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Tandem Kayak Fishing vs. Tandem Paddling

You can go paddling in tandem in your Wavewalk Kayak, and by tandem we mean two adults, providing none of you is a big person (see Wavewalk website for details). However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go fishing in tandem, and again, by tandem we mean two adults onboard.
Although it may be possible we would hesitate to recommend it for the following reasons:

First, paddling requires less personal workspace than fishing does, especially if one paddler or both use single blade (canoe) paddles, which are shorter than double blade ones.

Second, paddling is a regular and repetitive action with little or no surprises. Even if you paddle in moving water (E.G. river, surf, tidal current) you can assign strict roles to each of the paddlers, and by doing so increase your efficiency and minimize unpleasant surprises.
In comparison, kayak fishing can turn chaotic instantly if one of the crew needs to fight a big or strong fish. It’s important to remember that when two persons are on board a Wavewalk Kayak it is less stable than when only one person is.

Third, fishing involves the use of hooks and other sharp objects. If both fishermen are experienced the risk is minimal, but if they are novices there is a risk that someone might be accidentally injured.

Fourth, fishing sometime requires a lot of additional gear, and with a second adult fisherman onboard the storage space in the Wavewalk Kayak becomes considerably smaller.

As for fishing in a tandem composed of one adult and one child, it is a very rewarding experience that many Wavewalk Kayak owners enjoy on a regular basis. More on kayak fishing with kids »

 

 

Kayaking Back Pain and Leg Numbness (Part 2)

Again, according to Isaac Newton’s Third Law whenever a body exerts a force on another body, the latter exerts a force equal magnitude and opposite direction on the former.

This also means that when your torso’s entire weight is combined with the weight of your thighs, and together this weight pushes down against your seat, your seat pushes back up with an equal force on your posterior and lower back.
One more, instead of having your powerful legs support your body weight, you find yourself in a position where you have to support most of your legs’ weight with a part of your body that already supports your torso’s weight.
This vertical pressure is exerted during the whole time you’re seated in the traditional kayaking position. Furthermore, it is combined with the horizontal pressure that your legs exert on your lower back (see part 1), thus enhancing the ergonomic problem in your lower back.
No wonder cushioned seats and various ‘lumbar support’ solutions don’t change much.

Traditional kayaking position

More about kayaking leg and back pain »

Kayaking Back Pain and Leg Numbness (Part 1)

First, some basic mechanics:
According to Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Action and Reaction, whenever a body exerts a force on another body, the latter exerts a force of equal magnitude and opposite direction on the former.

In other words, when your legs push your feet against your kayak’s foot braces (or footrests) they also push your lower back against your seat – and as a result the seat pushes back against your lower back with an equal force.
Your legs have the most powerful muscles in your body, and they constantly generate this force from the moment you sit in your kayak until you get out of it.
The L kayaking position deprives your legs from their natural role, and together with the seat and footrests turn them into a source of ergonomic problems for your back.
All that unnatural pressure is bad for your legs as well, and this is why you suffer from leg numbness, poor circulation and sometime pain and even chronic injuries.

The traditional kayaking position

More about kayaking back pain »

Paddling Over Submerged Obstacles in Shallow Water

Whether you’re on a paddling or fishing trip in shallow water, you don’t want to have to turn back, or worse – get stuck somewhere because of underwater obstacles. Such obstacles may be rocks, tree roots, fallen branches and fallen trees that prevent you from reaching your destination, be it an interesting place to tour or a promising spot to fish in.

If you have to turn back the W solution is either to paddle backwards, or turn the boat, or turn yourself inside the cockpit and face the direction from which you came from: The W kayak is fully symmetrical front and back and it feels the same paddling forward and backward.

Another strategy you can try is poling with your paddle (preferably the Wavewalk PSP), or going over the submerged obstacle – whether it’s top part is underwater or even a few inches above water:
You position yourself at the back of the cockpit, thus raising your Wavewalk kayak’s bow. Then you paddle forward full speed and try to get the boat to go as forward as possible over the barrier. If you succeeded in getting the middle of the boat pas the obstacle you’re almost there, and you’ll have to move swiftly to the front part of the cockpit and thus make your Wavewalk kayak tilt forward and go over the obstacle.
It may not be as easy as it sounds, but practice makes perfect, and in this case it’s fun too.
It’s also great to know that you’ve gone where no other canoe or kayak could go…
This video shows how it’s done:

Southern Kayak Fishermen’s Complaints

I recently visited a popular online kayak fishing forum serving kayak fishermen in a Southern state. One of the discussions in it was about the negative side of kayak fishing as the participants see them.
Most of the participants fish from SOTs and some from sit-in kayaks, but none of them fishes from a W Kayak.

These are the problematic points that the participants seemed to agree upon:

1. You really can’t do it [kayak fishing] right without getting wet and muddy. Either water will slosh into your cockpit or your scuppers will fill up. You’ll need to get about knee deep to launch comfortably, so you’ll probably encounter mud, grass, sand, or all of them (ergonomic problem)

2. You’ll have to get used to loading and unloading your boat and equipment. You’ll take 15 minutes to unload and you’ll take 15 minutes to load everything back into/onto your vehicle/trailer (storage problem).

3. You can’t take your kid fishing with you.

4. Paddling into the wind is difficult (‘windage’ problems).

5. It’s very hard to relief oneself (ergonomic problem).

6. No place to keep your catch when you paddle back in. You need to tie your stringer to the side and drag it, which can be difficult and attract predators, or use the fish-in-the-lap approach (storage problems).

7. Fishing in high winds makes it difficult to cast.

8. You can’t really fish standing. If you’re accustomed to casting in a standing position (power boat, shore or pier) you feel awkward casting from a low, seated position (ergonomic and biomechanical problems).

9. Since there’s little room on deck everything is close to you and you may unintentionally “snag” nearby items with your hook (ergonomic problem).

10. Not being able to stand up and stretch after being seated for a long time – discomfort in your legs (ergonomic problem)

11. Lower back and posterior pains (ergonomic problem).

12. It can get very cold onboard (ergonomic problem)

Compare this to the W Fishing Kayak, that:

1. Offers dry launching and beaching even in difficult spots, and its cockpit protects you against spray.

2. Is a ‘Toss and Go’ boat – you can leave your gear and tackle inside when transporting it.

3. Offers enough room onboard for a second passenger

4. Enables you to paddle in strong wind

5. Offers to stand up anytime and for any purpose…

6. Offers sufficient dry and protected storage space onboard for every possible need.

7. Offers powerful casting positions such as riding and standing

8. Enables fishing standing in confidence even in the presence of wind and eddies.

9. Features a full size, spacious and deep cockpit.

10. Offers to switch between various positions and stand up for fishing anytime.

11. Enables your legs to support your torso and back in a natural posture.

12. Puts you higher on the water and protects you from wind and spray.