Tag Archive: archery hunt

Hunting with a bow and arrows. this can be done from a small hunting boat or a stable kayak

No Back Pain

Biomechanical and Ergonomic Solutions in Kayak Design

This article defines the causes of back pain and discomfort that most people feel when paddling kayaks and fishing from them. It also explains how Wavewalk’s patented invention solves these problems, and why people who paddle these kayaks and fish out of them feel neither back pain nor any other discomfort after long hours, including people with various disabilities, back problems and excess weight, as well as elderly people.

CONTENT

  1. Defining the problem
  2. What causes the problem
  3. Search in the right direction
  4. Engineering the optimal solution
  5. The riding posture
  6. The benefits of super stability
  7. Casting and fighting fish
  8. The cockpit 

 

 

 

1. Defining The Problem

Have you ever fished out of a kayak? If you did, you’ve probably noticed that something is wrong… Simply put, you weren’t feeling comfortable, and you may even experienced pain in your back and legs, and after some time, all you could wish for was to get out of that kayak as soon as possible, even if the fish were biting…

The problem you’ve experienced is simple, and sooner or later anyone who paddles kayaks and fishes from them faces it: Spending long hours
paddling and fishing in or on top of an ordinary kayak, whether it’s a sit-in, hybrid or sit-on-top (SOT) inevitably causes some circulation problems and leg numbness, occasional cramps, pain in your lower back, and often fatigue and discomfort in your shoulders and neck.
In fact, kayaking is so closely associated with back pain that kayakers commonly appear in TV ads for back painkillers and pain relief patches.

After you begin seeking information about your problem and advice on ways to solve it, you realize that the only thing that really works is paddling back to shore, standing up, and performing the exercises that physiotherapists recommend for kayakers.
In other words, there is no gear that you can outfit your ordinary kayak with that can provide an effective and long lasting solution to any of these symptoms, because they occur as a result of you being seated in the L position – the traditional sitting position in kayaks,
with your legs stretched in front of you while pushing your back against your seat’s backrest.

 

2. What Causes this Problem?

Being Seated In The Traditional, L Kayaking Position

The problem is caused by a combination of two things:

1.   Being seated in a non ergonomic position to start with, and
2.   Being unable to switch to other positions and release the stress that builds up in the critical pressure points in your body, especially in your legs and lower back.

Have you ever asked yourself why is it that the traditional, L kayaking position is used only in ordinary kayaks and in no other land, snow or water equipment?  The answer is that it’s because although the L position is the worst for you it’s simply the only one that ordinary kayaks can offer.

Double Trouble: The Combined Effect of Horizontal and Vertical Pressure on Your Lower Back:

L kayaking positionFigure 1.  Horizontal Pressure

Figure 1 on the left shows the horizontal pressure that your legs exert on your lower back in the traditional L position used in all ordinary kayaks including both sit-in (SIK) and sit-on-top (SOT).

The pressure points in the lower back region can cause irritation and inflammation of the sciatic nerve (sciatica) felt as pain traveling from the lower region of your back down across your lower thigh.
Foot braces and other support for your feet actually increase the horizontal pressure that your legs exert on your lower back.
The back support and foot braces may hold you in your torso in place and prevent you from falling backwards or slipping downward, but they also limit your freedom of movement, increase pressure on your lower back, cause leg numbness and cramps and result in increased fatigue.

Native people of the Arctic circle who were the first to make and paddle kayaks used neither back rests nor foot braces simply because they were accustomed since infancy to sitting on the floor with their legs stretched forward, unlike us modern Westerners who lose this ability in early childhood when we learn to sit on chairs.

L Kayaking Position 2

Figure 2.  Vertical Pressure (Weight)

Figure 2 on the left shows the heavy vertical
pressure (weight) applied on the lower part of your spine when you’re seated in the traditional L kayaking position.

The same sensitive area in your spine that’s pressurized horizontally by your legs pushing on it is being pressurized even more by the combined weight of your torso and thighs, that is nearly all your body weight.
Your legs are prevented from supporting your body weight in this position.

In addition, sitting in the L position without being able to change your body position increases your fatigue and discomfort, and reduces both performance and fun.
Cushioning your seat doesn’t really solve any of these problems since all it can do is spread the pressure from a single point to a wider
area, but the combined pressure is still there and it keeps working on your lower back all the time. Sooner or later you feel very
uncomfortable, and sometime it’s too late since you’ve already been injured.
Kayaking in the L position with no adequate support for either back or feet is not a sensible solution for modern anglers and paddlers who have to spend hours kayaking and fishing from this low and uncomfortable position.

