Tag Archive: Australia

One step at a time

By Dario Lazaric

Melbourne, Australia

I haven’t been in a lot of kayaks before.
I’ve been out with my wavewalk a couple of times, even caught a fish. Stood up, paddled, good fun.
It was tough paddling against the wind and waves, but I’m very happy with it, and it can do much more than in the conditions I took it out in.
Will take it out again sometime when the wind isn’t too strong. I want to get the motor on board as well, but one step at a time. I need to get an anchor, how do I attach it?
Very happy with it. I feel very safe and happy in the wavewalk.

 

walking-the-kayak-to-the-water

 

first-time-out-in-the-W700

 

mercury-4hp-outboard-motor

4 hp mercury outboard. Fitting the transom mount

 

outboard-propeller-draft

20″ propeller shaft

 

wheels-for-motorized-kayak

Will need wheels to carry the wavewalk to the beach with the motor attached to it.


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Wavewalk 700 Z in Melbourne, Australia

By Dario Lazaric

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

If you want something done do it yourself. Wavewalk 700 Down under  🙂
I decided to pick up myself, and here it is safe in the backyard shed, waiting for the 20″ shaft 4 HP Mercury outboard that I ordered for it. I’m going to paddle round a bit before I attach it to the kayak and go fishing in the ocean.

Wavewalk 700 on the way to its new home in Melbourne, AUS

 

Wavewalk 700 arrived in Melbourne, Australia Wavewalk 700 in its new home in Melbourne Victoria Australia Wavewalk 700 Melbourne Australia Wavewalk 700 Z in the box - Australia Wavewalk Down Under


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Blue Edge Sports is a scam. Not Wavewalk’s dealer

Disclaimer –

To whom it may concern –

Blue Edge Sports was never affiliated with Wavewalk in any way

Wavewalk, Inc., the manufacturer of Wavewalk® kayaks, boats and accessories has neither dealers nor distributors in Australia. We sell Wavewalk® kayaks directly to our Australian clients through our Australyak service.

The Australian entity that called itself “Blue Edge Sports” has never been Wavewalk’s distributor in Australia, and it was never affiliated with our company in any way. Blue Edge Sports just offered for sale some Wavewalk 500 kayaks that it had purchased from a local person who had imported them to Australia back in 2012. The owner of Blue Edge Sports did that without our company’s approval.

Despite the fact that Wavewalk never recognized Blue Edge Sports as its dealer or distributor, and despite the fact that Blue Edge Sports is no longer an active business entity, Matt Ginnivan, the owner of Blue Edge Sports openly claims on his company’s Facebook page that he is an authorized dealer of our company. This is a blatant lie, and his claim is fraudulent.

Since Blue Edge Sports was not an authorized Wavewalk® dealer, and anyone who bought them did so at their own risk.
Accessories offered for sale by Blue Edge Sports as Wavewalk accessories were not original ones, and our company does not have any information about who made them, or how they were made.

Blue Edge Sports never bought any kayaks or accessories directly from the Wavewalk company.

Blue Edge Sports has crafted a website and a Facebook page that intentionally gave their visitors the false impression that they are visiting the website and Facebook page of Wavewalk’s official or otherwise recognized distributor in Australia, although our company had nothing to do with Blue Edge Sports.
Blue Edge Sports’ website and Facebook page have propagated blatantly false and intentionally misleading information, including expressions such as “Wavewalk Australia”,  despite the fact that we had warned Blue Edge Sports from the beginning that we are opposed to such deceptive activities, and that their use of such misleading terms and expressions is not an acceptable business practice, and it is both unfair and deceptive to Australian customers. Unfortunately, all we achieved so far was to limit Blue Edge Sports‘ use of Wavewalk’s logos and copyrighted material.

Since Blue Edge Sports hasn’t had any standing as a Wavewalk distributor, they faced problems convincing clients to buy kayaks from them. This must have been the reason why they advertised lies on their website, namely that they heard (quote): “horror stories of custom fees, damaged goods and long waits“, although in reality none of the kayaks we’ve shipped to Australia has ever been damaged, and we ship our Australian clients’ orders shortly after we receive them and the payment for them.

