglass or carbon fiber kayak. This is riducuolus, of course, since these kayaks are particularly uncomfortable and unstable, and those made from hard resins might develop cracks under the combined effect of cold and mechanical stress. The only advantage of these kayaks is speed on flat water, but they’re hard to handle in wind, waves and current, and they obviously don’t allow for this degree of mobility shown in John’s story and in the videos Yoav posted. The real touring kayak is the W, since it offers more freedom of paddling, tracks better, offers more storage, and doesn’t force the paddler to paddle in a posture that’s detrimental to their well being and even to their health.

  5. We use that same technique in Florida to get over the gators when they are thick.
    Nice scenery

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