Food for thought:

If you had to perform some hard work or other physical activity in any position of your choice, would you even consider doing it sitting with your legs stretched forward like this?
Do you fish or do you know anybody who fishes seated in this position from shore or from any other type of fishing boat?
-The answer is: No.

 

 

More food for thought:

 

Airplane coach seats are fairly comfortable – certainly more than regular kayak seats, but why is it that after some time most people feel uneasy sitting in them?  The answer is that the limited space makes it difficult for you to change positions, which leads to the buildup of discomfort and fatigue to a point where many people feel they must stand up and stretch, and those who can afford it promise themselves to fly first class next time – if only for the extra legroom.

Not all damages are felt immediately.
Sometimes it takes years for the damage to accumulate, and by then it might be too late to fix it.  This is true for back and shoulder problems.

Read more about kayaking back pain and leg numbness »

3. Search in the Right Direction

What do cross-country motorbikes, mountain bikes, horses, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and personal watercraft (PWC) have in common? It’s the fact that their user operates them in the Riding Position.
And what do skiing, surfing, water skiing, dog sledding, snowboarding, windsurfing, skating and skateboarding have in common? -The Standing Position.
This is simply because the Riding and Standing positions are the best for you in both ergonomic and biomechanic terms, which means they offer best control and more power, and result in less fatigue and injuries.
When we need to make long efforts during motion we have more available power and better control standing or sitting with our legs lower than our upper body (biomechanical advantage), and we also feel more comfortable and less tired this way (ergonomic advantage).

4. Engineering the Optimal Solution

Freedom to Choose = Less Fatigue = Enhanced Comfort =  More Fun + Healthier Paddling and Fishing

Only the W kayak solution departs radically from the L position and offers a new, comprehensive and effective approach to all ergonomic and biomechanical issues in paddling and paddle fishing.
The new, patented W Kayak re-distributes buoyancy from the boat’s longitudinal axis all the way to its two sides, and thus offers maximal support to the user’s balancing, control, steering, propulsion and fishing efforts.
The central part of the W Kayak, its ‘backbone’, which joins the two hulls, is shaped like a long, 14″ high saddle.
W kayakers can move back and forth along the saddle, according to their need (e.g. tandem, surfing, paddling in strong wind, launching, etc.). They can also switch anytime between numerous ergonomic positions, as shown below:

 

5. Riding (Mounted)

The Natural Position

Riding is the most stable, comfortable and powerful paddling position, and it offers best control over your boat and the most leverage on
your paddle.
In the Riding position your thighs, legs and feet are positioned directly below your body and take active part in all your efforts: Balancing, Control and Paddling.
Riding is the best position for beginning W Kayakers. It is also the best position in whitewater and surfing applications.

W Kayaking -Riding Position

Note that your legs support your upper body from both sides, and your feet are in a direct vertical line below your body.

 

 

 

 

 

paddling a fishing kayak - top view For Fishing: Riding is the preferred position, rivaling only with standing. When you cast riding you have more power than when casting in the sitting position.
Riding a W Kayak is similar to mounting a pony:
Your upper body rests on the saddle and your thighs hold its sides, while each foot rests firmly on the bottom of a hull, as it would in a stirrup.
This position is similar to the riding position used in other high performance vehicles such All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Snowmobiles, and Jet Skis.

Watch this slow-motion demo video of the Riding position:

 

 

Sitting

Leisure Positions

Sitting means having your legs positioned in front of your body.

Sitting positions are less stable and powerful than Riding, and not recommended for beginning W Kayakers, or for paddling in moving water. The sitting positions are good for relaxing on flat water.

Adding a back rest (lumbar support) is not necessary in the W kayak, and few W kayakers choose to outfit their boat with such an accessory.

W Kayaking -Sitting Position - regular

Variations:

1. Regular sitting, which is similar to sitting in a canoe
2. Sitting with both legs stretched forward
3. Mixed: one leg in the regular position and the other stretched forward

Standing

 

The Stand Up Kayak – For Real

Unfortunately, stand up paddling is often described as a feature offered by many kayaks and stand up paddle boards out there, but nothing could be further from the truth – In fact, when it comes to normal paddlers and anglers, who are neither lightweight nor extremely athletic, only W kayaks offer the possibility to paddle and fish standing up in comfort and confidence, and only W kayaks offer a critical safety feature in the form of a 14″ high saddle to fall on, in case you lose balance.

