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The World’s Most Stable Fishing Kayak, Seaworthy Car-Top Boat, and High Performance Micro Skiff
1. DEMO VIDEOS
Captain Larry Jarboe driving his S4 at 17 mph, a world speed record for vessels designated as kayaks:
2. ABOUT THE S4
The S4 is the world’s fastest kayak when motorized, as well as the world’s most stable kayak. The latter is the keys factor in enabling driving the S4 at high speed both on flat water and in rough water.
This is Wavewalk’s 4th boat series since 2004, following the 300 (Mark I and II), 500, and 700 series.
Like all other Wavewalk® products, this boat is 100% Made in USA.
The S4 delivers the highest performance in the field of small boats and skiffs, even before you’ve reached the water, starting from the fact that at 98 lbs it doesn’t require a trailer for transportation, and it’s easily portable even on rough terrain.
Its patented twin-hull design delivers more stability than any small boat out there, including much wider and heavier ones. This allows for driving in fast currents and in choppy water.
In addition, being a true catamaran makes this boat track better than other boats.
The S4’s extra large cockpit (8′ long x 38″ wide) offers ample room for two anglers or hunters and their gear, or for up to three adult passengers – a total of up to 680 lbs.
The S4 features a long saddle seat similar to the saddle of other high performance vehicles, which offers maximal balancing capability as well as full comfort for going in choppy water and for long trips.
The S4 features a stand up casting platform at its bow, such as can be found in a typical skiff.
The cockpit’s slanted sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and better control than what canoes and tandem fishing kayaks may offer them.
The S4 has an extremely shallow draft, and this fact in combination with its portability, load capacity and high performance as a paddle craft makes it the most practical solution for shallow water fishing.
Click image to enlarge
- Length: 13 ft (396 cm)
- Beam (Total Width): 38″ (97 cm)
- Cockpit Length: 95″ (241 cm)
- Cockpit Height: 17″ (43 cm)
- Saddle Height: 15″ (38 cm)
- Width of a single hull: 13″ (33 cm)
- Total Weight: 98 lbs (44.5 kg)
Structure Overview and Features
- Patented twin-hull Wavewalk® catamaran hulls
- Personal watercraft (a.k.a. ‘jet-ski’) style 7’6″ long Saddle seat featuring a series of seven molded-in brackets, and six vertical molded-in reinforcement columns
- Integrated Skiff Style Stand-Up Casting Platform at the bow, with anti-skid surface. Read more »
- The Cockpit’s Slanted Sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and comfort than paddling a canoe or a common kayak of such width.
- Preparation for a vertical mounting plate for outboard motor or rod rack at the stern
- Two Medium Density Overlay (MDO) 0.75″ thick Saddle Brackets – One bracket at each end of the saddle.
The bracket in the front provides additional support for the stand up casting platform, and the rear bracket serves as extra support for a motor mount.
Each bracket is attached to the vertical wall that’s adjacent to it by means of two rivets. The rivets are sealed with waterproof adhesive. Click thumbnail to enlarge
- Built-In Flotation – The S4 Saddle is a watertight compartment that offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy.Two pairs of integrated, molded-in heavy duty Carry Handles – A pair at the bow, and a pair at the stern.
- Average Wall Thickness: 0.150″ (3.8 mm)
Available Color Combinations
Color Combination Name
Twinhull Color Saddle Color
GG Gator Green Gator Green GW Gator Green White WG White Gator Green WW White White
Click images to enlarge
- Max Total Payload: 650 lbs (295 kg)
- Max Number of Passengers: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children
- Internal Space for Dry Storage : 34.7 cubic ft (0.98 cubic meter), namely 260 gallons
- Draft –
Empty: 0.75″ (1.7 cm)
With 200 lbs Payload (90.7 kg) : 2.5″ (64 mm)
With 400 lbs Payload (181.5 kg): 4.25″ (108 mm)
With 600 lbs Payload (272 kg): 6″ (152 mm)
- Max Outboard Motor Power Recommended for Regular Use: 6 HP
- Outboard Motor Compatibility: 20″ Long (L) Propeller Shaft
Country of Origin
4. PRICE $2,760.
This price includes shipping in the US to land addresses in the contiguous 48 states, with insurance and call before delivery service.