Blue Edge Sports bought in 2012 a small number of W500 kayaks from the person who had ordered them from us, and we think that they have run out of stock. We have no intention to sell our W500 and W700 kayaks to Blue Edge Sports, and we’re looking to recruit an official authorized distributor and authorized dealers in Australia. We advise any person or company in Australia who is interested in distributing our products in this country to ignore Blue Edge Sports’ activities and false claims, and to contact us  »


A stable kayak for photography

wildlife photographer in stable kayak looking through telescopic lens 120

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, paddling, motorizing, and just waiting in place, patiently, and they have or should have special requirements from a kayak –
The photographer needs to be comfortable in their kayak, and not suffer from the typical physiological issues these basic vessels are associated with, which are lower back pain (a symptom know as ‘yak back’), leg numbness, leg cramps, and in extreme cases even sciatica.  In order to avoid suffering from these problems, the photographer should avoid being  seated in the L position, which is the traditional kayaking position at the root of these problems. Sitting in positions that are similar engenders similar ergonomic problems as well as others that range from increased instability to bad circulation in the legs.
Wetness is yet another problem associated with sit-in, sit-on-top (SOT), and hybrid kayaks (hybrid canoe-kayak), since they don’t offer sufficient protection to their passengers, and most SOT kayaks even let water get on their decks and passenger sitting area through vertical tubes ironically dubbed ‘scupper holes’…

Currently, W kayaks are the only ones that offer their passengers to sit in the comfortable and stable Riding position – high, free of back pain, and dry.

Standing up

It is imperative for wildlife kayak photographers to be able to stand up at will, with no need for particular efforts in getting up, standing, balancing and sitting down.
Standing up must be possible anytime and anywhere, regardless of wind, eddies, etc. , and this is true even if the photographer is middle aged or elderly and not particularly athletic. Standing up in your kayak is important as means for you to relax, stretch  and overcome fatigue, as it’s important for scouting and shooting photos above the grass and vegetation. This obvious, common-sense requirement rules out all kayaks for this matter, except ones from the Wavewalk’s 500 series.

Practically speaking, there is no way or reason to dissociate the user experience in ergonomic terms from their experience of comfort based on the kayak’s stability, or lack thereof. A kayak that’s insufficiently stable, as most kayaks are, is by definition and practice uncomfortable and not suitable for photography, and no sensible wildlife photographer should consider using it.

This video demonstrates the W500 kayak’s unrivaled stability. Note how simple, easy and intuitive it is to get up and stand in it, sit down instantly, regain balance while standing and riding the saddle, and all while the cockpit and kayaker in it stay dry:

Range of motion

Ergonomics isn’t just about comfort, which traditional kayaks offer too little of. It’s also about the user’s range of motion – Imagine yourself seated in a traditional sit-in or SOT kayak, holding your precious camera in both hands, trying to follow with the lens a bird flying above you… Chances are you’d lose balance and overturn your kayak, or stop trying to shoot that bird simply because your kayak isn’t stable enough, and your ability to balance it is limited by the fact that you’re sitting in the L position, with your legs stretched forward. In contrast, the Wavewalk 500 offers you a much higher degree of stability, a better way to stabilize yourself while riding its saddle, and consequently a full range of motion, as you can turn sideways and backward, as well as raise your glance upward and look over your shoulder with no fear of losing balance.

Mobility- a kayak that takes you where you want to go

Mobility is is yet another key factor in using a kayak for photography – It’s not just about launching and beaching in difficult spots, but also about paddling (and poling) in shallow water as well as in areas where paddling can be obstructed by vegetation and obstacles such as rocks and fallen trees.  In this sense, you need a kayak that offers you an easy way to go where other kayaks prevent you from going, including over rocks and fallen tree trunks, and the only kayak that does that is the W500, as demonstrated in these videos:

1. This video features the W500 –

2. This older video features an early version of the now discontinued W300 model, which was smaller and less stable than the current W500 series –

Practically, you may not need to travel through such difficult waters, but you need to be aware of the fact that unlike the W500, traditional kayaks of all types offer limited mobility, which could restrict you.

Storing your photographic gear on board your kayak

Photographers need ample storage space for their photographic equipment, which includes cameras, tripods and lenses, which must be kept dry. This is a problem when all kayaks are concerned, except the W500. This unique kayak offer several times more storage space than any other kayak may offer, and its storage space is internal, meaning that it’s dry and protected from unwanted moisture, such as eddies spraying water on a SOT kayak’s deck, or waves splashing inside a sit-in kayak (SIK). A W500 loaded with 200 lbs offers 13 inches of free board – several times more than any other kayak does. Moreover, since the W500 does not feature hatches for storage but rather single, big, continuous space in the cockpit and hull tips, the photographer using this kayak enjoys unrestrained access to their gear, which isn’t the case for gear stored in kayak hatches. The W500’s storage space offers you to customize it through the use of containers of various size and shape, according to your specific needs. Some W500 models feature a preparation for a cockpit cover, which offers additional protection without presenting any of the inconveniences that spray skirts create.

