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Balance is Key for Kayak Stability

Balance vs Stability

Balance is sometimes synonym to stability, and it means the ability to remain upright and steady. For a kayaker or a boater, balance refers to something they are able to do, namely balancing themselves, while stability refers mainly to the vessel’s resistance to external lateral forces, such as waves, and/or to lateral shifts in the distribution of the weight that it carries on board.

In the context of kayaking (human powered or motorized) and kayak fishing, balance can be described as ergonomic stability.

Balance is particularly important in small vessels that offer little stability, such as kayaks. Unlike motorcycles that offer no external stability but provide their users with excellent balancing capabilities, common kayaks (I.E. SOT and Sit-In kayaks) offer their users very little in balance terms. The difference comes from the fact that motor bikers ride a saddle seat with a leg on each side, while kayakers sit in a non-ergonomic posture called the L position, with their legs stretched in front of them. The Driver and passengers of a Jet-Ski ride a saddle that is similar to the saddle that motor bikers ride, and this enables them to balance themselves effectively, as well as balance their boat even at very high speeds and through big waves.

The patented Wavewalk kayaks are the only kayaks that offer their users to ride a saddle seat that’s similar to the saddle seats featuring in high performance vehicles including Jet-Skis (PWC), All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Motorcycles, and Snowmobiles. Therefore, people who paddle or drive a Wavewalk kayak benefit from optimal balance, which improves their own stability, as well as the overall stability of their kayak.

Another factor that greatly contributes to the balance of Wavewalk kayak users is the fact that the twin-hull (catamaran) design places maximal buoyancy under each of their feet, in a way that greatly improves the resistance of the kayak to lateral shifts in the weight that it carries on board. Practically, this means that a Wavewalk kayak will heel (tilt sideways) less than a common kayak when its users lean to one side for whatever reason, whether willingly or by accident, seated or standing up.

We’ve recently reedited the main article about Kayak Stability on this website, and those who are interested to read more about these subjects are welcome to do so.

Another great fishing weekend on my S4

Yellowfin tuna

By Terry Wilkison

Aloha,
Had another great weekend on the S4! Tuna season is in full swing and they have been biting! Caught another this past weekend and a fat bonita. I also had two small Mahi chasing a homemade fly but couldn’t entice a bite from either of them. I gave the bonita away to a friend who likes them (in Florida we considered them a trash fish but here they are eaten) and split the yellowfin with my neighbor. I made a plate of sashimi that night and froze the rest to pan sear later. I’ll be going again soon and have dug out some bigger gear as the 100lb ahi are around and you never know! The bent butt shotgun fits right in the molded holes and will be used as a holder while my live bait swims about. If others are looking for a fish bag the ‘midi chiller’ from chillco in Australia fits perfectly, It has a triangle shape that is much more convenient than the flat bags. I’m also glassing a taller transom to try with the Nissan outboard. I believe the engine is sitting about 2.5″ too low and its costing me 2-3 knots, right now I’m not getting the rpm I should out of the 9″ prop. I’m raising it where the cavitation plate will be .5″ under the bottom of the hull as to not affect turning. I’ll post the results after giving it a go. The next project is a loading ramp idea to save some time at the boat ramp, I’d like to go straight from the truck bed to the water without getting my axle/brakes wet in the salt.

Tuna and Bonita
Ice bag to keep the fish fresh
shotgun style rod holder
Wavewalk S4 motor fishing kayak with flags of Tuna and Mahi

More offshore fishing with Terry »

A higher saddle seat for Wavewalk kayaks

High saddle seat on motor kayak - Wavewalk S4

The saddle of a Wavewalk kayak offers maximal balancing capabilities to the users who ride it. Some people, especially tall ones, may prefer to ride a higher saddle, in a posture that gives their legs a more active job.

These people can simply add a few inches to the height of their Wavewalk kayak’s saddle.

The above picture shows a motorized S4 with an 8″ high saddle add-on for two passengers. It’s very comfortable, and riding it in choppy water with the motor at full throttle is exhilarating. It’s not less stable than riding in a lower posture.

Some people would prefer adding a soft pillow.