To understand what standing up in a kayak really means from all aspects, including ergonomics, safety, stability and balance, go to this website’s Stand Up Paddling and Fishing section »

You can paddle on both sides of the boat or just on one side- in parallel and with a J stroke.

After some practicing you can try to paddle standing in moving water and in the surf.

6. Super Stability

Nothing Compares

Stability is key to comfort and good ergonomics. The patented W Kayak offers unmatched stability trough a unique combination of three factors:

  1. The boat’s buoyancy is sensibly distributed along its sides, instead of being wasted along its central, longitudinal axis.
  2. The passengers make natural use of their legs and feet to balance themselves by shifting their weight sideways, from one leg to another, and  they apply this weight directly to the bottom of the hulls – below waterline, thus creating an effect of ‘dynamic ballast’.
  • The immersed profiles of the boat’s twin hulls act as multiple ‘Hard Chines’, thus offering maximal lateral resistance, and unmatched initial (primary) stability.

The effect of hard chines on kayak stabilityW Fishing Kayak – Front View

The W500 hulls at a 200 lb load.
Learn More About Kayak Stability »

Watch our demo movies »

 

 

 

7. Casting and Fighting Fish

The W Kayak offers you the ability to throw to longer distances, which presents two advantages:

1.   Being able to cover more water from a stationary position before you need to move  your kayak
2.   Some fish species can sense the presence of your kayak nearby and therefore are better caught from a distance.

For more information visit our website’s Shallow Water Fishing section »

When fighting powerful fish you want to be in full control of your
kayak, and the W kayak offers you all the means for it. Read More »

 

 

8. The Cockpit – A Place To Be In, And Work In

Your kayak’s cockpit has other functions besides protecting you and offering you optimal comfort.  It is also a workplace in which you store your gear and handle it. In W kayaks all the gear you need is within arm’s reach, and there’s no chance of it going overboard since in case it slips out of your hand it would end at the bottom of one of the hulls, where it’s easy for you to find and reach it.

Can I outfit the W kayak cockpit with a seat on top of its saddle?

Most W kayakers don’t add anything to their W kayak’s saddle, because they find it perfectly comfortable.
Some people cover the saddle with a blanket or a thin foam mattress.
Adding a kayak seat to the W kayak saddle is easy, but virtually no one does it. We know of a couple W anglers who outfitted their W kayaks with lightweight swivel chairs, and a couple more who added a DIY reclining back rest because of scoliosis problems.
In fact, you can simply drop a plastic chair or a lawn chair in the cockpit, as seen here in this image, but hardly no one does it, simply because the W saddle offers the best comfort.

Lawn chair added to the cockpit of a fly fishing kayakRead more about what it’s like to fish from a lawn chair in your W kayak’s cockpit »

 

 

 

 

 

More reading

 

Children kayak fishing User Manual: Launching, paddling, fishing, recovery

First ducks of the season out of my Wavewalk kayak, by Chris Henderson

Well this was my opening weekend!
Today I was able to get the Wavewalk out and do an archery hunt.
This was a brand new spot for me. I will be going back to it! Had some things go wrong in the beginning (forgot some parts) so had to head to a store before the field so I didn’t get in the water until 9ish.
Having never hunted it, my first choice of spot was not the best. After about an hour I moved. While I was getting settled and the blind back up ducks came in (of course before I was ready). But I soon got in and a pair came right in, and I got one from 30 yards. I just waded out and picked her up.

Had some other birds come in but finished at 60 yards instead of landing in the hole.

The spot will hunt better on an outgoing to low tide, so I expect to do better next time.

Here are pics of the archery hunt.

Duck decoys viewed from inside the kayak blind

I think a bit more camo burlap is in order. The cell phone camera messes up the color a little bit but it still needs to be dealt with.

Good start to the season! Can’t wait for next week. I might actually get set up before shoot time and who knows , maybe get more than a single!

