Tag Archive: kayak paddling

Review of the Wavewalk S4 – first impression

By Rafael Francke



Rafael owns a catamaran yacht that he and his wife Heidi designed. For the past six years Rafael and his family have used a Wavewalk 500 as a tender boat for it, as well as a versatile fun boat, which they sailed with a DIY outrigger.
Rafael was looking to replace his Wavewalk 500 with a bigger Wavewalk 700, but he decided to order an S4 as soon as he heard that we were planning to offer such a boat. Rafael and his family waited patiently for several months for the S4 project to materialize, and they were among the first to receive their order. This is Rafael’s “first impression” review of his Wavewalk S4-

Outboard motor: I had no problem at all.

Sailing by wind: I tested the W S4 in light wind, and it handles very nice. Sailing without a rudder, and without a dagger board, I can control the direction by moving my location in the W S4 front and aft.

Very easy seating on the saddle.

Paddle: Too bad I didn’t order an extra long paddle, because I found that my common 8 ft kayak paddle was too short.

The W S4 is more stable than I expected. It’s a real pleasure.

One of our friends likes the S4 and he’s thinking of getting one too.





Read how a few weeks later, Rafael’s S4 survived a car accident, and how he repaired it »

UPDATE (August)

After Rafael repaired his S4, he and his family started using it in various applications –

Says Rafael: –
“The S-4 is alive and well, in the picture, last week the S-4 is decorated for a dinghy party.
There is a lot of interest in it.
In two days the S-4 is going on a camping trip to Oregon to see the Eclipse. We hope to use it on Shasta lake.
When on the water the S-4 is a very stable boat, using the 3 hp Yamaha it moves very nice.
It is little heavy to lift on to our “big” boat, but it pays back when in use on the water.”

Welcoming the new S4 while appreciating the Wavewalk 700 and 500

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Of course, there is a lot of excitement about the delivery schedule of the new Wavewalk S4 motor yaks. But, the W500 ans W700 designs still have a very important place in my personal life and growing business.
The W500 continues to be the most stable and portable solo kayak available, anywhere. As the water warms, I will be using mine as a snorkel sled and quick trip to the Glades in the pick up truck exploratory vessel. The W500 is, also, ideal for a young yakker to enjoy and learn to motorize with an electric or low hp gas motor.
My W700’s are perfect for my guide and rental service. Here, I want people to focus on enjoying nature and catching fish in the Florida Keys. Often, motors can be cantankerous and disrupt an otherwise fine day of fun in a clean marine environment. Paddles are virtually maintenance free and totally pollution free. I include both the double kayak paddle and a canoe paddle with my W700 guided trips as both styles work very well. This allows my customers to choose their personal preference of non-polluting propulsion.
This week, Rafael and Eddie joined me for two consecutive days of fishing in the mangroves and open water. Whether, they fished atop the W700’s or in the shadow from overhead, these guys put fish after fish into the storage bags and big cooler. They caught about 10 different species of fish and over 100 fish each day. Many of the fish were filleted and donated to my neighbors who, believe it or not, cannot afford to buy fresh fish at the seafood market.
I have ground up the fish carcasses through my commercial chum grinder and have enough frozen chum blocks to feed the fish for more trips with the fleet of W700 fishing kayaks.
Or, should they be called “Catching Kayaks”?



Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »


Bonnie’s true fish story

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Bonnie is a serious angler.  She fishes from shore, kayak, party boat, lobster boat, any shore, any boat, anywhere.
And, when she flies down from New England to the Keys to get her fishing fix, she fishes with me.

The wind picked up, yesterday.  This weekend, the wind is blowing, again.  But, the Wavewalk warriors are bringing fish and true fish stories (oxymoron?) back to my docks.
Fishing in the formerly inaccessible creeks that pass though the mangrove forest can be most challenging:
The new short Ricky Rods are really proving their worth horsing fish from the Red Mangrove roots.  Also, I am gravitating toward Red Cajun 8 lb. test line for low visibility and abrasion resistance.
The fish are so thick in these creeks that they even get caught by casting into the trees.
The fish, literally, come flying out of the bushes.
Don’t believe me?  Watch the video.



Larry offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Another Wavewalk Kayak Adventure – Pennekemp State Park

By Captain Larry Jarboe


Springtime may be a little chilly north of the Florida Line but we are having wonderful weather in Key Largo.
Anthony from Broward County and his friend, Tom from New York, joined me for a wonderful Wavewalk day exploring the heart of Pennekamp State Park.
Tom had previously capsized a conventional kayak and ruined his cell phone on another non-Wavewalk expedition with another outfitter.
But, he had no problem standing in his W700 while Anthony took a well deserved snooze.
We paddled over 3 miles exploring the flats, creeks, and sunken barge wreck.

Anthony will come back to share a future Wavewalk Adventure with his fiancee.  He is looking forward to putting a W700 in his garage as soon as he gets a house.
And, Tom will return to New York as a pro-yakker and apprentice commercial fisherman who has mastered the art of catching bait.

