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Kayak Speed Basics, the Twinhull Advantages, and the Principles of W Kayak Design

How Fast Is The W500 Kayak?

Before you attempt to read this 5,000 word technical article, please note that the answer to the simple question “How fast is the 11’4″ long Wavewalk™ 500 kayak?” is this:  The W500 kayak is faster than any fishing kayak that’s shorter than 15′ , and it’s as fast as any touring kayak that’s 13′ long.
The difference stems from the fact that touring kayaks are faster than fishing kayaks.
These numbers were compiled from data gathered in real world tests and observations made by numerous W kayakers since 2009, when the W500 series was introduced.
This article explains the technical principles that enable this performance.

Abstract

Anglers need their boats to be stable, and that includes most people who fish from kayaks – although some of them may not openly admit it.
The phrase ‘fast kayak’ evokes the image of a long and slender hull, and most people sense that a kayak can be either fast or stable – never both, which does not prevent many kayak manufacturers from ignoring this basic trade-off in monohull design and claiming that their fishing kayaks are both stable and fast…
We maintain that a fishing kayak should be stable enough to allow its user to paddle and cast in full confidence while standing in it, and we’re able to prove that our W fishing kayaks largely surpass anything that was imaginable so far when stability is concerned (watch our demo videos)
Our 11’4″ long W500 kayak is reported to be as fast as a 13′ long touring kayak, which may appear to be a contradiction to those who are not familiar with naval design, especially with the hydrodynamic science of it, or with recent years’ speed achievements of multi-hulled (I.E. catamarans and trimarans) sailing and power boats.
The purpose of this article is to present the principles and advantages of the W boat concept in the context of its application in the design of small paddle crafts such as canoes and kayaks. It discusses the main points in the hydrodynamics and hydrostatics of twinhull kayaks of the W type, as well as ergonomic and biomechanic considerations.
More technical information is available in our U.S. utility patent No. 6,871,608

What Makes a Kayak Faster?

Statistically, multihulls are faster than monohulls. Their higher stability helps to increase their seaworthiness, but there are other factors that contribute to creating this advantage, including the reduced wetted beam whose benefit can exceed the loss resulting from higher skin friction.
When human powered boats are considered, ergonomics and biomechanical factors play a crucial role in determining real life performance including speed.
Generally speaking, the speed of a boat is the result of the power propelling it forward (effective propulsion) and the resistance of the water to this effort.
You can generate power with a motor, a sail or the human body.
The displacement of a boat creates many types of resistance, all of which except Frictional Resistance (‘skin friction’) are included in the term ‘Residual Resistance’ (RR).
The faster the boat goes the more the Residual Resistance becomes the main problem to overcome.

The Froude Number and the Practical Meaning of ‘Hull Speed’

In order to understand this complex subject we must first present it a simplified form: The main effort in overcoming Residual resistance consists of
1. ‘Pushing’ water up and aside from the bow, and
2. ‘Pulling’ the boat away from the water behind the stern, that is overcoming a ‘suction’ effect.
A longer boat (longer waterline) will keep the water from filling back that space for a longer time. This means that a long boat could go faster than a shorter boat before that significant increase in residual resistance occurs. When this happens a big wave can be seen coming from the stern, and a second big wave is formed at the bow, and from that moment on the boat seems to be moving between the crests of these two waves.
William Froude showed that the speed of waves in knots = 1.34 x L^1/2 where L is the boat’s length in feet.
Froude discovered that as the boat’s speed increases the number of waves along the hull decreases until the boat moves between a big wave at the bow and a big wave at the stern. From this point increasing the boat’s speed becomes much more difficult, or in other words the boat reached its ‘Hull Speed’.
A boat 100% longer than another will have a nominal hull speed that’s about 42% higher (0.42 linear correlation). For example: the hull speed of a 20 ft boat is 6 knots and that of a 10 ft boat is 4.23 knots.
However, the longer boat could generate 100% more skin friction (Fr) and consequently moving it at its higher hull speed will require adding more than 42% in power.

Hull speed is just another term taken into consideration in the process of designing a boat, and taken out of a broader context it is meaningless: If you made your house watertight and put it in the water it would have a higher hull speed than the world’s fastest paddle sports boat just because it is longer… It does not mean the house would actually be a fast vessel.
Hull speed is by no means a final limitation on speed, and it’s very common for boats, including human powered ones to go faster than their hull speed.

Different Strategies for Increasing Boat Speed

1. Add power: With a strong engine and a big budget for fuel you don’t have to worry too much about the energy spent on going faster than your ‘hull speed’. The same goes for a stable sailing boat with lots of sail power.
If you want to add power to a human powered boat you need to find a way to add more groups of muscles to the propulsion effort by offering the user/s a better posture i.e. biomechanic improvements, and/or means to reduce discomfort and fatigue i.e. ergonomic improvements.
2. Add length: That’s applying a ‘delaying’ strategy – You delay the occurrence of the steep increase in residual resistance by paying in increased frictional resistance that you get from having a longer hull. This strategy is good as long as you have the additional power needed to overcome the additional friction. Another problem you’d have to deal with is a decrease in your boat’s maneuverability, which is more of a problem in human powered boats where the additional power needed for maneuvering is taken away from propulsion.
3. Reduce residual resistance: A good strategy for a human powered boat with only human muscles for propulsion. Very thin racing canoes and kayaks generate relatively little residual resistance even after when they go at speeds that are higher than their hull speed – This is why they create relatively small waves.
4. Reduce hull surface: This is pretty obvious, since it reduces frictional resistance. However, some kayak designers seem to be either unaware of this strategy or ignore it by adding rather useless tunnels, skegs and scuppers in their kayaks’ hulls, and by outfitting them with various types of outriggers that add little real-world stability (secondary stability) while increasing both frictional resistance and residual resistance.

The boat’s ‘fineness’, often described by its Length to Beam ratio (L/B) at waterline is most useful for predicting its speed: An ICF K1 racing kayak has an L/B of 11:1. This kind of boats have low displacement and are very ‘fine’, which makes it possible to paddle them at up to twice their hull speed.

Speed in Human Powered Boats, Including Kayaks

Adding power for propulsion is not always practical in canoes and kayaks. However, it’s good to keep in mind that a boat offering a better paddling position, improved stability and control, and the comfort of being able to reduce fatigue and prevent injury by changing positions adds to the paddler’s effective propulsion and therefore may achieve and sustain higher speed.
The Comfort factor and the ability to sustain the physical effort over a longer period of time with less fatigue and no injury pertains to Ergonomics, and the effective power available per paddle stroke pertains to Biomechanics

Making the kayak longer is good for as long as increasing surface area does not end up in slowing you down.
Reducing Residual resistance is severely limited by the width of the person sitting in the boat but why sit inside the hull?…
-Rowing shells are faster than racing kayaks not only due to their great length, but also due to the fact the rower sits on top a hull that’s narrower than his waist – A rowing shell’s L/B is much higher than that of any racing kayak.

Displacement/Length (D/L)

“High speeds for canoes are only made possible through their having excellent Displacement/Length ratios and narrow beams. The two combine to produce very small waves which are the major resistance at speeds above S/L 1.34.”
-John Winters, “The Shape of the Canoe”

The smaller the D/L the faster the boat-

For a W kayak and a canoe or traditional (monohull) kayak of the same volume, with the canoe or kayak being twice longer than the W boat, the Displacement/Length for each of the W boat hulls and the canoe/kayak is the same.
For a W kayak and canoe or monohull kayak of the same volume and length, the Displacement/Length for each of the W boat hulls is 1/2 that of the canoe or kayak.

-But the W kayak has a more important advantage:

The Decisive Gain From Reducing the Wet Beam (Waterline Hull Width )

Residual Resistance is a complex phenomenon affected by a number of variables of which the wet beam is the greatest factor. A popular article on canoe [and kayak] design offers a simplified formula that closely approximates experimental results according to which Residual Resistance (Rr) varies as the square of the Beam (B) and the first power of Length (L): Rr = B^2L.
Consider the following: A molecule of water pushed by the bow will follow the path of least resistance until it is out of the hull’s way. In this course it will push other molecules that have been pushed aside before, and those molecules will push others that were pushed before, and so on.
In addition, thin hulls are generally more streamlined than wide ones: They have a more gradual adverse pressure gradient and enable delaying flow separation thus reducing drag from the bow wake, which is especially important at speeds higher than hull speed.
Rr is also affected by negative pressure exerted of curved objects moving in fluid (Bernoulli Effect)- The higher the curvature and speed the higher the negative pressure (drag) -A wider beam means a higher curvature in the horizontal plane.
See: “ON THE SUBJECT OF HIGH SPEED MONOHULLS” by Daniel Stavisky, 10/2003

Since reducing the wet beam is beneficial in more than one way, its effect is particularly important, especially at speeds close the to the boat’s hull speed and above that.

When designing the cross section of a hull in a twinhull boat the beam size is no longer a given constraint.

Given a certain beam a semi-circular cross section offers minimal girth, hence minimal surface area, and therefore minimum Frictional resistance. Because of human constraints (Beam to Draft ratio) a good kayak with a mid ship cross section surface of slightly above 50 square inches will have a non optimal girth slightly over 30″ long.
But the beam of each of a twinhull hulls is not a given constraint, and we are free to design any type of cross section we want, according to what is best, which may not necessarily be the absolute minimum in skin friction: The same cross section surface of 50 square inches can be divided in two equal surfaces of a little above 25 square inches each, with each having a girth about 15″ long – This is possible if the Beam to Draft ratio of each of the smaller new hulls is 1:1. The price to be paid in this case will be a certain increase in the boat’s total surface area, but the gain will be a huge decrease in Residual resistance (see formula for Rr):
A 100 liters ICF K1 racing kayak is 220″ long and has a 20″ beam. The residual resistance for it will be 20^2 x 220 = 88,000.
According to the same formula, a 100 liters, 10 ft long twinhull boat with each hull 5 1/2″ wide at waterline will generate residual resistance equal to 2 x (5 1/2 ^2) x 120 = 7,260. That is 91.75% less residual resistance than for the ICF K1 racing kayak.
A 100 liters, 220″ long twin-hull boat with 5″ wide hulls will generate 87.5% less residual resistance than a comparable ICF K1.

On the other hand, adopting an “optimal” shape in terms of skin friction would result in two hulls each having a beam of about an 8″, a 4″ draft and less than 13″ girth. The combined girth of these two hulls will be 10% smaller than the girth of a traditional fast monohull kayak. This means that the a total surface area of a twinhull boat does not necessarily have to be much bigger than that of a comparable traditional kayak. Consequently, a beam size of 5″ to 8″ will be between the optimum Beam to Draft ratio and the optimal Beam length, which is a promising range of possibilities.

Having two hulls instead of one increases the kayak’s stability, which is always good for speed.

But will the increase in wet surface as a result of having two hulls nullify all these achievements?

Surface Friction and Frictional Resistance (Fr)

“With most kayaks the transition from 4 to 5 knots marks the transition between skin friction being the most significant factor and wave-induced [I.E. Residual Resistance] drag being the most significant factor.”
Kayak Review Info, Sea Kayaker Magazine – 2004

Note: Sea kayaks and racing kayaks reviewed in those tests are characterized (among other things) by being long and having narrow beams, usually between 20″- 24″. “Chubbier” (lower L/B) kayaks start generating high Residual Resistance at lower speed.

Note: A typical sit-in or SOT fishing kayak is 36″ wide (3′) and 156″ long (13′), which gives it a sub-optimal L/B of 4.3 – and a claim for the title ‘Barge’. In fact, such monohull fishing kayaks are hardly suitable for longer trips, simply because their low speed makes them harder to paddle than the faster touring kayaks and W fishing kayaks.

The following formula can be used to calculate Frictional Resistance: Rf = C x Cf x Sw x V^2 where:
Rf = Resistance in pounds
C = Constant for fresh water or salt water
Cf = Coefficient of friction
Sw = Wet surface
V = Velocity in ft/sec

It’s easy to see that any change in Wet Surface (Sw) will result in a proportional change in the total Frictional Resistance (Rf).
Practically, this near-linear correlation counter affects the sub linear improvement in hull speed achieved by increasing the boat’s length.