Transporting and carrying your kayak

Kayaks need to be car topped, and they also need to be carried to the water and back from it to your vehicle. If you’re serious about wildlife photography, chances are that getting from your vehicle to the water could involve going over a significant distance, and often in difficult terrain. Both car topping and carrying (a.k.a. portaging) preclude the use of typical sit-in, SOT and hybrid fishing kayaks that are designed to offer more stability through sheer size: Such extra-wide kayaks are too heavy to be practical – Some of them weigh 80 lbs, and others up to 120 lbs, and since your photographic equipment can be heavy too (how much does your tripod weigh?…) you’d be effectively prevented from taking trips to places you could easily reach with a W500, which weighs only 60 lbs, and can be loaded with gear and simply pulled by a leash, like a sled, even in difficult terrain. If you don’t like the idea of dragging your W kayak on the ground, outfitting it with a single transportation wheel or a pair of such wheels is a breeze.

The W500 weighs 60 lbs

The following video shows how simple and easy it is to load a W500 kayak on top of a car:

Propelling your kayak

Paddling your kayak while looking for a subject worth photographing is fun if it’s done on flat water, or over relatively short distances, but when it comes to long trips and long distances, especially in moving water, motorizing your kayak is an idea that’s worth your consideration.  This article is not the right place to discuss all aspects involved in motorizing your kayak for photography, but it’s worth mentioning that while electric motors are silent and offer the advantage of stealth, gas outboard motors are a better solution for covering long distances in moving water, and you can enjoy stealth when you need it by reverting to your paddle.  In any case, using a kayak equipped with a pedal drive is the least productive idea because doing so wouldn’t necessarily increase your range of travel,  using such kayaks in shallow water where aquatic vegetation is abundant is impractical since those kayaks draft more, and their moving flaps and propellers get entangled in weeds. Too bad that such shallow water and vegetation-rich environments are great for photographing aquatic wildlife…

Camouflage

Kayaks from the W500 series are offered in three standard colors – Yellow, green (teal), and sand (tan, caramel). The green and sand colors blend well with aquatic environments that are popular with wildlife photographers. These colors are also good as base for camo colors and patterns. Camouflaging a kayak is very easy if you use spray paint for outdoor plastics such as Krylon Fusion.

Outriggers (Stabilizers)

Few people use outriggers for kayak fishing, and these accessories are even less popular among people who use kayaks for wildlife photography. In both applications, outriggers impede you, restrict your range of travel, and tend to be problematic in shallow, vegetation-rich water.

In sum, Kayak photography and kayak fishing have many things in common, and it’s possible to infer what could work for photography from reading what works for fishing, as well as from watching videos on this subject. You are welcome to visit this website, read customer reviews and articles, and watch videos contributed by clients and produced by us.

Please feel free to call or email us with any question you have about photographing from a kayak.  We look forward to your questions and comments.

Getting a Wavewalk® kayak in Australia

Since 2011, we’ve been selling Wavewalk® kayaks factory direct to clients in Australia through a service we dubbed ‘Australyak‘. We ship our clients’ orders regularly to the main ports in Australia: Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle.

Our Australian clients get all the technical and sales support they need directly from us by email and by phone, and they pay us by direct transfer (ACH) or by international check in US dollars.
We charge our Australian clients $210 US in total including insurance for shipping their W500 from the US factory to a major Australian port, and and we charge $270 for doing the same for a W700. Once we know your address we can find the cheapest way to ship the kayak to you.
We ship each Wavewalk® kayak in a custom cardboard box, for maximum protection, and our shipments are insured.
Typical transit time for such a shipment is 4 weeks, but it can take a couple of weeks more, depending on cutoff dates and other factors over which we have no control.

Once the boxed Wavewalk® kayak and accessories reach their Australian port of destination, the client has to take care of customs clearing and transportation from the port to their address. We provide our clients with all necessary documentation for customs.
Australian duty on US made kayaks is minimal thanks to the Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA), which dates back to 2004. However, our Australian clients are required to pay the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST), like they do on all other products.
Other local expenses that Australian clients need to be aware of are port taxes and fees which may vary from time to time and from one port to another, and storage fees if the client requires the box to be stored locally before picking it up.

We can also ship to inland local freight terminals where the client would pickup their box.

How we manage to offer such low shipping rates to Australian ports

Adding $210 and $270 as extra shipping fee to an Australian port helps us pay for shipping to our Australian clients –
The actual cost of shipping a boxed Wavewalk™ kayak from the US factory to a main Australian port is between $450 and $550, depending on whether it’s a W500 or W700, and on the port of destination.
However, we don’t have to charge the full cost of shipping to Australia since our kayaks are already priced with a local shipping component for our US customers. This figure rarely covers our own cost when we ship a single box to an end customer’s address in the continental US, but it does cover much of it. We use these funds to cover part of our cost of shipping to our Australian clients, so they don’t have to pay the full cost of shipping.

We have neither a national distributor nor any local dealers in Australia at this time, and we are looking to recruit such distributors. Learn more »