Fishing from a kayak.
Anglers fish out of kayaks in saltwater and freshwater, but this outdoor activity is more popular in warmer regions than in cold ones, due to the fact that typically, kayaks offer the angler less comfort and protection from the elements than motorboats do, and this factor is more of a problem in cold weather and water.
Most anglers still view kayak fishing as too hard and uncomfortable for them to practice, and they prefer to fish out of larger motorboats that are stabler and more comfortable than fishing kayaks typically are. Such fishing boats also offer a much longer range of travel than kayaks do.

The patented twin-hull W kayaks revolutionized kayak fishing in more than one way –
It eliminated the back pain and leg numbness associated with fishing out of mono-hull kayaks that force the angler to fish while seated in the uncomfortable L position. This opened kayak fishing to middle aged and elderly anglers, as well as to people who suffer from back pain and back sensitivities, and other disabilities.
The W kayak’s increased stability offers practically anyone the option to fish standing in full confidence, in real-world conditions, even if they’re not small, young, or physically fit.
In addition, fishing out of a W kayak is more comfortable in the sense that the angler is better protected from the elements (wind, waves, spray, etc.) than they would be if they fished out of other types of kayaks.
In ‘fishability’ terms, the new W kayak also outperforms other types of kayaks when storage is concerned, since it offers several times more storage space for the angler’s fishing tackle and other gear.

In sum, the W kayak offers to transform kayak fishing from an extreme sport or outdoor activity, to a pleasant and comfortable one – for everyone, and not just for the young and athletic angler.

More articles on kayak fishing and related subjects »

Getting Trapped in a Kayak

Kayakers call this type of accident ‘Entrapment’ (which in regular English is a juridical term…)
However, in the world of kayaking entrapment is described as a situation where the paddler’s lower body, or a part of it (E.G. leg, foot) is caught inside the hull while the kayaker is trying to retrieve it from there during a ‘wet exit’, that is while attempting to leave his or her kayak and swim.
Imagine yourself in turbulent water, your kayak overturned, you’ve been ‘pumped out’ of it (by gravity) or you’re just trying to perform a ‘wet exit’ – and you’re ‘entrapped’.
It’s not merely a stupid situation – it’s actually a very dangerous one.

How can such thing happen?
It’s a fact: Whitewater, sea and surf kayakers who paddle monohull sit-in kayaks (SIK) attach themselves to their boats with a watertight accessory called ‘spray skirt’. This garment is made from strong fabric, usually Neoprene reinforced with  rubber, and it’s tightly secured both to the kayak as well as to the paddler’s body by various mechanical means in order to prevent water from leaking in, or the skirt coming out of its place. Being well secured is especially important during a recovery maneuver that such SIK kayakers perform called ‘Eskimo Roll’ – when their kayak is upside down.

As in other outdoor sports the rule of thumb in kayaking is ‘Stuff Happens’. Since kayaking accidents are by definition events characterized by the reduced control the kayaker has over what’s going on, it can happen that SIK kayakers remain attached to their kayaks against their will, I.E. they are ‘entrapped’ inside to some degree.
Such situations are particularly hazardous if the accident occurs in turbulent water (E.G. big surf) and ‘rock gardens’ (beaches with underwater rocks), which is often the case.

Why am I talking about this?
W Kayaks are not equipped with such spray skirts, and W kayakers don’t perform Eskimo Rolls, and so far no one has ever reported any W Kayak accident involving any degree of ‘entrapment’.
Nevertheless, I feel it’s important to explain this issue and discuss it because it highlights the necessity for accelerating the paradigm shift in paddlesports safety: Most paddlers today wouldn’t even consider using kayaks equipped with spray skirts anymore, and they have chosen to paddle stabler kayaks rather than ones requiring paddlers to have a ‘Bomb Proof Eskimo Roll’ (I.E. 100% reliable under all circumstances).  In other words, people have generally voted against those sit-in monohull kayaks (SIK) that demand a high level of expertise in this overrated recovery maneuver that too few people can actually depend on.  The problem is that too many kayakers out there still use that type of spray skirt without possessing a ‘Bomb Proof Eskimo Roll’, and by that are exposing themselves to the danger of being ‘entrapped’ in their kayaks.

Kayak Fishing With Children

This is a particularly enjoyable activity.
Kids feel both confident and excited in the W kayak, and the boat’s cockpit offers enough space for you and a child to paddle in and fish from comfortably.

The best is to ride the saddle in the back and let the kid ride or stand up in the front. This way he or she can feel independent while turning back to you to talk or in case they need your assistance, which they often do – at least in the beginning.

Obviously, you need to be careful, especially when the children cast their lines since you might accidentally get injured by a fishing hook flying near your head.
For this reason it’s important to keep a watchful eye on the young, enthusiastic fishermen at any time.

Older kids who are experienced enough with handling fishing tackle can go W kayak fishing in their own boat, providing there’s an adult nearby who can supervise them.


Kayak fishing with kidsKids kayak fishing

John Forney’s First W Boat Design

John Forney is a boat designer and builder from Texas.

He has already designed and built a number of kayaks, both in wood and skin-on-frame.

John took upon himself to be the first to design and build a wooden W boat, and he did it.

This W is 12 feet long and 30 inches wide, and it can take two large size kayak fishermen with all their gear, as well as camping gear:

John Forney's 12 ft wooden W boatBennett Crow christening John’s W boat.  Photo: John Forney.

John says: “It’s a known thing that you build your first boat just to learn and then you throw it away, but this boat is just too good to throw – it’s amazing.”

John is now involved in building two more wooden W boats, and he plans to design and build W boats in other materials as well.


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.

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