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Learn Your Kayak Before You Start Fishing From It

The W is unlike any other kayak that you’ve paddled in more than one way.
While it’s plain to see that it looks differently and performs differently, it’s more difficult to see that the paddler operates this kayak in a manner that’s not even close to traditional kayaking.
When you see the paddle moving left and right it’s easy to assume that the paddler is ‘kayaking’ but he’s not- he’s W kayaking, and that’s not the same.
The W paddler’s preferred posture is Riding (mounting) the 14″ high saddle with his legs on both sides of his body: The tip of the foot below the ankle, and both are in a direct line below the hip and the torso. The upper body rests both on the saddle and on the hull’s bottom – through the legs and feet. Riding (mounting) a W kayak is very similar to mounting a pony, when the rider’s torso is supported by the saddle on the horse’s back as well as by the stirrups through the legs and feet.
This means that the W paddler shifts his weight from side to side using his feet, legs and hips in a way that doesn’t even resemble traditional kayaking. It also means that the W paddler applies paddle strokes that are unlike the traditional kayaking strokes: They are longer and more powerful, and the lower body takes an active part in each and every one of them.

This W kayak Riding (Mounted) position is also the most effective for casting fishing lines and reeling in fish, but first you need to know how to paddle your W before you can go kayak fishing with it. This is because fishing, like surfing and sailing is a secondary application in any kayak, the primary application being paddling.
Remember that your experience in traditional kayaking and kayak fishing might be irrelevant to W kayaking and W kayak fishing. In fact, such previous experience might even make it harder for you to get used to your new kayak in case you insist upon using traditional kayaking style techniques for balancing, controlling and paddling your new W kayak. If this is the case you should remind yourself that in order to learn this new paddling style you’d need to ‘unlearn’ the old one. It’s easier if you keep in mind how canoing and traditional kayaking are different from each other, and W kayaking differs from both although there are some similarities.

You can expect a learning curve but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a long one. Those things are personal and unpredictable, and becoming an accomplished W kayaker may take you anything from one hour to a few weeks. The more closely you follow instructions the easier, faster, more fun and more rewarding your learning process will be.

Needless to say that fishing, like paddling, is an acquired skill, and fishing from kayaks is a set of skills that you can’t expect to master immediately, even if you’ve been fishing from shore or from bigger boats before.

Where Did Our Kayak Get Its W From?

Some people think the name W Kayak is an abbreviation of Wavewalk kayaks. In a way it’s true, but there is also another source:
It is common for letters of the alphabet to be used to label different types of hull. For example, a V hull is one whose cross section looks like the letter V, and a U hull is one whose cross section looks like the letter U. The latter form is popular in canoe and kayak design. A new type of multihull design features M hulls.

Similarly, if you looked at a cross section of a W boat you would see a form reminding of the letter W, or more precisely a ‘Double U’ since the bottom of each of the W twin hulls is flat, I.E. more shaped like a U than a V.
When looking at the wake the W Kayak leaves behind its twin hulls the W shape can be easily perceived.
In fact, our W logo is shaped in a way that can be seen either as a wake or flat water or the crest of a wave – depending on how you choose to interpret it.


Wavewalk kayaks logo

The W Kayak Combat Position For Fighting a Big Fish

A big and powerful fish may be smaller and altogether weaker than you, but being in its natural element while you’re not gives it an advantage that may compromise your kayak’s stability, get you somewhere that you don’t necessarily want to go to in long a ‘sleigh ride’, or make you lose the fish because you’re too busy controlling your kayak.

This is a maneuver that Jeff McGovern and myself developed together as a ‘think tank’ and ‘R&D team’. It’s called the ‘Combat Position’, and it’s possible to execute only in a W Kayak:

Upon realizing that you have a business with a big fish you need to swiftly reposition yourself along the saddle in the riding position (‘Mounted’) and as forward in the cockpit as possible, with your knees tucked into the front hull tip openings – see ‘1’ in the illustration below.
As a result of this change in weight distribution your W kayak’s bow will dip in the water (see ‘2’) while the stern will come out of the water (see ‘3’).

In this position your W kayak will be ‘planted’ in the water and offer maximum resistance to unwanted change, whether such change is tilting sideways or going forward.
Being in this position will free you from the need to balance your kayak while you’re fighting the fish, and let you focus on your fish whose capability to outmaneuver you was reduced to almost zero.

All the fish could do now is swim forward or sideways, and since your W kayak will generate a lot of drag in this position the fish will soon get tired and become less of a problem to reel in.

Combat position for catching a big fish in a W kayak

Storing Your Fishing Gear Onboard Your Kayak

It isn’t necessarily a simple problem.

First of all, your fishing gear and tackle need to be secure at all times, which means that come what may they won’t get lost. Rods, tackle box, fish tank, bait tank and cooler come if various sizes, and you need to reach and use them whenever you want.
Hatches may be relatively safe for storage but they are not very practical when it comes to accessing what you stored in them.

Sit on top (SOT) kayaks don’t have a real cockpit to speak of. They feature a shallow depression in the deck, and any object on it (including yourself) may fall overboard or get washed away in case you’re paddling through the surf.
You can secure your fishing equipment with bungees and ropes, but that may not always make them handy, and dipping your reels in saltwater could harm them.

Sit-in kayaks (SIK) feature either a close or open cockpit, but it’s usually rather small, and being low above the water it exposes your gear to spray.

Canoes offer limitless storage space – practically the whole boat, but this comes at a high price of being harder to paddle than kayaks, especially under wind and in the surf.

In contrast, the cockpit of the W fishing kayak is bigger and deeper than any kayak cockpit, yet the boat itself is small and easy to paddle in adverse conditions. In fact, you have ten cubic feet of internal, dry and accessible storage space in the cockpit itself and inside the boat’s four hull tips that you can always access from inside the cockpit.
There are numerous places you can attach gear to, and you can easily add more. On top of this you can use the top of the hulls outside the cockpit for attaching extra bulky equipment.

I chose this picture to show how much storage this kayak has to offer simply because nearly every cubic inch in it is available for storage:

Storage space for fishing gear and tackle

A Picture Tells

This picture of Jane Taylor is not recent but I chose to write about it on this blog because it’s significant to me.

It says “I did it!” and “I can do it!” and “Life is great!” or all of the above – and I really like it.

I think it’s Jane’s husband Charles (Chuck) who shot this picture on their trip to Florida. They went there by motor home and paddled together.


Jane T on the Ichetucknee river, Florida