Tag Archive: hazard

A hazardous kayak is a sit-in kayak that’s unsafe because it’s not stable enough, or because its passenger could become entrapped inside it.
A sit-on-top (SOT) kayak can be hazardous because when water leaks into its hull it cannot be detected immediately by the kayak’s passengers.

Wade Fishing Can Be Hazardous Sometimes, By Rox Davis

July has been a slow month for me.
I was wading the Ct River for some awesome Small Mouth Bass fishing, and was rewarded with some fine Bass.
The only problem with fishing the river is slippery bottoms, especially around the ledges. I lost my footing after a long morning of wading, slipped off a boulder, and wedged my left ankle in between two rocks…
I didn’t break anything, I don’t bounce like I used to. But I had some bad cuts from the rocks’ sharp edges…. and the car was three miles down river…
I walked back, went to the ER, and they cleaned up my cuts, but the 4 1/2 lb Small Mouth Bass I caught before the fall, made the whole trip worth it.

I didn’t get back out till just last week, I was going stir crazy with no fishing since the 3rd of July.

Here are some pictures from the wading to the old yellow W300 kayak pond hopping, and from a fishing trip with my buddy to Congamond Lake in Massachusetts.

The Battles were fast and furious, Med/Hvy rod with 40lb Fireline braid made quick work pulling the bass out of the lilies and weeds.

Rox

large mouth bass caught in old fishing kayak

largemouth bass posing for a photo in old fishing kayak

nice bass from fishing trip 07-2012

big bass caught by kayak angler 07-2012.jpg

big bass caught by famous kayak angler Rox 07-2012

big bass caught by famous kayak angler Rox 07-2012


More from Rox bass fishing from her kayak >

Articles

 

This list features links to over a hundred articles published on our website since 2004.
Generally, the newest articles feature at the top of this list, and the oldest ones at the bottom of this page.

Most of these articles offer ‘How To’ or technical info on subjects related to stability, paddling, outfitting, fishing, rigging, motorizing, choosing a kayak or a motor, etc.
Other articles are about subjects ranging from kayak and boat design to skiffs, market trends, and ergonomics.

You can search our entire website by using its ‘Search’ function too.
If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

List of articles

 