A smaller wet beam is better since it reduces the hull’s proportional surface area: S/V ^ 2/3 where
S = Surface area and
V = The boat’s volume
An optimal Beam to Draft ratio for an elliptical mid ship (monohull) cross section is about 2:1, but we cannot expect a monohull kayak to come close to having such ratio because of the user’s sitting position. A fast traditional kayak would usually have a Beam to Draft ratio higher than 4:1. This means that the monohull kayak’s surface area is far from the optimum for its volume, and the further a solution is far from being optimal the easier it would be to conceive a better one…

However the hulls of a twinhull boat are not limited by the ‘Sitting-Inside’ position constraint, and therefor can be designed to have an optimal wet Beam to Draft ratio. For example: when fully loaded the B/D of each hull will be optimal in terms of residual resistance and with less load the B/D will approach 2:1, which is the best in terms of frictional resistance.
A range of practical solutions stretching between two optima is certainly good news for designers –
Since the Length to Beam ratio for the hull of a twinhull boat is superior to that of a monohull kayak, it is possible to make the twinhull boat shorter than a monohull having the same displacement. Eventually all this enables designing a twinhull boat with a surface area not much bigger than that of a fast monohull kayak with a similar volume.
Also, Turbulence (non laminar flow) at the bow and the stern is a considerable source of Frictional resistance in non optimal hulls, but it is much smaller in ultra thin hulls. This means that in the case of a twinhull boat a bigger surface area can increase surface friction by less than a full 1:1 factor.
Note: Ultra thin catamaran hulls don’t look like thinner versions of kayak hulls, and those of you who would like play with hull design software and test their ability to design W kayaks should remember that such hulls have much higher Prismatic coefficient (Cp), Block coefficient (Cb) and Waterplane coefficient (Cwp) than kayak hulls have, or more simply- they are much ‘fuller’.

In an article on monohulls and multihulls, Tuck and Lazauskas found that for ships with an ideal Length to Beam ratio (over 40:1) and ideal Beam to Draft ratio the Residual resistance can be reduced to less than 10% of the Total resistance. Tuck and Lazauskas emphasize that those are optimal numbers achieved in a theoretical exercise under unrealistic conditions, and expect results for realistic boats under various constraints to be considerably different. In the case of paddle sports boats those figures imply that an optimum monohull kayak would be around 27 feet long and 8 inches wide, which is not even imaginable.

Designers of fast canoes and kayaks (e.g. sea kayaks, racing kayaks and canoes) have noticed that a gradual increase in surface friction of up to 50% can sometimes stay unnoticed by the user. This could imply that Frictional resistance (Fr) is worth less consideration than Residual resistance (Rr) in the design of fast kayaks, canoes etc.
Another fact worth remembering is that the importance of residual resistance vs. that of frictional resistance increases at higher speeds.

Sensible Design in View of Required Performance – The ‘Optimum Shape’ for the Real World

The most comprehensive source of information on kayak speed available is the series of tow tank tests conducted over a decade ago for Sea Kayaker Magazine.
The tests’ findings are interesting in the context of ‘Real World Paddling’:

1. The Rudder Factor

Most of the trials were run with rudders retracted, however the trials run with rudders deployed revealed that rudders created a significant amount of drag.
The magazine decided not to use the figures recorded with rudders since rudders help counter yaw and can be very effective in keeping a boat on course while the paddler focuses on straight ahead paddling, and the the benefit of rudders in real life conditions could outweigh the disadvantage of the drag they create.

2. The Waves Factor

The towing tanks tests were conducted both in flat water and in waves.
The results recorded in waves had dramatic differences from those recorded in flat water due to Pitching and Rolling problems.
The magazine decided not to include those results because of the difficulty in testing dozens of kayaks of different lengths in different types of waves.

3. ‘Fish vs. Swede’ or ‘Seaworthiness vs. Theoretical Speed’

Kayak designers seem to agree that while the ‘Swede’ form for a kayak (where the greatest beam at waterline is aft of the Center of Gravity- CG) is faster on flat water due to its lower (horizontal) angle of penetration, the ‘Fish’ form (where the greatest beam at waterline is forward of the CG) is more seaworthy as it reduces the the kayak’s tendency to pearl and broach.
-This article was published in SeaKayaker Magazine

Tow Tank Tests vs. Real World Tests

While these considerations may be relevant (though far from decisive) when testing speed performance within a specific kayak category (e.g. ‘Sea kayaks’) they would significantly distort the picture when applied to cross-category comparisons (e.g. monohull kayak vs. W kayak): In the real world (e.g. ocean) even the fastest kayaks must be paddled with rudders (or skegs), otherwise their low directional stability (yaw problem) decreases their effective speed by too much, while even the 10 ft long (short..) W Kayak boat does not require a rudder because catamarans track better than monohulls.
Furthermore, in the real world the kayaker is required to pay attention to the rudder as well as to use his body to manipulate it. These cognitive and physical resources are drawn for the same pool the kayaker uses for propelling his boat. Consequently, the kayaker’s power that’s available for propulsion is reduced.
As for waves, which are given in the real world, it is widely accepted that the less stable a boat the less seaworthy it is. Since the W boat concept offers better stability and control in both hydrostatic and biomechanic terms the ‘Wave Factor’ should be included in the discussion as favorable to the W kayak concept. Considering both Rudder and Waves factors combined it is safe to conclude that the theoretical real-world speed of sea kayaks and other fast kayaks is in average 20%-25% lower than that indicated by the flat water tow-tank results.

In one of the articles recommended in this page E.O. Tuck and L. Lazauskas offer the results of an elaborate, theoretical comparative study on the drag created by ships of 1, 100, and 10,000 tons with monohull, catamaran and trimaran designs.
Their two main conclusions seem to be:
1. Optimum (extra long) monohulls are always better than optimum catamarans or trimarans of the same total displacement, from the point of view of total calm water drag alone, unless there are restrictions on the ship geometry.
2. The inclusion of further restrictions is of greater importance. Further constraints, such as on maximum length or minimum beam arise inevitably from commercial, structural, safety, sea keeping, or sporting requirements. When these constraints are imposed, the ship proportions will return to the more conventional range, but at a price in terms of increased total drag.

This optimal world excludes sailing boats since they are moved by wind, which makes them heel, and generates waves that further destabilize them. The solution to this problem is a keel, which considerably enlarges the boat’s wetted surface area and makes the hull non optimal for this article. The stability of motorized monohulls can be increased using ballast, but that also increases the total wet surface area and places any monohulls outside the definition of ‘optimal’ according to this article.
therefore, there are no real world examples for an absolute speed advantage of displacement monohulls over multihulls.

Tuck and Lazauskas found that a 40:1 Length to Beam ratio is optimal for speed, and with such ratio Residual resistance counts for only 10% of the Total resistance to the boat. Moreover, they allowed for the monohulls a Beam to Draft ratio of 2:1, which is not a realistic one for canoes and kayaks, which is closer to 4:1. Considering the L/B ratio of an ICF K1 racing kayak is merely 11:1, it is clear that the constraints imposed on the design of small paddle sports boats are severe, and the actual performance of such boats in terms of speed is therefore very different from that of Tuck and Lazauskas’ optimal boats navigating in straight lines in an ideal environment, under no constraint other than their volume.

A canoe or kayak’s volume is given before starting its design: It is dictated by the weight of the user(s), the gear carried and the boat itself, the user being the most important factor. The user’s power, skill and endurance are other severe limitations.
The boat’s required performance is measured mainly in terms of speed, stability and control.
The monohull kayak design offers a less than optimal solution for allocating the boat’s ‘asset’, which is its projected volume:

Nearly all the monohull kayak’s buoyancy is concentrated along its longitudinal axis (center line), where it contributes close to nothing in terms of lateral stability.
The monohull kayak’s wet sides contribute little lateral stability at a price of a large surface area and a big increase in residual resistance that limit speed. The monohull’s above waterline sides offer some secondary stability but at a price of a decrease in directional stability (i.e. yaw) as the waterplane cross section of a monohull tilting sideways is no longer symmetrical in the longitudinal direction, that is relatively to the boat’s direction of progress.

Reducing a monohull’s wet beam in order to increase speed decreases lateral stability, which has a negative effect on speed and comfort.
To be ‘fine’ a monohull needs to be excessively long, which requires more effort for propulsion and maneuvering. Tuck and Lazauskas found that for speeds roughly above 1.5 hull speed optimum catamarans are about 25% shorter than optimum monohulls.
The low sitting position in a monohull kayak is wasteful in terms of paddler’s energy since a small and relatively weak group of muscles in the shoulders, chest and back has to provide most of the propulsion and control efforts, while other, more powerful and better fit parts of the body are largely prevented from sharing the load and increasing available power.
Sitting low also makes it more difficult to make the paddle move in parallel to the hull and at a close distance from it. Instead, the natural movement of the blade is more in parallel to the water surface, in a curved course at a distance from the boat. This leads to high energy loss as a result of the difference in speed between the paddle’s tip and the part that’s closer to the shaft, and because the paddler needs to put more effort in keeping directional stability.
Since the paddle moves at a low angle relatively to the water surface the difference in resistance between the blade’s low (more submerged) and high parts creates an unwanted rotational effect with the shaft acting as axis. Overcoming this problem is achieved by a combination of the paddler’s continuous effort (‘technique’) and an asymmetrical, thin (less full) and consequently less efficient design of the blade.

Most fast kayaks (and canoes) have hard chines that increase their wet surface i.e. further distance them from an ‘ideal’ shape in speed terms.
Looking at the findings in Tuck and Lazauskas’ article it seems that in average an optimal catamaran generates roughly 15% more Total resistance than an optimal monohull of the same volume. But real life monohull kayaks and canoes cannot be considered being even close to optimal according to this article, while real life twinhull boats are not limited by the constraints imposed on monohull boat design, and therefore can be made to be closer to the theoretical optimum catamaran design.

11’4″ Long W500 Kayak Model vs. a Longer Monohull Kayak – Speed Comparison

The speed advantage of the 11’4″ long W500 is limited to canoes and touring kayaks in its size category, that is about up to 13′ in length, and to longer canoes and kayaks with very wide beams (e.g. typical fishing kayaks).
This can be explained by the very steep increase in Rr as function of speed above the hull speed, which is typical to wide-beam monohull canoes and kayaks, compared to a milder increase in Rr under those circumstances in ultra thin hulls such as those of the W1.
Fast touring canoes and touring kayaks with very long and narrow hulls (high L/B) were faster than the 11’4″ W500 in most cases.
These findings basically correspond to the observed average 25% speed advantage that multihulls have over comparable [displacement] monohulls (i.e. similar displacement and length) in the sailing and motorboat worlds.
An additional explanation to this relative speed advantage of the W500 is its improved biomechanic and ergonomic design, which enables the paddler to allocate more power more effectively than the traditional monohull kayak does.

The Potential of the W Kayak Concept

Statistically, multihulls are 25% faster than comparable monohulls in the world of yachting, powerboats and sailing. This could give the reader an idea of the potential of twinhull paddle sports boats but it’s not necessarily a final limit:
The improvement in stability and hydrodynamics is relative to the effect of the constraints of the basic [displacement] monohull form. The relatively wide beam and difficult paddling posture imposed by traditional kayaks may be more significant limitations than propulsion constraints imposed by monohull designs in larger boats. Paddlers’ complaints about leg and back pains induced by the traditional paddling postures are strong indications to a general and serious ergonomic problem that impacts both well being and paddling speed. Narrow monohull canoes and kayaks can sometime be slower than wider and more stable ones simply because their instability makes them too difficult to paddle in some cases.

The following figure represents the useful potential of the W concept in the design of a wide range of paddle crafts:

Kayak Design: Speed and Stability

Kayak Design: Speed and Stability

This schematic drawing shows the trade-off between Speed and Stability in traditional (monohull) kayaks and canoes (Red line), which limits the performance of any monohull K or C model to the area under this line.
The relationship between Speed and Stability in W kayaks is represented by the Green line.
Contrarily to monohull kayaks and canoes, the W Stability increases as a function of Speed (I.E. longer hulls).
The potential speed advantage of W kayaks is about 25% higher than that of monohull kayaks and canoes of similar weight, volume and length, based on statistics from motorboats and sailing boats, and confirmed by tests run on 3 experimental W kayak models, and two production model – the 10’4″ long W300 (2004-2010), and 11’4″ long W500 (2009 – present)

The W’s initial potential stability is considerably higher than that of monohull canoes and kayaks – Watch Demo Movies »

The gray areas in the above figure represent models that are either too slow or too unstable to be useful.

“Catamaran-Kayaks” vs. W Kayaks – The Differences

Interestingly, while some traditional ‘Catamaran Kayaks’ are more stable than monohull kayaks they are not faster than regular monohull kayaks. This can be attributed to two factors:

1. Stability: The ordinary ‘Catamaran Kayak’ design places the paddler on top of a platform connecting two hulls or pontoons, with his/her legs stretched forward in the typical ‘L’ kayaking position. This elevates the Center of Gravity (CG) of both paddler and boat compared to regular kayaks and SOTs without improving the means available for active balancing and control.
As a result a paddler sitting on top of a traditional ‘catamaran-kayak’ may find himself quite unstable and lacking good means for controlling his/her boat.
The W Kayak is significantly different by the fact the paddler’s legs are not stretched in front of him/her but go deep down into the hulls, and his/her feet rest firmly below waterline at the boat’s lowest point. This position both lowers the CG as well as offers optimal balancing and control capabilities over the boat. In fact the W Kayak is more stable than any kayak or canoe- monohull or dual hull, see: Kayak Stability article.

