A couple of days ago I visited the website of a rather known figure in the world of kayak fishing. The man who resides in Florida published a book on kayak fishing and produced instructional kayak fishing videos as well.
This is what he wrote on his website:
“No matter who you are — or what physical condition you are in—-eventually, if you sit in your kayak long enough— you will eventually begin to experience back pain. It will creep up on you at first, but eventually, it will be noticeable enough to erode your enjoyment of the outing even if you are catching fish.”
Why was I surprised to read such an honest statement from a kayak fishing professional? Because kayak fishing pros are in many cases so passionate about this sport and are so keen to promote it that they tend to close an eye to the difficulties that most kayak fishermen face in practicing it.
In many cases kayak fishing pros would brush aside issues such as back pains, leg pain, leg numbness, wetness and other symptoms of discomfort resulting from poor ergonomic design because let’s face it: their livelihood depends on kayak fishing, and telling the full and sometime not so pleasant truth about this sport would be against their interest – whether they sell kayaks, rent them or offer outfitting, instruction or guide services.
In some cases kayak fishing pros would advise you to cushion your seat with some foam or other soft material such as a gel bag, or add foam under your knees – as if such means could provide more than a temporary and partial relief. Some of them are unaware of the real causes for kayaking and kayak fishing back pain, but it seems others simply chose to ignore these issues.
And why do we keep talking about the ergonomics of kayak fishing, back pain and other such painful issues? Simply because we think they are real and widespread problems, and kayak fishermen deserve to hear the whole truth about them, and we also happen to offer a better solution.