Fishing kayaks are designed primarily to fish from. Such kayaks are rigged (outfitted) for fishing, usually by the anglers that own them. A fishing kayak is required to offer better stability than other kayaks do. The overall performance of a kayak in fishing terms is often called ‘fishability’. Comfort (ergonomics) is as important as stability, since anglers spend long hours in their kayak during their fishing trips. Storage space is important as well, since typically, kayak anglers carry a lot of fishing gear on board.
Most fishing kayaks are too wide and heavy to offer easy paddling, and the stability they offer leaves much to be desired. Like most kayaks, they’ve become synonym to back pain and other problems, due to the poor level of ergonomics they offer, which is why most anglers would still refuse to fish out of a kayak. Storage wise, an average angler isn’t likely to appreciate such kayaks.
The cockpit area is the part of the fishing kayak that’s most important to its user, since this is where they sit, paddle, and fish from. Sit-in kayaks (SIK) feature a semi-closed space in their middles section that can be described as a cockpit, while sit-on-top kayaks and ‘hybrid’ kayaks do not have a real cockpit, and their users sit in the middle section of the kayak’s ‘deck’, which is essentially the top side of its hull. These configurations offer the angler little room and even less comfort in handling their gear. Anglers who fish out of such kayaks have to land fish practically in their lap, which is neither practical nor comfortable. Typically, the cockpit of such kayaks is cluttered with accessories and gear, and offers too little fishability to appeal to a serious angler. In comparison, W kayaks have a full-featured cockpit offering ample room for the user and their gear, and all the range of motion they need. An angler who lands fish in their W kayak can easily let the fish they caught at the bottom of their kayak’s deep hulls, and then handle them in full comfort and and safety. Anglers who fish out of Wavewalk fishing kayaks consider this type of kayak to be the only one that an average, reasonable person can fish out of. Some of them who have owned several types of small boats consider this kayak to be the world’s best personal fishing boat.
Here are some images that show the S4 in the new Gator Drab Green color. This color and similar ones are popular among Jon boat users, since it blends well with the surroundings in inland fisheries, and it serves as a good base for camouflage. Duck hunters will be interested in it as well, for similar reasons.
On lakes and slow moving rivers, marshes and flats, and whether it is paddled with kayak or canoe paddles, or outfitted with outboard motors and mud motors, if you’re able to see this boat, it will look good anywhere.
Candy and I had friends visit from North Carolina, and we took them over to Peanut Island, and hung out for the day. What a blast! We went all four of us in the boat. We had to go slow but it works fine. It was only about a half mile ride over. We had probably a little over 700 lbs of payload on board.
Skiff, sun, fun…
This 100 lbs Wavewalk S4 skiff carried over 700 lbs of payload…
Wavewalk S4 skiff side by side with a conventional skiff
Shooting an aerial view of the S4 boat and its crew of four
We had a few hours of spring weather this morning so I loaded the W500 and hit the Oconomowoc river. Fishing was slow but the birds and migrating waterfowl provided the opportunity for photos. My W500 makes a great platform for my photography hobby.
I usually keep my Wavewalk S4 on my dock so I can use it right there. But sometimes, we like to explore other areas. I don’t have a truck to transport it, so I decided to convert an old sailboat trailer into a Wavewalk S4 trailer.
All it took was some treated 2×6 and 2×4 boards, some U-bolts, and some ceramic deck screws. I started with the trailer for a [brand name] sailing catamaran that I don’t use. I’ve never trailered that boat. The first step was to attach two 2×6 boards each with a U-bolt on the front and the back. On top of those, I screwed five 2×6 cross-boards so they support the boat from underneath all the way from front to back. Then I added 2×4 boards on both of the outside edges to provide an outer groove for the S4 to sit inside. A set of rollers from the sailboat trailer act as guides to align the inner hull of the S4.
The result? A very light but stable platform to pull my Wavewalk S4. When we get to the boat ramp we just back it down the ramp and the S4 slides off the trailer with an easy push. You should have seen the faces of the big boat owners at the ramp when I launched my boat with one finger!
The key to trailering the boat is to make sure it is tied down securely in the front and the back so that it doesn’t slide forward or backwards. I also have two lines over the top of the boat to hold it down, but be careful not to over-tighten these and compress the hull. Also, remember to tilt the motor up if you have one so it doesn’t hit the ground as you trailer it.
Having a homemade trailer can extend the range of your Wavewalk adventures and save the hassle of loading it in or on top of your vehicle. All it takes is a used trailer and some treated boards!