2. Power: Paddling from a higher position is known to improve the paddler’s leverage on the paddle, but only if the paddler benefits from adequate support, which traditional catamaran-kayaks cannot offer. In comparison, the Riding, and Standing positions offered by the W kayak enable applying powerful paddle strokes similar in strength to those applied by racing and whitewater canoeists who paddle in the kneeling positions.

Limits of the W Kayak Concept

As a result of the user sitting or standing with a foot in each hull, the W kayak design presents a special problem relatively to normal, larger size twinhull boats (catamarans), which is the small distance between the hulls. The water flowing in this space generates a higher resistance, especially if the hulls are very long and very close to each other.
However, the two hulls are very narrow (high L/B) and displace a small volume each, and consequently generate very small waves so that practically this limitation seems to have negligible effects. This potential problem is also dealt with by having the asymmetric hulls divert some of the flow from the space between the hulls.
Tuck and Lazauskas found that in speeds lower than 1 x hull speed the optimum separation (W/L – Width to Length) is roughly 20-30% from the catamaran’s length, but for speeds between 1 and 2 times the boat’s hull speed there seems to be no optimal W/L.
They also found that in some cases optimum catamarans can generate less resistance than comparable optimum monohulls due to a phenomenon known as Wave Cancellation.
The second generation of W kayaks named the W500 series, was designed with the sides of both hulls facing each other completely straight and flat. This has reduced to a negligible minimum the flow disturbances in the space between the two hulls.

Tests we performed years ago with a 15 ft W boat prototype have shown no significant increase in wave interaction and non laminar flow in the space between its hulls compared to a short (10 ft) model. This positive phenomenon can be attributed to the decrease in Draft in the longer boat.

More Food For Thought:

Multihull sailboats are heavier than the ‘ideal shape’ because of their additional structural elements and increased hull surface by volume, while monohull sailboats are heavier than the ‘ideal shape’ because of their ballast and weighted keels that are required to improve directional and lateral stability.
These structural, static elements represent ‘prices’ that designers have to ‘pay’ in order to increase the seaworthiness of their designs.
When it comes to human powered boats the possibilities for adding heavy static elements are very limited, and much of the problems of tracking, balancing and controlling are left to the user/s to deal with dynamically, i.e. by drawing on the power of their muscles and their attention, and consequently, pay a price in speed terms.

“Improvements to the monohull design have only increased sailing efficiency about 20% over 100 years, whereas by changing from a monohull to a multihull a much greater increase in sailing efficiency is realized.”
-Richard Boehmer, Naval Architect

 

W500 kayak front view

W500 kayak front view

It is possible to design W hulls that are wider, longer, deeper etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Cross section of a W500 fishing kayak

Cross section of a W500 fishing kayak

The user sits, rides or stands in it with each foot resting firmly at the bottom of each of the kayaks’ twin hulls, below waterline, for max power, control and stability.
The 11’4″ long W500 kayak is just 28.5″ wide, and its patented form makes it the world’s stablest kayak.

About this Article

We published the first version of this article ten years ago.
At that time, the leading application in kayaks was sea-kayaking (Touring), and kayak fishing was in its infancy.
Stand Up paddling (SUP) was almost nonexistent, and many people opposed the idea of paddling standing.
Few people attempted to outfit their kayaks with feeble electric motors, and no one contemplated the possibility of using powerful outboard gas engines.
Back then, most kayakers believed that the only way to increase a kayak’s stability was to make is substantially wider or to outfit it with outriggers – both methods resulting in increased drag and reduced speed and convenience as many contemporary fishing kayak designs prove..
Many people then didn’t realize that multi-hulls, and especially catamarans, have revolutionized boating, including kayaking, by offering both more stability and the possibility to reach higher speeds. Nowadays, the dominance of multi-hulled boats in sailing and motorizing races leaves no room for doubt.

Things have changed since then, and today most people are more knowledgeable, aware and open minded than a decade ago.

As we predicted back then, kayak stability and ergonomics have become by far the top priorities of both users and manufacturers.
In contrast, long and narrow traditional style kayaks equipped with tight spray skirts that require their user to have a ‘bomb proof’ Eskimo Roll technique have fallen out of fashion.

Since 2007, this article was viewed over 33,000 times by 23,000 people, and its popularity hasn’t decreased over time.

Special Thanks

Over the years, many people proof-read this article and contributed their comments and questions about it, both in public discussions and in private emails.
Some of them were known kayak designers, others less known ones, and many were kayakers and kayak anglers, of which the majority owns a W kayak from either the discontinued W300 series and/or the present W500 series.
All these people deserve our thanks, since without them this article would have been less complete.

Read a shorter, simplified version of this article: What makes the Wavewalk™ 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?

What Do W Kayak Users Say About Their Wavewalk™ Kayaks?

Our Fishing Kayak Blog features hundreds of stories and thousands of pictures contributed by W kayakers.
Our website’s Fishing Kayak Reviews section features links to nearly 200 reviews contributed by W kayak owners, including their full name and state.
Note that we seldom publish a review that’s not accompanied by pictures.

Additional Resources:

Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?

‘CATDESIGN v1″ – Catamaran Design Software Program by Rene Calvo:
http://www.wavewalk.com/CATDESIGNv1.xls

Paddle VS. Pedal Drive in Common Fishing Kayaks

Paddling 340 Miles In 83 Hours, In My 11 ft Long W Fishing Kayak, By Clint Harlan, Missouri

Are SOT Kayaks Safe For Offshore Fishing?

Visit our blog’s Motorized Kayaks Section

The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside

Understanding Fishing Kayak Reviews


Some people looking for information about fishing kayaks like to read reviews as part of their research, and indeed, many websites and printed magazines include sections offering such reviews.

After reading such reviews in sufficient numbers, the reader begins to notice certain odd things –
To begin with, most ‘customer-contributed’ fishing kayak reviews (e.g. ‘testimonials’) posted on the web get published under an alias, which is the equivalent of anonymously. This is rather strange, and immediately raises the question of their authenticity. Even a quick glance at the reviews section in popular kayaking and fishing sites would reveal why they’re sometimes called ‘review dumpsters’.

Second, most ‘professional’ reviews are far from being professional, unfortunately, in the sense that their authors visibly lack both objectivity and a sufficient technical background one would expect from a professional testing a technical product such as a fishing kayak.
The fact that these people get paid directly, indirectly, or through ‘sponsorships’ to take a kayak for a test drive doesn’t necessarily mean they can produce a worthwhile review. Indeed, after reading several of those ‘professional’ fishing kayak reviews, the reader is likely to notice that they seem to be written following a certain pattern, which prohibits any harsh critique, and occasionally pays tribute to a kayak brand that the author is affiliated with, whether closely or remotely. Assuming the reader isn’t proficient in kayak design or kayak fishing, they might fall for the author’s technical observations, but when a an expert reads such reviews, the magic is gone.

As part of our continuous effort to improve people’s experience with kayaking and kayak fishing, we publish in-depth articles about subjects that we think our readers and customers may be interested in, or should be interested in. One of these subjects is critical reading of kayak reviews –
Therefore, we’ve included a comprehensive guide to understanding fishing kayak review in this website’s reviews section >
This two-part article includes background information, and tips about the different types of reviews, how to search the reviews that may be more interesting for you to read, and how to get the most valid information from a testimonial you read.

Articles

This list features links to mostly technical articles published on our website in recent years about various subjects related to kayaks, fishing, paddling, rigging, ergonomics and design.
You can search our entire website by using its ‘Search’ function too.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance in finding information.

List of articles –

 


The smallest and greatest skiff

Skiff design, built, main advantages, and noteworthy shortcomings –
Skiffs come in different sizes and configurations, and similarly to Jon boats, they are flat bottomed mono-hulls, a feature that reduces draft, which is advantageous for fishing in shallow water.
But this design feature also makes skiffs less seaworthy compared to other boats of similar size.
This is yet another example of specialization that enhances the product’s performance in one application while diminishing its performance in others.
Skiffs’ limited seaworthiness is the reason for their being unpopular as boats for offshore fishing, and opinions about their performance in bays and estuaries are mixed. The skiff design’s limited seaworthiness is one of the reasons why owners of big boats and yachts don’t use small skiffs dubbed microskiff as tenders.
Typically, skiffs’ hulls are molded from fiberglass, mainly because this material is more durable in saltwater than aluminum, which is the most common building material in Jon boats. However, fiberglass doesn’t perform well in terms of impact resistance, and it requires maintenance, while other polymer resins (plastics) such as Polyethylene don’t.
Fiberglass is also heavier than Polyethylene, too heavy to make a small skiff that’s lightweight enough to be transported on top of a vehicle’s roof, namely a portable skiff. Read the article »


Developments in Motorized Kayaks

This article examines the latest developments in motor kayaks, and what these developments mean for anglers.
Origins of the motor kayak –
As kayaks became increasingly popular among anglers, some of them started ‘rigging’ (outfitting) their kayaks with electric trolling motors. The need for doing so arose from the fact that paddling alone was insufficient in many ways – Monohull (common) sit-in and SOT kayaks are excessively wide, heavy and sluggish to their very inefficient design [¹], and paddling them to longer distances in not a possibility that’s offered to most people, especially in adverse conditions such as wind and current.
Typically, the motors used for this purpose were weak (30 lbs to 50 lbs thrust) trolling motors, powered by a 12 Volt lead-acid, deep-cycle marine battery. To this day, this is still a popular setup, and it stayed so thanks mainly to its low cost.
In this sense, kayak fishing, which started as a human powered sport, joined other forms of fishing from small craft, namely canoes, dinghies, etc.
More power and less weight: Lithium-Ion batteries… Read more »


Wakes are fun??

Jack, a middle aged owner of a motorized S4 from Texas writes -“Love to jump the wakes of jet skis and other boats.”
Anyone who owns a Wavewalk would immediately understand what Jack is talking about, and identify with him, but other kayakers, canoeists and people who fish out of Jon boats, dinghies and skiffs would probably raise an eyebrow when they read this sentence –
For people who go in small watercraft and fish from them, a wake is a series of fast moving waves created in the water by the passage of a fast motorboat, and it is a threat. Kayakers hate wakes, and canoeists dread them, because a wake hitting their unstable vessel on its broadside can capsize it.
But even passengers on board bigger and most stable boats, such as dinghies, skiffs and Jon boats, are not big fan of wakes, to say the least,… Read the full article »


How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor?

This article summarizes research performed by Captain Larry Jarboe, as well as inputs from Wavewalk dealers and S4 clients. Its purpose is to answer a frequently asked question (FAQ) from prospecting clients, which is “What outboard motor should I choose for my S4?”
The answer is that the outboard motor you should choose for your S4 depends on two factors, which are
How much power you need
How important is the motor’s weight for you…
And there is a trade-off between power and weight, namely that the more powerful the motor, the heavier it is, and the harder it could be to carry it.
In any case, the motor should be a 20″ log shaft (L) model, and not a 15″ short shaft (S) model… Read the full article »


Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4

Are Jon Boats Stable?
If you ask whether Jon Boats are stable, some people would say that they are, and others would warn you to stay away from them because they are tippy and unreliable. Their answer would depend on what they understand by ‘Stability’, what kind of Jon boat they see in their mind, and in what kind of water they see it being used, and these are often based on personal experience.
Is there a stability difference between a Jon boat and a skiff?
Both skiffs and Jon boats are flat bottom lightweight boats that differ in certain hull details, materials used in their construction, and deck structures.
Both are designed to offer as much stability as possible for a small mono-hull boat going on flat water, and as such they are stabler than wide canoes and kayaks of the same length and width.
Foot for foot and inch for inch, we don’t think there are major differences between Jon boats and skiffs in terms of the stability they offer. In other words, a Jon boat and a skiff of the same size, namely both length and width, can be expected to be about as stable as each other.
Who Uses Jon Boats, and Where?… Read the full article »


Testing 15″ short (S) shaft outboard motor performance with Wavewalk kayaks and boats

This article summarizes the research that Captain Larry Jarboe, of Florida Fishing Kayaks and Boats in Key Largo, Florida did on this subject, and we are very grateful to him for this exceptional contribution.
Background – Larry’s main goal in conducting this series of experiments that lasted for several weeks was to find the “sweet spot” for 15″ (S) outboards, namely a setup that would enable him to successfully outfit W500 and W700 boats with such motors, which are typically cheaper and easier to come by than 20″ (L) motors.
His secondary goal in running these extensive tests was to check the performance of Wavewalk’s TMM 700 HD motor mount, and see if we could improve it.
Larry is a passionate fisherman, mechanic, and seaman. He works as a commercial fisherman and fishing guide, and he is Wavewalk’s distributor in Southern Florida. For the past fifty years, Larry has been involved in using, building, refurbishing and testing motors in various land and water vehicles, including electric racing cars, regular cars and trucks, a wide range of small watercraft, and big diesel engines in stern-drive commercial fishing boats, such as he still operates in Key Largo.
Means and Method –… Read the full article »


How to measure an outboard motor’s propeller shaft length?

