Problem: I found myself on the wrong side of the culvert at the wrong time – see attached sketches. I was on side A and needed to get to side B.
Front view of culvert with strong tidal current – hard for a kayak to get through
Tide was going out and the rapids through the culvert was too strong for canoe, kayak or trolling motors (maybe even small gas motors).
Made two attempts to get through–my approach from the sides was wrong (positions C and D)…wasted too much energy, current pushed me back, and couldn’t continue.
Waited approximately 30 minutes to regain strength and a tide change, which didn’t happen–if anything the current got worse.
Schematic view of the road and culvert underneath with different courses for paddling the kayak against the fast tidal current
I was desperate and decided a final attempt: this time I would approach the culvert straight on, from the center (position E)… The current was strong and had many irregularities – much occurred when the water would bounce off the sidewalls… 5 strokes forward would gain barely 5″ to 15″…
I had to be quick to make adjustments when I started to drift off center… I knew from previous experience that paddling strong on one side wouldn’t do it, so I’d do a quick back paddle on the appropriate side…that was my method of progressing: forward strokes (5,8,10, or…) and then a quick backstroke.
With local fishermen and women cheering me on, I made it through, and made it home on time for an important appointment.
I made it through this culvert before against the tide with my sit-in kayak but never with a current this strong.
This time I would not have made it in my sit-in… The reason: the current irregularities would twist me off center and it would be impossible to correct, and I’d be pushed into the sidewall and back to where I started.
The Wavewalk’s tracking benefit was really apparent.
Me paddling my Wavewalk kayak in Ozello
Standing next to my W kayak. Gary Rankel’s W kayak is on the right.
I went fishing with Gary and Bob yesterday, and the Wavewalk advantage was evident: tracking and “stand up ability”…
I definitely had to work longer and harder to stay on course and “drift fish” with my current sit-in kayak…their ability to beach their W on the shoals and then back out was something I wouldn’t try in mine–it did give them an advantage fishing certain areas.
Can’t wait for my W kayak! It should arrive here next week.
Nature Coast Kayak Fishers
My kayak angler group ran into a morning of dense fog at Ozello 2 days ago. Art Myjak, who is still recovering from a stroke he had 2 years ago, was good to go in his Wavewalk 500. He is still a bit unsteady and don’t think he would do real well in a more traditional yak.
Fortunately, I asked the new guys in our club to bring a VHF radio with them so we could maintain contact. They were invaluable in the fog.
Wavewalk launched the 500 series in May of 2009. Currently, there are over two hundred Wavewalk® 500 reviews listed on this page. Per our company policy, each Wavewalk® 500 review features the full name and state of the person who contributed it, as well as pictures. We consider anonymous reviews and ones posted under an alias as being not trustworthy. A review can be useful under the conditions that its author paid for the kayak they review, that they actually use it, and that they fully disclose their identity as a regular client or a reseller. We disapprove of reviews authored by anyone who’s paid to write kayak reviews, whether directly or indirectly (e.g. through advertising on their website).
A Wavewalk® 500 owner may have contributed more than one review – For example, an Initial Review written shortly after they have received their kayak, and a Comprehensive Review after having outfitted it for fishing and used it over months or years. An owner of a Wavewalk® 500 may also review it as a Hunting Kayak, and write a separate review of their boat as a Kayak for Children, or a Fishing Kayak. In some cases, we will publish both reviews, and if we don’t, the reader can find more stories and reviews from that by searching their name, or by contacting us.
Typically, our dealers are Wavewalk fans, they use the kayaks they buy from us personally for paddling, fishing, hunting and motorizing, and they don’t resell other kayaks. All of the above qualifies them as reviewers.