  1. Wavewalk S4 review by its own designer
  2. The world’s fastest kayak
  3. 10 good reasons to motorize your kayak
  4. Portable boats
  5. The smallest and greatest skiff
  6. Developments in Motorized Kayaks
  7. Wakes are fun?
  8. How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor?
  9. Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4
  10. Testing 15″ short (S) shaft outboard motor performance with Wavewalk kayaks and boats, By Captain Larry Jarboe
  11. How to measure an outboard motor’s propeller shaft length?
  12. Watertight riveting in kayaks and boats
  13. Choosing an outboard motor for your Wavewalk® 700 skiff
  14. Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk® fishing kayaks and boats
  15. Aluminum rivets in fishing kayaks and boats
  16. Kayaks and Boats, Kayak vs. Boat
  17. Happy Birthday W700!
  18. Keeping the cockpit of your Wavewalk dry at sea
  19. Personal Catamaran
  20. Paddling in Strong Wind
  21. Outriggers
  22. Pedal drive for my fishing kayak?
  23. Review of my Wavewalk 700
  24. Flats boat or bass boat, or something else?
  25. Steering motorized fishing kayaks and small boats
  26. Boat stability in a kayak
  27. Microskiff
  28. KAYAK TOURING
  29. Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan
  30. A better two-person fishing boat
  31. Bass fishing in Ontario, By Boyd Smith
  32. Why I became a Wavewalk kayak owner, By Michael Chesloff
  33. Fishing offshore – the next frontier
  34. More is less in your fishing kayak’s cockpit – Too much stuff and too little fishability
  35. The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside
  36. Wavewalk kayak tracking a plus in strong tidal current, By Art Myjak
  37. Whatever floats your boat – flotation for fishing kayaks
  38. What makes the Wavewalk 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?
  39. A stable kayak for photography
  40. How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?
  41. Dog on board
  42. Smarter electric motors and Lithium-Ion batteries – A winning combination for kayak fishing, By Gary Thorberg
  43. Ocean Kayak Fishing
  44. Your boat trailer, the abominable fishing-time guzzler
  45. Kayak fishing with disabilities
  46. Motorize your fishing kayak?
  47. About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.
  48. Storage: How Much Gear Can You Store Inside a Wavewalk 500 Fishing Kayak?
  49. Do Not Overload Your Fishing Kayak
  50. A Fair-Weather Fishing Kayak…
  51. A Brief History Of Kayak Fishing – Past, Present, and Foreseeable Future
  52. Fishing Kayak Stability
  53. About Kayak Fishing In Tandem…
  54. The Hybrid Fishing Kayak – Facts, Hype and Plain Nonsense
  55. Motorizing Your Kayak – Why, How, What Etc…
  56. More About Dangers To Kayakers and Kayak Anglers in Warm, Fresh Water
  57. How to Keep Your W500 Fishing Kayak Cockpit Dry
  58. THE BARGE – A NEW CLASS OF FISHING KAYAKS
  59. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Aesthetics and Performance in Fishing Kayak Design
  60. Kayak Fishing As An Extreme Sport
  61. Too Much Storage In A Fishing Kayak…
  62. What Is kayak Back Pain, And What Does It Mean For You?
  63. Paddle vs. Pedal Drive in Fishing Kayaks
  64. Resting in Your Fishing Kayak – Don’t Fall Asleep!
  65. More Storage Than Any Other Kayak: The W500
  66. Lumbar Spine and Kayak Back Pain: Facts
  67. Some Practical Advice About Rigging Your Fishing Kayak
  68. Kayak Fishing Safety: Is It safe To Paddle An Uncomfortable Kayak And Fish From It?
  69. Stretching in Your Kayak to Relief Fatigue and Pain, and Improve Circulation
  70. Stand Up Kayak Fishing and Paddling – For Real
  71. Kayaking Back Pains and Leg Numbness
  72. Fishability – How Fishable Are Kayaks?
  73. How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak
  74. Rigging Your Wavewalk Kayak With a Milk Crate – Is it Necessary?
  75. Lures for Bass Kayak Fishing, By Roxanne Davis
  76. Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison, By Jeff McGovern
  77. Casting From A W Fishing Kayak Compared To Casting From Sit-In and SOT Fishing Kayaks, By Jeff McGovern
  78. How Effective Can Fishing Kayaks’ Outriggers Be?
  79. What Makes The Wavewalk The Stablest Fishing Kayak
  80. Are SOT Kayaks Safe For Offshore Fishing?
  81. Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If? (Stuff Happens)
  82. About Rudders and Fishing Kayaks
  83. Saltwater Fishing Gear Maintenance, By Jeff McGovern
  84. Kayak Fishing With Children
  85. Stability in Fishing Kayaks – Problems and Solutions
  86. How to Choose a Fishing Kayak That’s Best For You
  87. Back Pain, Good Posture and Kayak Fishing
  88. The Wavewalk Kayak Combat Position For Fighting a Big Fish
  89. Paddling and Kayak Fishing in Cold Water and Weather
  90. Whether paddling or fishing in your kayak, try to stay dry
  91. Fishing Standing in a Kayak
  92. Kayak Fishing in Shallow Water
  93. Common Kayak Fishing Myths, Tales and Hype
  94. Thrust in Electric Trolling Motors for Fishing Kayak
  95. What To Carry On Board Your Fishing Kayak, By Jeff McGovern
  96. Kayak Fishing From the Mounted (Riding) Position
  97. Southern Kayak Fishermen’s Complaints
  98. What Color and Form for My Fishing Kayak?
  99. Headwind and Side Wind – Paddling in Strong Wind Without a Rudder
  100. The Yak Back – What Your Fishing Kayak Shouldn’t Do To You
  101. Getting Trapped Inside a Kayak
  102. Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?
  103. Common Kayak Injuries
  104. Clamp Mounted Side Mount For Fishing Kayak Electric Trolling Motor
  105. How to Avoid and Repair Scratches in Your Kayak
  106. Kayak Side Flotation- How it Works and Why Use it
  107. Wheels For Fishing Kayak Transportation
  108. Detachable Flotation For Fishing Kayak
  109. Ergonomics and Biomechanics in Kayaks
  110. Kayak Hydrodynamics, Hydrostatics and Biomechanics As Speed Factors
  111. Fishing Kayak Reviews
  112. The Evolution of the Kayak
  113. Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad Range, High Performance Kayaks
  114. Mobility: The New Dimension in Kayak Design
  115. Wavewalk Demo Movies

THE BARGE – A NEW CLASS OF FISHING KAYAKS

The title of this piece should have been: “The Barge – A New Class of Fishing Kayaks, And Why It’s Even Worse Than You Imagine”… But long headlines are not elegant, so it got cut.

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”.

Manufacturers and vendors who offer barge kayaks often claim their products are so stable that you can stand up and fish from them. Some vendors would even get some dude to perform stability tricks in front of a camera, while standing up on their barge kayak, but few people fall for this kind of advertisement, and those who do soon learn not to trust improbable advertising, and they learn it the wet way, after they fall overboard :D…

So far, I don’t think I’ve provided any information that’s new to the reader, but I had to lay the foundation for this article on a common and solid basis, so bear with me.

Here is the main point of this article:

Barge Kayaks are Hazardous to Paddle and Fish From

Seriously, they can be, and that’s because fishing kayaks are used by real, everyday people like yourself, in real, everyday conditions. Life is neither a commercial video, nor a glossy ad.

Everyday people are not Olympic paddling champs, and they’re often both overweight to some extent, and not very fit. The average kayak angler is middle aged, and many kayak anglers are elderly folks. Unfortunately, these are the same people who would normally purchase a barge yak, because they are concerned about the instability of narrow sit-in and SOT kayaks, and may not want to pay for a W kayak.

So why is a slow and hard to paddle fishing kayak potentially hazardous for such people?