Some of our clients who already own an old outboard motor, and others who contemplate buying a used one, ask us how to measure the length of an outboard motor’s propeller shaft, in order to know for sure that the motor indeed complies with the 20″ long (L) standard that Wavewalk requires.
This is an important question, because Wavewalk kayaks and boats work well only with outboard motors that comply with the 20″ long (L) standard set by outboard motor manufacturers, and our company strongly recommends not to use short shaft (S) standard motors.
Here is the full answer: For this matter, the propeller shaft length is measured from the inner top side of the motor’s mounting bracket to the horizontal anti-ventilation plate that’s above the propeller. Read the full article »


Watertight riveting in kayaks and boats

Pop rivets are widely used in the construction of boats, canoes, and kayaks. Sealing rivets can be useful as a measure of extra precaution in case they come in contact with the water through which your kayak or boat goes.
How to better seal the rivets –
Here are some tips for watertight riveting of kayaks and small boats made from Polyethylene – Polyethylene is the most widely used polymer resin (namely “plastic”) in kayaks, and it’s softer than aluminum and fiberglass used to produce other small boats. For this reason, it is recommended to use special aluminum rivets designed for riveting jobs in kayaks. These special rivets split in three, which increases their grip. You can get these rivets in outfitters stores, and online.
Drill holes of exactly the same diameter of the rivet that you use (3/16″), and if possible, even slightly smaller holes (5/32″).
Before you insert the rivet in the hole, coat its end with Goop,… Keep reading »


Choosing an outboard motor for your Wavewalk® 700 skiff

This article is an attempt to answer some questions that Wavewalk skiff owners ask in the process of choosing an outboard motor for it –
Short shaft or long shaft? We definitely recommend using outboards that feature a long (20″) propeller shaft, and for multiple reasons, which are discussed in this article entitled Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk fishing kayaks and boats »
We recommend not to be tempted by the availability and lower price of 15″ short shaft outboard motors, because such motors don’t fit the W700, and using one would never produce optimal results, even for a highly skilled individual with a lot of experience in boat outfitting.
Here is a list of long (L) 20″ shaft outboard motors currently available in the 2 to 6 horsepower range, and their HP rating:
Honda 2.3 HP (air cooled), 5 HP – Suzuki 6 HP – Evinrude 6 HP – Tohatsu 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP – Yamaha 2.5 HP, 4 HP, 6 HP – Mercury 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP… Read more »


Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk® fishing kayaks and boats

November 12, 2016 – Wavewalk will no longer support the installation of any outboard motor whose propeller shaft is shorter than the standard 20″ long (L) on its W500 fishing kayaks and W700 portable boats.
How to measure an outboard motor shaft’s length? –
An outboard motor’s propeller’s shaft length is measured from the top inner side of the motor’s clamp bracket to the horizontal anti-ventilation plate located above its propeller.
The outboard motor industry has determined four standard lengths for outboard motor shafts, which are: 15″ (S) “Short” 20″ (L) “Long” 25″ (XL) Extra Long 30″ (XXL) Extra Extra Long
For both the Wavewalk 500 and 700 series, the length we recommend is 20″ (L).
What’s wrong with short shaft outboard motors?
Depending on the type and quality of the motor mount’s installation, the use of shorter shaft motor (electric or gas) can result in any of the following problems: … Keep reading »


Aluminum rivets in fishing kayaks and boats

You may have an outfitting project in mind, such as attaching a rod holder to your kayak, or you may just wonder how strong are Wavewalk kayaks and boats built. More generally, how well do aluminum rivets work when used in kayaks?
Before going further, we need to explain that nearly all modern kayaks are made from Polyethylene, a polymer (plastic resin) softer than steel and aluminum, and even softer than fiberglass, which is why it requires the use of special rivets that split in three and provide a better grip over a broader surface.
These rivets go under commercial names such as Tri-Fold, Tribex, etc.
Alumium rivets are used for attaching kayak parts together, such as the 14 rivets that attach the W700 Saddle part to the Twinhull part. They are also used for attaching accessories such as handles, pad-eyes (eyelets), etc. Here is a little experiment we did – Continue reading »


Kayaks and Boats, Kayak vs. Boat

When two adults and a kid get into a small motorized aquatic vehicle, and drive it around at speeds exceeding 10 mph, their watercraft must be a boat. It can be a rigid or inflatable dinghy, a wide square-stern canoe, or a Wavewalk 700, but since it is used for boating, for this matter it is boat, and it makes sense to call it this way. Similarly, when two adult large size fishermen drive standing and fish standing in a small motorized aquatic vehicle, for them it is a fishing boat, even if from a technical-legal standpoint it belongs to a class of vessels labeled ‘Kayak’, as is the case with the Wavewalk 700, thanks to its slender dimensions.
Indeed, at Wavewalk we are thankful for this official classification, because it makes life easier for us, as manufacturers. Besides, this boat also happens to work as a super kayak in paddling terms, which makes things perfect for us. For people who use it for boating or fishing, the fact that it’s a super “kayak” adds to its functionality as a boat, by making it extremely lightweight, fully portable, and super mobile – beyond motorizing.
Versatility can be a great thing, and being able to paddle your boat effectively in case its outboard motor can no longer serve you for whatever reason, be it shallow water, rocks, or a technical problem, contributes a lot to your experience – It adds fun and functionality, confidence, and safety… Full article »


Happy Birthday W700!

How does the actual product compare to the plan?
Although we made no prototype for the W700, we had enough prior knowledge, and that helped us extrapolate, calculate and foresee its actual performance. Our design for the saddle was extremely innovative, but the driving notion for it was ‘build strong’, so we had no doubt that it would work well.
This has boat fulfilled all our requirements and exceeded our expectations with its gliding capability and ease of paddling in both a tandem and solo modes. It does exactly what we expected it to do when motorized, and we expected a lot, including both the driver and passenger standing up, and full offshore capabilities.
We were also relieved to see that although the W700 weighs 20 lbs more than the W500, car-topping it is still very easy.
Stability wise, we knew the W700 would be the world’s most stable kayak, but we wondered how such stability would feel like – Now we know that the W700 feels “Ridiculously Stable”, namely that it defies the user’s senses. In other words, it delivers a stability level that can be experienced only in full size motorboats. Problems?… Keep reading »


Keeping the cockpit of your Wavewalk dry at sea

When you paddle your Wavewalk in waves without covering the front end of its cockpit, some spray may get inside, especially if you paddle through big surf. The water is drained to the bottom of the hulls, and it flows backwards to the rear part of the hull tips. Altogether, this is rather insignificant.
When you drive a motorized Wavewalk in the ocean for a long time, at high speed and through waves, your boat generates more spray, and breaking waves can result in more water getting into the cockpit. A Spray Shield works to minimize intake from the front, but not from the sides. Some water may accumulate on the bottom of the hulls, at the rear end of the boat. A few gallons of water would be unnoticed, but having effective means to remove any amount of water at any time is highly recommended, simply because stuff happens, and you’d better be well prepared for any case.
Comparing different solutions… Full Article »


Personal Catamaran

What is a Catamaran?
Typically, a Catamaran, a.k.a. ‘Cat’ is a twin hulled watercraft that features two slender, parallel hulls of equal size, and a wide structure that’s connected to the upper sides of these hulls, holding them together at a big distance from each other. This structure makes the typical catamaran a geometry-stabilized craft, deriving its lateral stability from its wide beam and the distribution of its buoyancy along its sides, rather than from a ballasted hull, which lowers the boat’s center of gravity (CG), as a typical monohull (single hull) boat does. The catamaran’s two hulls combined often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than monohulls of comparable size, and therefore require less propulsive power.
Catamarans range in size from small sailing boats and motorboats to large ships and ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran’s twin hulls can vary from a simple, lightweight frame to a bridging superstructure, namely deck from which the catamaran is operated, and can be used for carrying freight and passengers.
Is the Wavewalk a Catamaran?
The Wavewalk resembles a catamaran, but it is not a one in the full sense… Read more »


Paddling in Strong Wind

Paddling and Tracking in Strong wind.
Tracking is the main problem that paddlers need to overcome when paddling in strong wind.
Wavewalk paddlers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, since catamarans tracks well, generally, and also thanks to the fact that it offers multiple means for power-paddling, as well as for counter-affecting the wind.
Since 2004, thousands of people have been paddling Wavewalk kayaks from the 300, 500 and 700 series, and none of these paddlers outfitted their Wavewalk with a rudder – that cumbersome device that has become an integral part of all other types of high-end kayaks used for touring and fishing.
Here are some tips that can improve your Wavewalk kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind:…  Read more »


Outriggers

Why use outriggers?
OUTRIGGERS Main USAGE and POSITION – Outriggers main role is to provide secondary stability, namely help in preventing the boat from capsizing. If you’re counting on a pair outriggers as stabilizers, namely to provide primary stability when the boat is level (I.E. not tilting sideways), you’re probably not using them correctly, or not using the right boat, or both.
When outriggers touch the water, they generate drag that slows down the boat. Therefore, if possible, the outriggers should be mounted high enough, in a way that prevents them from touching the water unless the boat tilts sideways dangerously, so much that the user and passengers could lose balance and the boat itself capsize.
How high above the water should you mount the outriggers?
The height depends on factors such as your skill level as a boater, the size of your sailing rig, and how reasonably confident you feel about being able to handle the situation before the outrigger touches the water and starts supporting the boat.
Outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes?  If you fish out of a canoe or a kayak,… Read more »


Pedal drive for my fishing kayak?

Again?!.. Wavewalk hasn’t offered a pedal drive with its fishing kayaks because of two reasons, which are that we found neither demand for such accessory among our clients, nor any real advantage in offering such a device to them, regardless of the increased price we would have to charge for it.
Years ago, we published the results of our research on this subject in a 4,000 word Paddle vs Pedal Drive in Fishing Kayaks article, which hasn’t gotten much interest from our clients.
The reason we now publish this new, shorter article on this subject is to make sure that our clients are exposed to all ideas and possibilities, and have a chance to express their views on this subject, as well as their wishes, if any.
Recent developments – Our new 700 series offers to incorporate a pedal drive more easily than the 500 design did. On the other hand, two out of the three pedal driven fishing kayaks… Full Article »


Review of my Wavewalk 700

Disclaimer: This review was written by the guy who designed this boat and manufactures it. It also tells the story of how the boat came into being, so it’s kind of long… Why am I writing a review of a boat that I created?…  Good question, especially since I’ve already written several articles about it…
The answer has two parts – The first is that many months ago, before we launched this product, I had promised some Wavewalk fans that I’d write such a personal and professional review on this new boat. The second reason is that now that the initial phase of launching this product is winding down, and it got such positive and exciting reviews from clients and fans, I also feel like talking about it from a personal angle and a professional one, but this time more as a designer than a marketer.
But this is in theory… – Is it possible for someone like me to fully dissociate the personal from the professional, and the designer from the marketer? Well, I think it would be hard… Full Article »


Flats boat or bass boat, or something else?