This price does not include the S4 mounting plate, whose cost is $130.
S4 Heavy Duty (HD) Motor Mounting Plate: $130
1.5″ thick. Made from Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and coated with urethane.
Each mounting plate ships with a pair of 5/16″, 3″ long bolts, and self locking nuts.
It takes a couple of minutes to attach this mounting plate to the boat: Just insert it into the molded-in stand for transom motor mount, drill two 5/16″ holes, and secure in place with the two bolts provided.
Fits 20″ long (L) propeller shafts.
Click image to enlarge
Wavewalk® 9 ft long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $190
Common dual blade (‘kayak’) paddles are neither long nor sturdy or rigid enough for paddling this paddle craft, pole it in shallow water, and paddle standing.
Wavewalk® 9’8″ extra long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $230
For very tall people, or people who plan on paddling standing and poling most of the time.
Wavewalk® Detachable Spray Shield: $140
For high speed motorizing in choppy water.
Wavewalk® Joystick Steering System: $270
For easy and fun steering seated and standing.
Best Stability in Small Boats
- Initial (Primary) Stability: The S4 is more stable than any kayak, canoe, Jon boat and small skiff, including Wavewalk’s W700. A 200 lbs person standing with both feet in one of the S4 hulls will make it draft barely 1″ lower than it would if that person stood with one foot in each hull – hardly a noticeable difference.
- Secondary Stability and Balancing Capability: The unique combination of a saddle seat (such as ATVs, PWC and snowmobiles feature) with high-volume twin hulls enables the passengers to balance themselves easily, intuitively, and more effectively than in any other boat, including kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, dinghies, skiffs, and personal watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’).
The S4 is unrivaled in Stability terms.
Read more: Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4 »
Best Boat Ergonomics
The 15″ high saddle featuring in the S4 is similar to the saddle featuring in other high performance land and water vehicles, such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Personal Watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’), and Snowmobiles, as well as certain Rigid-Inflatable Boats (RIB) designed for high speed motorizing offshore.
Passengers riding this saddle can travel for long hours, including in choppy water, without suffering from back pain or fatigue. This is due to the fact that while seated in the Riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle, the passenger’s legs support them in the most effective way, and no horizontal pressure from a backrest is being applied on their lower back.
In addition, the S4 passengers can stand up any time they want, and keep driving and paddling while standing up. They can even lay down with their back on the saddle, and relax. Switching between positions assures that no extreme fatigue or tension would build up in any part of the passenger’s body.
Easy Transportation and Full Portability
The S4 weighs 98 lbs without a motor attached to it. This means that it does not require a trailer for transportation, since it can be car-topped. The S4 can be dragged or carried over rough terrain, and launched practically anywhere, whether it’s a rocky beach, shallow water, and other difficult spots that are not accessible to other boats.
Mobility and Range of Travel
The S4 can go anywhere, thanks to a number of special features –
No other boat offers such a combination of shallow draft and total multi-modal propulsion, namely the ability to keep going in an effective paddling and poling mode even if the water is too shallow and/or infested with weeds to allow for motorizing.
No other small boat works so well both on flat water and in the chop.
On Board Storage
The space available for dry storage on board the S4 is equivalent to the storage offered by a good size Jon-boat, or a regular skiff.
So far, the speed record for the S4 is 17 mph. This record was set with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor by Captain Larry Jarboe, and documented in video. Based on the boat’s perfect performance at this speed, it could go faster with a more powerful motor. Please note that Wavewalk does not recommend using motors that are over 6 HP with the S4.
7. S4 vs. W700
- W700 advantages over the S4: Solo kayaking, tandem kayaking, solo canoeing, portability.
- S4 advantages over the W700: Motorizing, tandem motorizing, tandem fishing, stability, offshore trips, load capacity.
- Shallow water – The S4 drafts less than the W700, and it features a skiff stand up casting platform, but the W700 paddles better, generally.
- Offshore – Being more of a boat than the W700, the S4 offers a clear advantage in the chop.