Simply because in the natural world, which is where real people paddle and fish, you’re bound to get into unfavorable circumstances – sooner or later, unless you paddle and fish in a tiny pond, preferably close to home. Such circumstances usually involve changes in the weather, and since everyone has experienced such things, there’s no point to elaborate on that.

When bad weather happens while you’re seated in your kayak, you’d rather not overturn it, of course, and it is assumed that barge kayaks can normally handle this challenge – not always, and not as well as W kayaks, though… unlike other kayaks that are too unstable for that. However, if you happen to be away from shore in bad weather, being in a barge kayak could turn out to be a bad experience for you, and it may even lead to an accident, because you could find yourself unable to get back to your launching spot, or worse – go back to shore in any part of it. If back to shore means getting back to a beach, and the place you’re paddling and fishing in is the ocean, or a big lake, you’re in trouble. Big time.

This is because big bodies of water (E.G. ocean, lake, big river) also have currents in them, and the combination of wind and current is just too powerful for you to deal with when you’re paddling a barge kayak. Waves would likely swamp you. You won’t be able to direct the kayak to safety, and you’d be drifting somewhere you don’t want to go to. When this happens, you may find yourself in an even worse situation as night comes.

So try to imagine yourself wet, cold and exhausted from useless paddling efforts, your back is killing you, and you’re drifting somewhere in the darkness, in your barge yak.  Scary, eh?

Again, the heavier, older, and less fit you are, the higher the chances you’d let some kayak dealer sell you a barge yak, and at the same time the heavier, older and less fit you are, the more likely you are to get in trouble because you’re paddling such a vessel…

Well, life is unfair, sometimes, especially to those who don’t take it seriously, and don’t imagine worse case scenarios that unfortunately are part of many outdoor recreational sports, including kayaking and kayak fishing.

It doesn’t make much difference whether you propel your barge yak with a paddle or a pedal drive – You’s better not venture too far from shore with it, especially in unfavorable weather circumstances, or when there’s a good chance that the weather could change for the worse, because such change may very well be unfavorable, and even dangerous to you.

Resting in Your Fishing Kayak

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, although it may be tempting because of the stability and comfort the W500 fishing kayak offers, we do not recommend it because you could fall asleep, which is hazardous.

If there’s a slight chance that you might fall asleep in your kayak, you’d better be anchored in water that’s very shallow, that is enough for you stand in safely and comfortably in case you go overboard. By shallow we mean not more than knee deep. Remember: stuff happens is not just a phrase – it’s real life, which can be cruel. Deep water is dangerous enough even when you’re fully awake, and believe it or not – it’s possible to drown in water that you can stand in.

Falling asleep in your kayak involves taking the risk of being exposed to predators, such as alligators or sharks in the water, and bears and other large size land predators on the nearby shore. Statistics can be composed of improbable events.

Sleeping in a kayak that’s not solidly anchored in place is particularly hazardous, because you might drift too far from shore, or into deep or turbulent water, or to an area that can be otherwise dangerous to you.

Taking a nap in your kayak is extremely perilous when the water is cold, because falling in such water while you’re asleep might cause a shock, quickly followed by hypothermia, which can lead to the inability to move, and thus be lethal.

If your paddle is not properly secured in case you fall asleep in your kayak, the result could be more than awkward, since losing it would prevent you from paddling back to shore in time before darkness, or before a storm.

Sleeping in a kayak with hooks and bait around could cause you to hook yourself, or attract some unwanted visitors…

Always, and in all circumstances, leave your PFD on. Wearing your PFD is your best policy against drowning.

Avoid falling asleep in your kayak especially if there’s even a slight chance of a fast motorboat going by. Even if the driver can see you and avoid a collision with your fishing kayak, the wake their motorboat leaves could make you lose balance and fall overboard, and even capsize your kayak if you panic.

Although some irresponsible kayak anglers say that wearing waders is OK when you’re kayak fishing, it is not. It’s one thing to plan testing a concept in a controlled environment such as in one’s swimming pool, and a totally different thing to have to deal with a problem in real life, which tends to catch you by surprise. Therefore, falling asleep in your kayak while you’re wearing waders is much more dangerous.

Never drink alcohol on board a fishing kayak (or any other small watercraft for that matter), and don’t use mind altering substances or drugs. Remember – drowning is easier than you think. Being drowsy while operating a small watercraft can be enough to cause a fatal accident, and many deaths by drowning are related to substance abuse.

Don’t take the risk of falling asleep in direct sun on a hot and bright day. Being asleep won’t prevent you from getting a sun stroke, and paddling while you’re sun stricken and dehydrated can be very hard, and might even prevent you from making it back to shore.

Falling asleep in your kayak while there’s no one else around is more dangerous. Generally, it’s highly recommended to go kayak fishing and paddling in a group, because it’s safer.

Kayak angler lying down in his W500 fishing kayak

The reader should remember this list of recommendations is partial, as the author cannot possibly cover all potential risks involved in taking a nap in your kayak, as those risks are multiple and varied.

Bottom line: Do whatever you can to avoid falling asleep in your kayak.



Getting Trapped in a Kayak

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

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

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

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