“My father is retired, and he owns a sixty thousand dollar bass boat that he takes out maybe twice a year, but he fishes out of his Wavewalk nearly every day.”
-Clint Harlan, Missouri.
Different boats with many similarities – Bass boats and flats boats have a lot in common, and they also differ from each other in some details. Depending on their size and the speed required from them, these two families of small to medium size motorboats are propelled by one or more outboard gas engines, and they are relatively wide for their overall size.
The decks of both types of fishing boats are generally flat, and they don’t feature a cabin. Both types of boats feature a special casting area in the front of their deck, where one and sometimes two anglers can sit or stand, and cast comfortably… Full article »


Steering motorized fishing kayaks and small boats

Why drive and not just paddle? Driving a motorized fishing kayak or a small motorboat is easier than paddling, and using a motor offers anglers additional advantages, such as a longer range of travel, a chance to spend less time on getting to fisheries and more time fishing, and increased safety and independence in the presence of strong currents and winds.
But being easier than paddling doesn’t necessarily mean that driving these motorized kayaks and small boats is comfortable and pleasant. In fact, it may not be easy, especially in rough water and over long distances.  What makes steering a small boat comfortable? Physical Constraints – The ergonomics of steering a small boat or a motorized kayak are simple and easy to understand, and the basic factor that determines in what way the boat can be steered is the stability it offers…. Read More »


Boat stability in a kayak

The importance of stability in small boats and kayaks – Stability is the main attribute of small boats and kayaks. It defines passengers’ safety and comfort level, and determines how they can use the boat, or kayak. Insufficient stability limits a motorboat’s speed.
What makes a boat or a kayak stable –
The hull’s width and form are the two main features that contribute to the stability of boats and kayaks –
Kayak stability: Generally, the width of a kayak is derived mostly from the width of a person’s body, and more precisely the width of their shoulders, where the movement of the paddle begins. Hydrodynamics is another important factor that limits the kayak’s width. Wider kayaks are noticeably more sluggish and hard to paddle over long distances and in less than perfect conditions.
Most kayaks today still feature a single, elongated ellipsoid hull (a.k.a. mono-hull), a fact that makes them inherently unstable.
Patented Wavewalk™ kayaks feature a twin hull, and they are more stable. Read more »


Microskiff

Microskiff definition: What is a microskiff? We found several definitions, but typically, a microskiff is a small, lightweight, flat bottomed motorboat used for flats fishing as well as in protected bays, estuaries, lakes and slow moving rivers. The typical microskiff crew consists of two anglers, and sometimes one angler. The microskiff is said to have evolved from dinghies.  Small and lightweight in the case of typical microskiff means a boat that requires transportation by trailer, and therefore must be launched and beached at a boat ramp. The Microskiff propulsion problem – Microskiff are made to be propelled primarily by outboard motors, and they are too wide and heavy to allow for paddling. This is problematic for a number of reasons – To begin with,…  Read more »


KAYAK TOURING

Must-read kayak review: Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan, Missouri »

Fishing is the most popular application among people who use Wavewalk™ kayaks. These people need kayaks that are particularly stable and comfortable, and would enable them to go on lengthy trips in the quest for fish, and spend long hours in their kayaks without suffering from any sort of pain, discomfort or wetness, while moving swiftly from one fishing hole to another in the same fishery, or between different fisheries. Such trips often take place in less than favorable weather and water conditions, such as under wind, which is why these paddlers appreciate their Wavewalks’ unrivaled tracking capability. Needless to say that such anglers take plenty of fishing gear on board, and some take camping gear as well, and they love their W kayaks because it offers more storage space than any kayak out there. The same basic requirements apply to kayak touring, which makes the Wavewalk™ particularly appealing as a long-distance touring kayak, a.k.a.  expedition kayak.    Things To Know And Consider When Choosing A Touring Kayak… Read more »


A better two-person fishing boat

What’s a good two-person fishing boat? – A good two-person fishing boat is one that allows for two large size fishermen to fish from it in full comfort, for long hours. According to this basic definition, most boats out there are suitable as two-person fishing boats, except sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) tandem fishing kayaks, which are neither comfortable nor stable enough for average people to fish from. So this preliminary definition is too inclusive, and we need to refine it by asking the following question –
What’s a better two-person fishing boat? – This is where the actual discussion begins –
1. More than two anglers on board – Not that important –
One requirement that comes to mind is the ability to accommodate a crew of more than two full-size anglers, and in fact, most motorboats out there fulfill this requirement… Full article »


Bass fishing in Ontario

By Boyd Smith

SPRING – It’s just after ice-out and the bass are soaking up the afternoon sun in warm shallow coves and creek arms on the Northwest side of your favorite lake. The bottom substrate of these fish holding areas is mud and muck and unfit for wade fishing and your powerboat is too big and too noisy to sneak up on bass in 2 feet of water. What do you do? – 1. You launch your kayak and quietly paddle into the fish holding coves. If you see carp milling about or turtles basking then you are in the right place.
2. You pick up your favorite rod on which you have tied a jig and pork trailer, a small profile spinner bait, or a small shallow diving crank-bait. 3. You cast your lures in and around any lily pads, weed growth, logs, or dark looking depressions. 4. You hook up with a big fat pre-spawn large-mouth.
SUMMER – The bass or either holding tight to shoreline cover, docks, and boat houses or they are hunkered down deep in the thickest greenest weed beds. What are your options?… Full article »


Why I became a W kayak owner

By Michael Chesloff, NY

I became a Wavewalk owner because I wanted a solution to my fishing dilemma. Maybe if you know a little more about my journey you will find something that will prove useful in deciding on your next watercraft. Here’s my story. After buying 7 boats, I knew what didn’t work. These 7 boats were, in order of ownership:
1) Jon boat – simple 10 footer with electric trolling motor and a paddle
2) Inflatable – Fairly heavy duty with removable wooden floor, outboard electric trolling motor and oars
3) Bass boat – 16 footer with full flat deck, gas outboard and bow-mounted electric trolling motor
4) Folding boat with electric trolling motor and oars
5) Ultra-light sit-in kayak with paddle
6) Fiberglass skiff – 14 footer with gas outboard, bow-mounted electric trolling motor and oars
7) Square-ended, 12 foot aluminum canoe with bow-mounted electric trolling motor, gas outboard motor and oars…  Full article »


Fishing offshore – the next frontier

Fishing offshore – the challenge – Let us define Offshore Fishing as fishing in the ocean or in the Great Lakes, away from shore, beyond the breakers. Such fisheries are characterized by currents and wind that are hard to overcome without adequate propulsion, and therefore hazardous to fishers who venture in them in small, human powered vessels such as canoes and kayaks. Typically, people who fish offshore from kayaks tend to do it in more protected areas such as bays, or stay within a short distance from shore. While these fisheries are relatively safer in comparison to distant and deeper ocean fishing grounds, they still present considerable challenges to kayak anglers, as well as to those who fish from other small, light, non-motorized craft such as canoes and dinghies… Full article »


The New Wavewalk™ 570 Series (W570) 2015 Models

For 2015, Wavewalk introduces the new 570 series. The three models in this series come outfitted for offshore motorized fishing. Overview – The 570 is a new type of small watercraft in which Wavewalk merged its patented Wavewalk™ Kayak invention with the Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) technology.  RHIBs are known for their stability, high performance and seaworthiness in demanding applications such as lifeboats, rescue, and military operations. They also serve as tenders for large boats and ships, and as work boats in offshore facilities. Unlike in regular RHIBs, the inflatable tubes that come with the W570 are easily detachable, for storage during transport, or in case they’re not needed, such as when you paddle or motorize on flat water. And unlike RHIBs, the standard W570 comes outfitted with flotation tubes only in its rear part, so they don’t interfere much with fishing or paddling. In addition, the weight of the outboard motor at the stern offers the W570 user to sit or stand closer to the bow while keeping the boat level. This slightly forward position further increases the range of motion when they fish, or paddle while launching or beaching in water that’s too shallow for motorizing, or in water with abundant aquatic vegetation. The W570 can serve as a small, lightweight, car-top, durable microskiff with enhanced offshore capabilities… Full article »


New products launched in 2014

When observing fishing kayak design developments in recent years, it’s impossible to miss two main trends that seem to have gone out of control: The first is an increase in size and weight, and the second is over accessorizing.  These days, the typical high-end SOT fishing kayak is a barge that weighs around 100 lbs, and requires a trailer for transportation, which is enough to defeat the purpose of kayak fishing even before you hit the water and find out that paddling such barges to a noticeable distance is either hard or impossible…
One company recently launched a tandem fishing kayak that weighs 185 lbs in the basic version, and 230 lbs when fully accessorized…  Full article »


How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk™ kayak

This animation shows a typical W500 kayak outfitted with two pairs of standard detachable flotation modules attached in the regular locations. If the kayak flips, it will float upside down, unless the user did something very wrong such as clinging to it and pulling it down – deeper into the water. The user can detach flotation modules and reattach them on the side of the kayak they plan to use as a pivot when they flip it back. After having attached the flotation on this side, the user can flip the kayak back, knowing that the flotation will support the kayak’s lower hull and prevent excess water from getting in… Full article »


More is less in your fishing kayak’s cockpit – Too much stuff and too little fishability

Kayak manufacturers seem to be locked in an arms race intended to make their fishing kayaks relevant to the average angler out there. This epic struggle for market survival produces kayak designs that are increasingly dysfunctional, or lack ‘fishability‘ if we use the term that anglers commonly use. The most obvious manifestation of this trend is the proliferation of those enormous, extra-wide, cumbersome, hard to paddle, heavy and practically impossible to carry or car top kayaks known as ‘barges’. But it’s not just the size of those beastly yaks that makes one wonder whether they defeat the purpose of kayak fishing, nor the fact that their manufacturers tout them as being suitable for fishing standing (they’re not, unless you’re an aspiring acrobat) – It’s the fact that they’ve become overly accessorized, to a point where it’s increasingly hard for their users to fish from them.
What’s an overly accessorized fishing kayak? An overly accessorized fishing kayak is a kayak that makes it hard for you to fish from it -… Full article »


The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside

Have you ever seen a picture of the underside of a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak? –
It’s unique, and the bottom of no other vessel looks like it.
Below is a figure showing what a typical SOT kayak looks like when it’s turned over:…
Understanding the design of SOT kayaks’ underside –
The ‘scupper’ holes –  The most striking feature in a SOT kayak’s hull are the holes in it:
All SOT kayaks feature vertical holes connecting their deck to the water below. Kayak manufacturers call them ‘Scupper Holes’ and claim they were introduced into the SOT design as means to drain water from the kayak’s deck, similarly to what scuppers do in normal boats.–   The truth is different…    Continue reading »


Wavewalk kayak tracking a plus in strong tidal current, by Art Myjak

Problem: I found myself on the wrong side of the culvert at the wrong time – see attached sketches. I was on side A and needed to get to side B.
Tide was going out and the rapids through the culvert was too strong for canoe, kayak or trolling motors (maybe even small gas motors).
Made two attempts to get through–my approach from the sides was wrong (positions C and D)…wasted too much energy, current pushed me back, and couldn’t continue… Continue reading »


Whatever floats your boat – flotation for fishing kayaks

What is flotation? – Flotation is a category of products and technical solutions that keep your kayak or boat floating in case an accident happened, such as capsize, a punctured hull wall, etc. What flotation solutions and products have in common is their ability to trap air and attach it to the hull, and by that keep the hull afloat so it could be more easily recovered. This is to say that typically, flotation provides means for recovery, and it usually adds neither to the boat or kayak’s stability nor to its load capacity.
Why is flotation necessary? – The US Coast Guard (USCG) mandates incorporating flotation In boats bigger than kayaks. Although flotation is not mandatory in kayaks, we think it is necessary as means to preserve our clients’ investment in their W kayak. Many other kayak manufacturers, including those who offer sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks outfit them with some flotation, because they know that SOT kayaks are sinkable.
Types of flotation – … Read more »


What makes the Wavewalk™ 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?

Before getting their Wavewalk™ kayak, many of our clients had tested or owned common fishing kayaks, and they weren’t too happy with the way these kayaks performed with regards to several basic requirements which are essential to paddling. In contrast, the same people find the Wavewalk 500 very easy to paddle and handle. This article explains some of the technical differences between the W500 and all other fishing kayaks, and how these differences work to the advantage of W kayakers.
What makes common fishing kayaks special as a class of kayaks?
If you walked into a store that sells all kinds of paddle craft (e.g. canoes, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks) and you looked at at the fishing kayak models side by side with the other kayaks, you’d notice that fishing kayaks look chubbier… Read more »


A stable kayak for photography

Photographing wildlife from a kayak – Are you looking for a stable kayak for photography?
You may already know what to look for, but you may also wonder what questions to ask and what issues you should be aware of. This article will attempt to encompass and summarize the main aspects of kayak photography that you may want to consider when you’re looking to choose a kayak for this demanding application.
Ergonomic and stability considerations – Many kayakers shoot scenic photos out of their kayaks as part of their fishing trip or paddling excursion, but not too many wildlife photographers like to shoot from kayaks, because these small, unstable, wet and uncomfortable craft don’t inspire their confidence, and it’s hard to get excited about spending long hours in one of them –
Photographers who specialize in wildlife photography, mainly bird photography, spend countless hours outdoors…. Read more »


How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

What is an outrigger?
An outrigger is defined as a framework supporting a float extended outboard from the side of a boat for increasing stability. In kayaks, outriggers usually come in a pair mounted at the rear, so as to interfere as little as possible with the kayaker’s paddling and fishing activities.
Why are fishing kayaks required to be so stable? –
A fishing kayak is required to be stabler than other kayaks for a number of reasons –
The first reason is because the kayak’s operator is often busy fishing, which means they cannot pay much attention to balancing their kayak as they scout for fish, operate their fishing gear, and handle a fish they just caught.
The second reason is that people who paddle sit-in, SOT or hybrid kayaks do it while being seated in the L position, with their legs stretched in front of them in a way that prevents them from being effective for balancing. This is the reason why the paddle is the principal means such paddlers have for stabilizing these kayaks, and this means that it’s easier for them to keep their balance while they’re holding their paddle and preferably using it for paddling… Read more  »