Chris

Fishing Kayaks of Gig Harbor, WA

More kayak rigging, fishing and hunting with Chris >

Wavewalk 300 Kayak Big Game Bow Hunter

This is a review of a Wavewalk™ kayak from the 300 series manufactured between 2004-2010
Go to the updated list of recent fishing kayak reviews »

By Scott Johnson,

Minnesota

-“I got the W out the night received. I took it to a small lake. It was windy.  Really liked being in it – felt safe and easily stood and paddled. It took me more time to get used to lean turning.
The second time I had the Wavewalk out for a short paddle though on a small lake I landed along a steep rocky drop-off, had the Wavewalk in water sideways to the edge, extremely impressed how stable it is getting in and out, this would have been a nightmare landing in a kayak.

I have owned a fishing and diving sit-on-top kayak, a sit-in recreational kayak, canoes and a small plastic bass boat, so I know what their shortcomings are. I got rid of them all.

Safety first always – I take dry clothes, towel in waterproof bag. I also have a wetsuit I either wear or have with me. To begin with I just float along with the current and I don’t try going over any submerged logs or anything risky.  The reason it is practical to hunt with the W is because the deer like to bed right along the edge of the river and they are not used to any predator or hunters on the water.
I planned to catch a big whitetail buck snoozing, taking a shot most likely in the riding position, but it’s nice to know you could stand if necessary.

I tell people the W is genuine fun, and how many things are actually fun anymore anyway?

I wasn’t sure I’d shoot a deer right away but I knew it would be fun to try.
Trophy whitetail hunting is a pretty tough sport, in average one big buck about every six years, so they aren’t easy to come by.

Along with bow hunting my license allows me to hunt with a muzzleloader, starting the weekend before Thanksgiving and running 15 days, that’s when it’s starting to freeze along the edges but not the main channel.  By then the river level gets quite low, thus making it much safer.

I like to go down a few miles of river with my recurve bow, no sights. A recurve bow can be shot very quickly, just relying on your instincts for aim.  With a little positive thinking anything is possible.

My dad said when he was a boy you could skip a rock across the river, some of the places now are over a hundred yards wide.
The high water has really eroded all of the banks and what’s left is very muddy in most places.  The W tracks great in the current and holds its own against the strong northwest wind.

I take my W paddle and a push pole.”

Dammed_river_Scott_01

Fallen tree across river stream

-“I came around a bend and heard water rushing, once again I was able to work my way on top of the obstacle, walk forward and slowly slide the WW off the dam and safely on my way!”-“This tree across the river was no problem, all I had to do was paddle up on it as far as I could, slide forward and away I went!”

“What a way to hunt, the deer have no idea what’s up.  This is where the Wavewalk outshines all other crafts you can hunt of.
My last outing was 4 hours and my back felt great.  If I’d been in either of my old kayaks, I would have had a hard time just trying to stand up straight.”

Scott's hunting and fishing cabin in the woods by the river

Scott's trophy room

-“Twenty years ago when I was young this was my cabin in the woods down by the river. At least 30 feet has eroded just in the last five years, unfortunately it got flooded and it’s full of mold.  The old farmer who hauled the granary down in the woods told me -“Johnson, It will never flood that cabin”, he was wrong.”-“My better half won’t let me have my deer heads upstairs, so here is my ‘room’…”

Hunting Kayak - Scott Johnson, MN

Scott’s Deer Bow Hunting W Kayak.

Note the rod holders’ role as quiver.
Hunting bow kayak cockpit

-“There’s  plenty of room for my bow, and it’s right there  in reach, cockpit is long enough  that I can easily keep my paddling from interfering with  my equipment.”

Perfect spot

-“I found a spot where you could smell the rutting whitetail buck, they absolutely stink when they are breeding. The river once made a big loop and the water cut through the banks and made a large bayou with an island in the middle, there was a channel leading to it through the willows..”

W fishing and hunting kayak by the river

-“The wavewalk opens up a lot of spots for hunting that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.  It’s easy to land on a sandbar, step out the front, pull it up so it won’t drift away, all very quietly.  Then sneaking up the bank looking over the edge into the woods, bow in hand ready to go.  Can’t get any better than that! ”

Deer

-“The deer never even knew I was there.  Didn’t see any deer with antlers but had a great time!”

Landed W kayak - Minnesota

-“The W is great for sneaking down small creeks and rivers”
Scott's launching and landing spot by the river

-“This is my pickup truck, near the bridge. This would have been a tough landing with a kayak or canoe, not so with the W, and its light enough for one person to drag and fits in my shortbox…”