Dog on board

We sometimes get questions about taking a dog on board the W kayak, since people want to take their dog on paddling, camping, photography and fishing trips, while others use a retriever on their hunting trips.  The W500 kayak series is stable, spacious and dry, which allows for taking a dog as a passenger on board, even if the dog is reasonably big and heavy. This article summarizes people’s experience in this field, discusses the factors to consider, and offers technical solutions. Factors to consider – … Read more »


Smarter electric motors and Lithium-Ion batteries – A winning combination for kayak fishing, by Gary Thorberg

Fisherman have long known the benefits of having an electric trolling motor. Quiet, clean, and maneuverable, with instant on/off/reverse makes it the perfect choice for fishing. Until recently, the main drawbacks have been limited run-time and battery weight. Enter technology! Various electric trolling motor manufacturers have introduced a new generation of of motors that can offer 4 or 5 times the run-time of previous models!… Now, enter the lithium-ion battery. At a fraction of the weight and size of a conventional deep-cycle battery, it will provide full power for several times longer… Read more »


Ocean Kayak Fishing

The purpose of this article is to offer the reader information about ocean kayak fishing, starting from potential hazards and problems to recommended solutions.
Content – What is ocean kayak fishing / Hazards related to ocean kayak fishing / The surf / Kayak flotation / Lateral (side) waves / Capsizing your ocean fishing kayak / How to keep the kayak’s cockpit dry / Do you need a dry suit or a wet suit / What makes the W Kayak so easy to maneuver? / Surf Safety: Watch for bathers and surfers / Surf Etiquette: Please be courteous / Paddling your ocean fishing kayak in strong wind / Paddling your ocean fishing kayak in strong current / Motorizing your ocean fishing kayak / Dry storage
What is ocean kayak fishing? – Ocean kayak fishing means fishing offshore out of a kayak, be it a sit-in, sit-in-top (SOT) or a W kayak. Since kayaks are small vessels and in most cases they’re human-powered (Read: underpowered), and since kayaks expose their users to the elements, this kind of fishing typically involves some hazards and discomfort. Fishing in big lakes is similar to ocean kayak fishing in the sense that is presents similar challenges…. Read more »


Your boat trailer, the abominable fishing-time guzzler

The idea to write this piece came from a client in Rhode Island who owns a 20ft center console, who told me he never uses it on weekends because of all the time he had to waste at crowded boat ramps, and the aggravation associated with it. Michael Chesloff added a few wise comments too, from his own experience as a fishing boat owner. So how much quality time do you waste on activities related to your boat trailer?… Read more »


Kayak fishing with disabilities

Our website features countless accounts and articles related to back pain, leg numbness and other common problems, as well as numerous accounts by clients who suffer from more severe physical impairments and disabilities. This article will attempt to summarize what we know about the more severe conditions in relation to operating kayaks and fishing from them –
Consulting with your expert physician on these matters is highly recommended, of course. The fact a person suffers from a condition listed here does not automatically mean the W kayak is good for them. There may be cases that would prevent you from enjoying our W kayak, and even cases where using it might altogether be unrecommended to you, for various reasons. We welcome your questions even if you have a slight doubt. In some cases we could offer you to contact clients who suffer from a condition similar to yours, so you could ask them about their personal experience… Read more >


Motorize your fishing kayak?

What do we mean by ‘motorized kayak’?
When we say ‘motorized fishing kayak’ we don’t mean just a sit-in or SOT kayak outfitted with an electric trolling motor… We also mean the real deal, which is a small watercraft comparable to a motorboat as most North American anglers understand it, and this means powered by an outboard gas engine.
And when we say ‘motorboat’ we don’t mean one that’s suitable just for fishing inland, on flat water and doesn’t necessarily work for offshore fishing – We mean real ocean fishing including surf launching and fishing trips in a range that’s several times longer than what electric motors offer before they run out of juice… Needless to say that it means adequate stability for stand up fishing in full confidence and for everyone, dryness (if you feel like getting wet, go wading, or fish from another kayak!), enough storage space for you to take gear you need for long trips, and last but not least – a comfort level that anyone can enjoy, and not just young, small, lightweight and athletic anglers… Read more >


About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.

Thanks Dan, Indeed, the kayak business is extremely competitive.
We’ve started selling our kayaks back in 2004, and since then we’ve seen most of our competitors either disappear or change owners – This includes small, medium size and big kayak companies.
Our competitors offer products that are essentially the same, namely variations on sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks. If you look at the designs (forms) themselves, you’ll find no noteworthy change in the past 40 years since such kayaks were first roto-molded.
None of our competitors has any technological advantage over the others, so they are forced to compete by offering many accessories, whether that makes sense or not, plenty of unnecessary detail in their designs, intensive promotion (hype), and price.
Wavewalk has a proprietary technology that puts us in a different category.
Following a few, tested principles has helped us thrive in this highly competitive environment – … Read more >


How Much Gear Can You Store Inside a W Fishing Kayak?

This is clothing and linens for the both of us for two weeks, charcoal, chairs, umbrella, hammock, personal flotation devices, snorkel masks with flippers, and of course the fishing rods!
With 8.8 cubic feet available, I got it all in the boat, except for three large bags that I will strap to the top. It will all be tarp covered,… Read more >


 

Do Not Overload Your Fishing Kayak

What Happens When You Load a W Fishing Kayak?
The illustration below shows a W500 kayak in three load points –
The left image shows it unloaded.
The image in the middle shows it loaded with around 200 lbs (91 kg). The load is distributed evenly front and back, so the kayak stays level, which offers optimal speed and control. The draft is shallow…  Read more >


A Fair-Weather Fishing Kayak…

John had a good laugh when he first saw ads by a well known, nationwide, catalog and online distributor of outdoor apparel and gear –
The ads were for high-end (labeled “deluxe”!…) sit-in angling kayaks, and they stated the following versions of the same information (quote): “For outings of a few hours in calm to light winds on lakes, ponds and protected bays”…So why did John laugh about these fishing kayaks ads?…Simply, because John has been paddling kayaks and fishing from them for many years, and he immediately understood what the advertisers really meant to say, which was:… Read more »


A Brief History Of Kayak Fishing – Past, Present, and Foreseeable Future

Kayak fishing ceased to be a novelty, and it’s safe to say there’s hardly anyone in America who fishes that hasn’t been exposed to the notion of fishing out of kayaks, one way or another.
Still, for the huge majority of American anglers, the notion of fishing from a kayak is by far more appalling than appealing, and those who fish from shore and from all other watercraft outnumber kayak anglers by a thousand to one ratio –
What Do The Numbers Tell Us?
How Big Is Fishing In The USA?   … Read more >


Fishing Kayak Stability

This article about kayak stability was first published years ago. Those times were different from now. Back then, stability wasn’t considered as important as it it now, and some people even argued that a fishing kayak doesn’t necessarily have to be stable, since anglers eventually get used to fishing out of an unstable platform. We blasted this notion for years, and now it’s gone.
Since then, the kayak world has changed, especially the fishing kayak part of it, and stability is king. This periodically leads to kayak manufacturers trying all kinds of solutions designed to increase the stability of the fishing kayaks they offer… Read more >


About Kayak Fishing In Tandem…

Whether we recommend kayak fishing is not an easy question to answer.
Essentially, kayaks are solo boats that do not lend lend themselves easily to tandem applications –
In principle, tandem kayak fishing is possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. However, from a practical standpoint, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that require preliminary consideration, as well as constant attention: First and foremost, kayak fishing in tandem involves a Safety issue….
The second problem to consider is Convenience…–  Read more >


The Hybrid Fishing Kayak – Facts, Hype and Plain Nonsense

The term ‘Hybrid Kayak’ is an abbreviation of ‘Hybrid Canoe-Kayak’. It’s a type of small, typically human powered watercraft that takes from the kayak in the sense that its passengers sit in it with their legs stretched forward, and use dual blade (i.e. ‘kayak’) paddles for propulsion.
The hybrid’s canoe genes are harder to track in most cases, but all hybrid kayaks are very wide, and designed to provide more stability than narrower, traditional kayaks offer. It’s likely to assume that those who design and manufacture hybrid kayaks view the canoe as a watercraft that’s stabler than common kayaks are, and the reference to canoes is therefore an implicit reference to stability… Read more >


Motorizing Your Kayak – Why, How, What Etc…

Why motorize your kayak, and do you really need a motor on board?
What type of solution would best fit your kayak motorizing needs – an electric trolling motor, or an outboard gas engine? How to motorize your W kayak on a budget? What are the practices we recommend following in a kayak motorizing project?
This section of our blog is dedicated to answering these questions, and others.
Here is an example of a motorized W500 kayak with a 2HP outboard … Read more >


More About Dangers To Kayakers and Kayak Anglers in Warm, Fresh Water

So, you’re paddling your kayak, or fishing from it in warm, fresh water, and you may think to yourself that nothing could happen to you if for some reason you’d have to ‘take a swim’ because you lost balance and fell overboard… Well, you’re wrong… Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that a deadly amoeba, which is commonly found in lakes and rivers is the cause of the recent death of a Florida swimmer – Health officials in Brevard County, FL, said they believe water infected with the parasite Naegleria fowleri … Read more >


How to Keep Your W500 Fishing Kayak Cockpit Dry

Typically, very little water can get inside your W500 cockpit, because the kayak offers a high free board – more than any kayak does. This is true even when you’re launching in the surf, because — Read more >


THE BARGE – A NEW CLASS OF FISHING KAYAKS

Most people know what the term Barge means when kayaks are referred to: It’s a big, wide, long, heavy kayak that’s hard to car top, hard to carry, hard to launch, hard to paddle, and hard to beach. A Barge is a kayak that’s slow, and doesn’t track well, hence the expression “A barge to paddle” — Read more >


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Aesthetics and Performance in Fishing Kayak Design

In case of a product such as a kayak, the beauty we see in it is a measure of how much we appreciate its performance in terms of what’s important to us, subjectively, whether as something we’ve already experienced with this kayak, or something we believe we would experience, if we used it — Read more >


Kayak Fishing As An Extreme Sport

For most anglers, kayak fishing is an extreme sport. Extreme in the sense that an angler fishing from a kayak is compelled to give up the two essential things that any regular fishing motorboat provides, which are adequate stability and elementary comfort. The third requirement, storage space is important — Read more >


Too Much Storage In A Fishing Kayak…

…Gary was having an argument with other kayak anglers, some of which are presumably kayak dealers, sales reps, etc., on an online, Texas fishing forum. On that occasion, one of the other participants argued about the W500 that “It had too much storage for a fishing kayak”.— Read more >


What Is kayak Back Pain, And What Does It Mean For You?

…Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain plays a critical role in our survival and well being, because it motivates us to withdraw from potentially damaging situations, avoid those situations in the future, and protect a damaged body part while it heals. — Read more >


Paddle vs. Pedal Drive in Common Fishing Kayaks

…This article examines pedal drive propulsion for common (mono hull, sit-in and SOT) kayaks from several technical angles, which are: Ergonomics – How does it feel to operate a pedal driven kayak, and what are the potential physiological drawbacks in this type of propulsion. Mechanics -How efficient are pedal drives’ pedaling systems. Hydrodynamics -How efficient are pedal drives’ propellers, and how effective is pedaling kayaks compared to paddling them. Real World Performance – How effective are pedal driven kayaks in applications such as fishing trips, stand up fishing, fishing in moving water, fishing in shallow water, launching, beaching, etc.— Read more >


Resting in Your Fishing Kayak – Don’t Fall Asleep!

Spending long hours paddling and fishing can make you tired. Stretching while standing up or lying down on the saddle of your W500 fishing kayak can be invigorating or relaxing, and will help keep you fresh. As far as resting while lying down, — Read more >


More Storage Than Any Other Kayak: The W500

Some fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. Obviously, those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, but what else can you do to solve the storage problem — Read more >


Lumbar Spine and Kayak Back Pain: Facts

The term ‘Lumbar Support’ appears frequently in discussions about kayak fishing and paddling related back pain. The underlying assumption in those discussions is that the lumbar area of your back (lumbar spine) requires adequate support, and if such support is provided your back pain will disappear, or at least become tolerable — Read more »


Some Practical Advice About Rigging Your Fishing Kayak

Contrarily to you might have heard, there is no such thing as perfect rigging for a fishing kayak, and the reason for it is that kayak anglers differ by their personal needs, fishing style, fish species they go after, etc.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to make mistakes, and this is why we generally recommend to go about these things slowly and carefully, without rushing into particular solutions unless you know there’s a good chance that they’d work well for you — Read more »


Kayak Fishing Safety: Is It safe To Paddle An Uncomfortable Kayak And Fish From It?

Thousands of kayak anglers are risking paddling and fishing accidents because of their kayaks’ poor ergonomics. The hazards are many and diverse: First, there’s the danger of being unable to paddle back to shore, as a result of fatigue, and even exhaustion. Strong wind and tidal current are external forces that could be hazardous to a tired kayak angler, especially if elderly or inexperienced — Read more >


Stretching in Your Kayak to Relief Fatigue and Pain, and Improve Circulation

Stretching is recommended by doctors, chiropractors and various therapists as means to relief tension from muscles, tendons and the spine, and get the blood flowing better in those tissues. Stretching helps prevent fatigue, relief fatigue, and eventually prevent possible injury and pain, mainly in your back.
In sum, stretching is beneficial for your circulation, your legs, and your spine.
Being unable to stretch your legs and back — Read more >


Stand Up Kayak Fishing and Paddling – For Real

The W-kayak is the only kayak that was developed for high performance stand up paddling and stand up fishing in moving water, and it’s the only kayak that fits both these extreme applications in terms of safety and comfort. Here are the facts we recommend you know about stand up padding and fishing from kayaks and other small crafts — Read more >


Kayaking Back Pains and Leg Numbness

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 — Read more >


Fishability – How Fishable Are Kayaks?

What is Fishability? Dictionaries define fishable as an adjective meaning ‘that may be fished in’. By extension, the noun fishability can be used to describe the usefulness of a fishing craft for catching fish, from the angler’s well being and performance standpoints. Basically, you can catch fish just sitting on a log in the middle of a pond, or a river – so being able to cast a line and catch fish from some floating object doesn’t — Read more >


How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayaks can be expensive, and when you start adding the cost of all accessories you’ll find they actually cost much more. However, by buying a Wavewalk TM fishing kayak you can save a lot of money (up to $1,350) just on accessories: — Read more >


Rigging Your W-Kayak With a Milk Crate – Is it Necessary?

It seems most kayak fishermen have gotten used to rigging their fishing kayaks with a milk crate attached behind the cockpit. If you happen you own a SOT fishing kayak, rigging it with a milk crate would make sense, since SOT kayaks are basically hyped paddle boards that offer too little storage space and no real cockpit. Sit-in fishing kayaks offer a little more in this aspect, but not enough to drop the idea of adding a milk crate However, if you own a W fishing kayak, you may want to reconsider the pros and cons of adding a milk crate — Read more >


Lures for Bass Kayak Fishing

By Roxanne Davis
This is Rox’ answer to a question on bass lures from Petru, a kayak fisherman from Ontario: Petru, Here is a couple of pictures of the lures and hooks I use, and have had great success with —  Read more >


Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison

By Jeff McGovern
Range of motion and protection from the fish – Sounds a little weird but the W kayak offers a far better range of motion for anglers and some measure of protection when landing fish. I’ve noticed this the most dealing with saltwater speedsters in — Read more >


Casting From A W Fishing Kayak Compared To Casting From Sit-In and SOT Fishing Kayaks

By Jeff McGovern
In preparation for comparison to the new W500 I have been spending time “relearning the joys” of sit inside and sit on top kayaks. Besides the obvious back issue already known there is the concern of shoulder pain. I have had some discomfort, but in talking to a few other fellow kayak fishermen they mentioned the pain associated with casting from the awkward L position. I noticed soreness the next day trying to power out long casts from the L position — Read more >


How Effective Can Fishing Kayaks’ Outriggers Be?

Your fishing kayak’s stability is key to your success and fun in kayak fishing, and the outriggers may help in achieving better stability, but at a price. By effective we mean how much stability can a pair of outriggers add to your fishing kayak’s initial lateral stability, and what are the drawbacks for using outriggers or that purpose, if any. First, you need to understand what makes your fishing kayak stable (or unstable)… Read more >


What Makes The W Kayak The Stablest Fishing Kayak?

The W fishing kayak’s superior stability is not just proven – it is spectacular, and anyone who watches our demo movies is amazed by what they see. In a nutshell, our patented stabilization technology consists of a number of unique factors working together to assure maximal stability – far more than any other fishing kayak can offer, including the widest sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks, and even fishing kayaks featuring outriggers (stabilizers). These key stability factors are — Read more >


Are SOT Kayaks Safe For Offshore Fishing?

A kayak fisherman recently posted his personal offshore capsize report on a Connecticut fishing blog. It was detailed and well written, and I copied some paragraphs from it that I found particularly interesting. In his report the writer exposed the brand name and model of his fishing kayak, a top-of-the-line, 34″ wide sit-on-top, but I replaced these explicit names by the phrase “SOT fishing kayak” because the problem described is not necessarily typical to that particular brand or model …. Read more >


Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If? (Stuff Happens)

It seems like all fishing kayak manufacturers these days claim that at least one of their fishing kayak models lets you stand up and fish from. Some of them even go as far as say ‘in confidence’. The problem with those claims is that they aren’t true, and the sure way for you to know that is by asking yourself a basic, simple and essential question: -”What if?” -What if you lose your balance for any reason, just because stuff happens? — Read more >


About Rudders and Fishing Kayaks

Rudders are almost a necessity in modern SOT and sit-in fishing kayaks, simply because most of these kayaks have become so wide that they lost the ability to track, which is essential for any water craft. The increase in width is the kayak manufacturers’ response the the demand for more stability, and it comes at a price of lesser speed and poor control, I.E. lack of tracking capability that’s often coupled with lackluster performance when it comes to maneuverability. Interestingly, no W-kayak paddler or fisherman has ever felt the need for a rudder —  Read more >


Saltwater Fishing Gear Maintenance

by Jeff McGovern
Kayaks are king in saltwater flats fishing. You can get into places that even the finest flats boats have trouble accessing. You have no fuel expense and the maintenance on the kayak is far less than any motor powered craft. However, saltwater is not kind to equipment of any type, so unless your gear is properly cleaned up after every trip, it will wear out quickly and be ruined. The process begins — Read more »


Kayak Fishing With Children

Kayaks should offer high performance not just as fishing and paddling platforms for adult fishermen: Children too like to have fun fishing and paddling with adults or by themselves. Stability: Although children are smaller than adults and therefore are less prone to destabilizing their kayak they are also more careless and forgetful, and tend to get overexcited and sometime even to panic. This is why —  Read more >


Stability in Fishing Kayaks – Problems and Solutions

DESIGN FOR BETTER KAYAK STABILITY: WHY AND HOW – WHAT IS STABILITY? Stability is defined as resistance to change, deterioration, or displacement, and it is synonym to reliability and dependability. In naval terms it means the ability of a watercraft to maintain equilibrium or resume its original, upright position after displacement, as by the sea or strong winds. This article discusses lateral stability and not directional stability i.e. tracking, which is discussed in other articles on this website. WHY IS LATERAL STABILITY SO IMPORTANT? – Lateral stability is a key factor in kayaking and kayak fishing since it enables prevention of accidents as well as increases the well being of kayakers and kayak fishermen — Read more >


How to Choose a Fishing Kayak That’s Best For You

Kayak Fishing Facts You Need To Know – Your overall kayak fishing experience depends first and foremost on your physical well being – You want perfect comfort regardless of where you fish, and for how long.
Fishing kayaks can compete with bigger boats in price, portability, maintenance, ease of use, and in some cases mobility, but they fail when it comes to comfort and other ‘fishability’ factors, with one exception: our patented, well tested Wavewalk TM kayaks. Comfort is multi-dimensional — Read more »


Back Pain, Good Posture and Kayak Fishing

UK researchers recently published an article about the beneficial effect of good posture in the British Medical Journal . According to this work, about half the UK population suffers from back pain from time to time, with up to 15% having chronic problems. They found that back pain is the second biggest cause of sick leave. These British researchers found that long-term back pain can be relieved through encouraging sufferers to adopt good posture — Read more »


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 — Read more >


Paddling and Kayak Fishing in Cold Water and Weather

‘Cold’ is relative of course, and what I mean by it in this case is temperatures below freezing or close to that. Sometimes you can find open water on a frozen river or lake, and since it’s possible to launch your W kayak from ice as well as to beach it on ice the question is ‘why not go paddling or fishing?’ The simple answer is ‘because it’s very dangerous’. In other words, the combination of ice and cold can turn out to be deadly.
Some of the factors that contribute to making such activities more dangerous are — Read more >


Whether paddling or fishing in your kayak, try to stay dry

This article examines the problems stemming from prolonged exposure to wet clothing, which is sometime viewed as inseparable from all forms of kayaking and kayak fishing, and all types of kayaks. It exposes possible dangers and inconveniences associated with direct exposure to water, excessive humidity and cold in various circumstances, and describes solutions based on the new, patented technology applied in Wavewalk’s Kayaks, which offers the users a drier way to paddle and fish. What’s the problem?  Read more »


Fishing Standing in a Kayak

This article examines what makes standup fishing so important and why an increasing number of kayak fishermen are attracted by the newly offered possibility to stand up and fish in a W Kayak. Fishing from small watercraft – Overview – People all around the world have been fishing from small boats for millennia. Interestingly, many native fishermen like to stand up in their boats when they propel them and fish from them. After all, what could be more natural? If possible, standing is both a powerful and comfortable position for a person making a continuous physical effort. It is good for our blood circulation, less strenuous on our back and it enables us to make a good use of our legs — Read more »


Kayak Fishing As It Should Be

Fishing from kayaks is a cool idea in principle but most fishermen have realized by now that in practice it leaves much to be desired in terms of comfort and performance.
Our patented W Fishing Kayak solves these problems at their root, and offers you optimal performance and the best fishing experience — Read more >


Problems and Solutions In Kayak Fishing

Why Kayak Fishing, and Why Not… For thousands of years people around the world have been using small paddle craft for fishing. In North America canoes have been popular from pre-Colombian times, and kayaks were used by native people of the Arctic Circle for fishing in estuaries and protected waters.
In recent decades kayaks have become popular in recreational paddling, and more recently recreational fishermen have started using the kayak as a fishing platform. What’s so great about kayak fishing?
The idea of kayak fishing is an appealing one: These boats present a low cost of purchase and zero cost of maintenance, and offer excellent portability, physical exercise and a pleasant way to commune with nature while fishing in places that may be difficult to access with bigger boats. …And what’s not? — Read more »


Kayak Fishing in Shallow Water

Using Your W Fishing Kayak In Shallow Water – W fishing kayaks offer new opportunities for kayak anglers who fish in shallow water. Poling – You’ll find that poling your W fishing Kayak is easy. We recommend that use use a Wavewalk TM paddle that’s longer and sturdier than kayak paddles. Going Over Obstacles – When you feel or see a submerged object (e.g. a rock, or a tree trunk) that’s preventing you from going forward you can try and go over it: Raise the bow as much as possible by positioning yourself in the rear part of the cockpit and leaning backward, and paddle and/or pole as hard as you can. When you feel your boat can’t go further ‘up’ move as forward as possible on the saddle and try to tip your boat to the over side of the underwater obstacle by pushing with your paddle — Read more >


Common Kayak Fishing Myths, Tales and Hype

Like every other sport or activity, kayak fishing has its own myths and beliefs that evolved over the years as a result of fishing kayak vendors’ marketing campaigns and more naturally – as fishing tales… True Or False? – Questions You May Have Asked Yourself: -“A Sit-On-Top kayak (SOT) is more comfortable than a Sit-In Kayak (SIK)” That may be true if you feel comfortable sitting on a paddle board that offers you absolutely ne protection from water or weather, and has has holes (‘scupper holes’) going from its deck down through its hulls and below waterline. These holes were put there to drain the water that’s nearly always present on the deck from because of spray and waves, but they obviously conduct water in the other direction too — Read more »


Thrust in Electric Trolling Motors for Fishing Kayak

Thrust is a unit of measurement that manufacturers of electric trolling motors for fishing kayaks and other boats use to describe propulsion capability. Thrust is measured in units of weight. In the USA it’s usually pounds (lb.). This can be confusing, since we often tend to think of propulsion in motion terms, or in horsepower (HP). Before going further, we’d better clarify what weight and thrust have in common — Read more >


What To Carry On Board Your Fishing Kayak

by Jeff McGovern
A kayak is not a bass boat, bay boat, or a flats boat when it comes to hauling equipment. While a kayak can fill most boating roles, space is limited– so serious thought is needed as to what to carry. You outfit your boat according to the needs you have in your own fishing area. My fishing time is split between saltwater and freshwater in Florida. The gear is similar, except for the tackle changes normally associated between the two types of fishing. Safety gear is first — Read more >


Kayak Fishing From the Mounted (Riding) Position

While the advantages of fishing standing are pretty obvious to most fishermen many who haven’t tried the W Riding (mounted) position may wonder what’s so special about it, and why it is considered so advantageous when compared to the traditional L kayaking position or to fishing seated in a canoe. The answer is that it has to do with how much support you have for your casting and reeling-in efforts, as well as when you’re fighting a strong fish: The result of every physical effort you make, whether it’s jumping, running, pulling or throwing something depends on the kind of support —  Read more >


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 — Read more >


What Color and Form for My Fishing Kayak?

The color question keeps coming back and probably would forever.
If you’re just paddling you probably want a bright yellow kayak that will be the most visible to fast motorboats drivers. If you’re hunting or bird watching you’d better choose a dark green or camouflaged kayak, for obvious reasons. The answer becomes more complicated when it comes to fishing – From an underwater perspective the color of a surface object is a minimal issue. Flash and shine are more likely to cause a reaction among fish, as well as sudden motion and noise. Having said that — Read more >


Headwind and Side Wind – Paddling in Strong Wind Without a Rudder

W kayakers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, mainly because it tracks well and offers various means for power-paddling and counter-affecting the wind. Here are some tips that can improve your W kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind — Read more >


The Yak Back – What Your Fishing Kayak Shouldn’t Do To You

The ‘Yak Back’ is a popular name given to a condition caused by paddling traditional sit-in and SOT kayaks, and fishing from them. The ‘Yak Back’ symptoms include leg numbness and cramps, discomfort in the hips and buttocks, pressure and pain in the lower back (lumbar) area, and premature fatigue. Paddlers and fishermen suffering from Yak back feel a strong urge to change positions, stand up, walk, and stretch. Early Yak Back symptoms can appear as early as half an hour from launching, and they tend to aggravate as the hours go by.
It is not uncommon that people who paddle sit-in and SOT kayaks and fish from them develop a chronic Yak Back condition —  Read more >


Getting Trapped Inside 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 — Read more >


Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?

This article examines issues related to the seaworthiness of kayaks in general and of sea kayaks in particular, and discusses an alternative approach to sea kayak seaworthiness based on the new W Kayak concept — Read more >


Common Kayak Injuries

Paddling a common kayak, be it a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak or a sit-in kayak (SIK) involves being seated in the non-ergonomic L position, as well as paddling it in the traditional kayaking style that requires typical, repetitive motion. Both can lead to various injuries. Lower Back Pain – Traditional kayak paddling technique, a.k.a. kayaking is based on torso rotation initiated from your hips. This motion is impossible to perform while you’re leaning backward (“slouching”) and it’s best performed while  — Read more >


Technical Stuff

Clamp Mounted Side Mount For Fishing Kayak Electric Trolling Motor

Various vendors offer clamp mounts for electric trolling motors, for canoes. Some of these motor mounts fit our W500 kayak. Here is an example of such mount that works with our W500…. DIY Clamp Mounted Mount For Electric Trolling Motor – Here is a schematic description of an easy to make DIY clamp mount for an electric trolling motor for your W500 fishing kayak —


How to Avoid and Repair Scratches in Your Kayak

Going with your kayak over oyster beds, shells, sharp rocks, broken glass, metal debris and even concrete ramps can get its hull scratched. In most cases such scratches are negligible, and you need not pay attention to them. However, if you want to avoid getting your kayak scratched you’d better watch out for signs of such potential hazards in the water – especially if you’re fishing or paddling in shallow water —


Kayak Side Flotation- How it Works and Why Use it

Most W Kayak models come equipped with one, two, and even three pairs of detachable flotation modules. A flotation module is a 5 ft long plastic foam ‘noodle’ with a bungee cord going through its core. The bungee hooks at its ends enable attaching the module to Nylon eyelets around the cockpit. The flotation modules are essentially recovery accessories: In case you capsized your W kayak, flotation modules attached to its side (see figure below) can help preventing it from overturning, and if your kayak is overturned they help keeping it afloat, and by that make it easier for you to turn it back. In some cases, when your W kayak is laying on its side, the presence of a single flotation module or better – a pair of such modules under the top side of the lower hull can lead to the boat righting itself, and this is how it works —


Wheels For Fishing Kayak Transportation

This article presents different approaches to transporting your kayak on land.
In most cases, you won’t need wheels for your W kayak, as you’ll just drag it from your vehicle to your launching spot, and back. But if you must carry it over long stretches of asphalt or concrete pavement, you may want to consider shielding its hulls from excessive abrasion by attaching the lid of a plastic bin to the part of its hulls that come in contact with the pavement. It’s an inexpensive, easy, and lightweight solution, and the lid can fold easily, so you can store it in one of the hull tips when you’re fishing and paddling.
The drawback of dragging a kayak is that it’s not as easy as transporting it on wheels. Kayak anglers have different fishing styles, and they fish in different environments. This fact, as well as logistic issues, affects the way they rig their fishing kayak with wheels (or a single wheel), a kayak trolley, cart or a simple mat.
What you need from your fishing kayak wheels — Read More »


Detachable Flotation For Fishing Kayak

Flotation is a useful means of recovery for kayaks and other small craft.
Depending on where it is added to the kayak and how much of it is used, it can assist you in recovering your W kayak, and in preventing it from sinking if it gets filled with water. When attached below the kayak’s saddle (Fig. 1-3) the flotation will keep the kayak floating if it gets overturned, or if water gets into the hulls. However, having the flotation attached to the sides of the craft is more effective: When attached on the kayak’s sides (see Fig 4) the flotation modules work both to – a. Stop the kayak from overturning, and –
b. Help the kayak right itself, even without your help. If your W kayak kayak is lying on its side (it should right itself, in principle), side flotation will assist you in turning it back, and recovering it. If you happen to flip your W kayak over —


Ergonomics and Biomechanics in Kayaks

The Problem – Ergonomics is a science also known as Human Factors Engineering. The problem is simple, and sooner or later practically any kayaker and kayak fisherman faces it: Spending long hours paddling and fishing in or on top of an ordinary kayak (sit-in or sit-on-top) 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 pain relief patches and drugs…
After you begin seeking information about your problem and advice on ways to solve it you realize that the only thing that really works —


Kayak Hydrodynamics, Hydrostatics and Biomechanics As Speed Factors

Our 11’4″ long W500 kayak is reported to be as fast as a 13′ long touring kayak, which may appear to be a contradiction to those who are not familiar with naval design, especially with the hydrodynamic science of it, or with recent years’ speed achievements of multi-hulled (I.E. catamarans and trimarans) sailing and power boats —


Other Stuff

Fishing Kayak Reviews

Not all reviews have value for prospective fishing kayak buyers. For a fishing kayak review to have any interest for you to read and consider, you need to see that it fulfills the basic requirements of Credibility and Relevance, and preferably have some Breadth and Depth.
1. Credibility – You should never trust fishing kayak reviews posted by an anonymous person, under alias, a user ID, etc. That review may have been created and published by an individual who’s involved in a business relationship with certain fishing kayaks manufacturers, distributors, or retailers —
2. Relevance -You should always ask yourself whether the review, or the perspective of the individual who wrote it is of any relevance to you personally. Some fishing kayaks may get enthusiastic reviews by people who have fishing styles that are totally different from yours, and benefit from a physical condition and skills that are considerably different from yours….


The Evolution of the Kayak (pdf)

Traditional vs. Modern Kayaking – From Survival and Utilitarian Use to Recreational Applications
1. THE ORIGINS OF MODERN KAYAKS – In the beginning of the twentieth century kayaks were practically unknown to the wide public. They were self designed, hand made personal paddling boats used by native people of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, in Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Siberia, mainly for
hunting marine and land animals. These peoples seldom fished from their kayaks and hardly ever used them for recreation. They preferred to paddle their kayaks in protected waters —


Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad Range, High Performance Kayaks

Raising the Bar in Kayak Design and Performance: New Standards For The Third Millennium – This article discusses the changes in kayak design, usage and performance over the past century and in recent years.
Part 5 – Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad-Range, High Performance Kayaks – 1. THE ENVELOPE OF KAYAK DESIGN IN THE MICRONAUTICAL CONTEXT – Ordinary multihull kayak designs offer increased stability but at a price of reducing speed and mobility, and without improving ergonomics. In this sense those designs didn’t really expand the envelope of kayak performance, since the basic tradeoffs that characterized it remained the same —


Mobility: The New Dimension in Kayak Design

KAYAK MOBILITY DEFINED – Anybody can understand that a 4×4 off-road SUV is more mobile than a common, two-wheel drive car. Most people realize that a skin-on-frame Inuit kayak is less durable than a modern plastic kayak, and you couldn’t paddle it in some of the places that you’re used to paddle in. But what does mobility mean when it comes to modern kayaks? It basically has to do with whatever limits kayakers and kayak fishermen from going where they want to: Such limits include spots that are too difficult to launch your kayak from, or too difficult to beach it in. Other limits can be water that’s too difficult to paddle in because of currents, waves, ice, vegetation or submerged obstacles such as wooden logs or rocks —


Demo and Instruction Movies

W Kayak Demo Movies

Watching all these movies will change your view of what a kayak should and can do for you. W500 Series – John’s Camo W500 Kayak Rigged for Fishing – Launching and Stand Up Paddling From Your Standpoint —

 

 


First Serious Fishing Kayak Article in the Mainstream Fishing Media

We salute Kevin Blinkoff, the editor of On The Water – The Angler’s Guide for writing and publishing the first serious article on the subject of choosing a fishing kayak to be published in a fishing magazine.

-Why ‘First Serious Article’?

Some fishing and kayak fishing magazines have published information about our W  fishing kayaks in their ‘New Product’ and ‘Buyer’s Guide’ sections, but On The Water is the first fishing magazine to mention them in a full featured article about a broad range subject such as this.

Unlike all other authors and editors in this field, it seems Kevin looked at the real world, and wrote about things he saw, and not just about the stuff that’s in the minds of kayak marketers with deep pockets full of advertising dollars, which is what other editors prefer to write about and publish.

Kevin writes and publishes for his readers, as it should be, so he didn’t try to conceal the existence of W kayaks from his readers just because Wavewalk doesn’t advertise with his magazine.
Note: The image that was chosen for the article is of a W300 and not a W500 fishing kayak, but it still looks cool. Stuff happens, and this is a minor technical glitch…

W500 fishing kayak in On The Water Magazine article

Kevin mentions the importance of stability in fishing kayaks, which proves he knows what he’s talking about, but we think he should have also covered the big problem of poor ergonomics in fishing kayaks (except W kayaks…), but maybe that’s a subject for a future article 🙂

Kayak Fishing Market Trends 2000-2010

The notion that kayak fishing is booming has been repeated for years by various interested parties, but a search in Google News archives revealed these intriguing facts:

1. From 1990, the number of news articles about kayak fishing kept increasing, and it peaked in 2007.

2. Since 2007, the number of published news articles about kayak fishing has kept decreasing. In fact, the number of news articles about kayak fishing in 2009 was lower than its level in 2004.

This chart was taken from a screen shot of the Google page above:

Kayak fishing news trends 2000-2010

Interestingly, the number of websites and blogs related to kayak fishing has visibly gone up in the past decade, as part of the media explosion brought by the Internet. In addition, big and small kayak manufacturers have focused on the kayak fishing market in every way they could, and tried to bring the public’s attention to their products by all means.

So what’s the reason for this decrease in media coverage of kayak fishing in the past two years?

The first explanation that comes to mind is that it could be related to the economic recession, but does it make sense? The recreational fishing boat market has been severely hit, but what kayak manufacturers and other vendors and affiliated professionals have been saying is that now, more then ever, a kayak offers a the cheap way to go fishing, and consequently, they expected sales of fishing kayaks and to go through the roof, and interest in kayak fishing to explode. They even promoted the idea of stand-up kayak fishing from their obviously inadequate kayaks, thinking the public would go for it.

However, we think, as we’ve stated in the past, that many kayak anglers quit practicing kayak fishing after some time, as they find it to be less rewarding than they had initially hoped it would be. Usually, the kayak angler’s expectation is to be able to spend a few hours on the water, having fun catching fish, while the reality in many cases is that doing so results in a sore back, an aching butt, and numb legs – on top of being wet, especially if you fish from a SOT kayak.

In other words, a significant proportion of kayak anglers drops from the sport, and it could be that their numbers are now equal to, or exceed the number of new kayak anglers who enter the sport. Consequently, the public’s level of interest in kayak fishing has begun to decline, and the lower level of media exposure reflects this trend.

At Wavewalk, we’ve experienced a totally different reality, with sales increasing year after year at a faster pace, and 2009 being a boom year. Read more >>

This success has to do with the fact that our W kayaks offer a truly good user experience, less fatigue, no back pain or any other physical pain and discomfort, plus they’re stable enough to offer stand-up kayak fishing in confidence and safety.

Related article: Read more about web search trends for kayak fishing >>