The  “Rest of the Story” can be found at  capnlarryjarboe.com

We are having so much fun and healthy exercise!





More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Wavewalk® Series 4 (S4)

Top Performance Portable Boat, Car-Top Skiff, and Paddle Craft


Wavewalk S4

Wavewalk® S4




Captain Larry Jarboe driving his S4 at 17 mph, a world speed record for vessels designated kayaks:








Watch more Wavewalk S4 movies on our YouTube channel »



The S4 is the world’s fastest kayak when motorized, as well as the world’s most stable kayak. The latter is the keys factor in enabling driving the S4 at high speed both on flat water and in rough water.

This is Wavewalk’s 4th boat series since 2004, following the 300 (Mark I and II), 500, and 700 series.
Like all other Wavewalk® products, this boat is 100% Made in USA.

The S4 delivers the highest performance in the field of small boats and skiffs, even before you’ve reached the water, starting from the fact that at 98 lbs it doesn’t require a trailer for transportation, and it’s easily portable even on rough terrain.
Its patented twin-hull design delivers more stability than any small boat out there, including much wider and heavier ones.  This allows for driving in fast currents and in choppy water.
In addition, being a true catamaran makes this boat track better than other boats.
The S4’s extra large cockpit (8′ long x 38″ wide) offers ample room for two anglers or hunters and their gear, or for up to three adult passengers – a total of up to 680 lbs.
The S4 features a long saddle seat similar to the saddle of other high performance vehicles, which offers maximal balancing capability as well as full comfort for going in choppy water and for long trips.
The S4 features a stand up casting platform at its bow, such as can be found in a typical skiff.
The cockpit’s slanted sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and better control than what canoes and tandem fishing kayaks may offer them.
The S4 has an extremely shallow draft, and this fact in combination with its portability, load capacity and high performance as a paddle craft makes it the most practical solution for shallow water fishing.

Wavewalk S4 Reviews »





  • Length: 13 ft (396 cm)
  • Beam (Total Width): 38″ (97 cm)
  • Cockpit Length: 95″ (241 cm)
  • Cockpit Height: 17″ (43 cm)
  • Saddle Height: 15″ (38 cm)
  • Width of a single hull: 13″ (33 cm)
  • Total Weight: 98 lbs  (44.5 kg)


Structure Overview and Features


        • Patented twin-hull Wavewalk® catamaran hulls
        • Personal watercraft (a.k.a. ‘jet-ski’) style 7’6″ long Saddle seat featuring a series of seven molded-in brackets, and six vertical molded-in reinforcement columns
        • Integrated Skiff Style Stand-Up Casting Platform at the bow, with anti-skid surface. Read more »
        • The Cockpit’s Slanted Sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and comfort than paddling a canoe or a common kayak of such width.
        • Preparation for a vertical mounting plate for outboard motor or rod rack at the stern
        • S4 Saddle Bracket - Click thumbnail to enlargeTwo Medium Density Overlay (MDO) 0.75″ thick Saddle Brackets – One bracket at each end of the saddle.
          The bracket in the front provides additional support for the stand up casting platform, and the rear bracket serves as extra support for a motor mount.
          Each bracket is attached to the vertical wall that’s adjacent to it by means of two rivets. The rivets are sealed with waterproof adhesive.  Click thumbnail to enlarge


        • Built-In Flotation – The S4 Saddle is a watertight compartment that offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy.
        • Two pairs of integrated, molded-in heavy duty Carry Handles – A pair at the bow, and a pair at the stern.
        • Average Wall Thickness: 0.150″ (3.8 mm)
        • Colors:
WhiteLight GrayMud Brown

White ColorClick images to enlarge


Light Gray ColorClick images to enlarge


Mud Brown ColorClick images to enlarge




        • Max Total Payload:  650 lbs (295 kg)
        • Max Number of Passengers: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children
        • Internal Space for Dry Storage : 34.7 cubic ft (0.98 cubic meter), namely 260 gallons
        • Draft –

Empty: 0.75″ (1.7 cm)
With 200 lbs Payload (90.7 kg) : 2.5″ (64 mm)
With 400 lbs Payload (181.5 kg): 4.25″ (108 mm)
With 600 lbs Payload (272 kg): 6″ (152 mm)

        • Max Outboard Motor Power Recommended for Regular Use: 6 HP
        • Outboard Motor Compatibility: 20″ Long (L) Propeller Shaft

Read more: How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor? »



Recyclable kayakHull: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Saddle: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Heavy Duty (HD) Saddle Bracket: Medium Density Overlay (MDO).

Our boats are made from 100% recyclable materials

Country of Origin


US flag 46Our kayaks, paddles and accessories are 100% Made in USA



4. PRICE    $2,570.


This price includes shipping in the US to land addresses in the contiguous 48 states, with insurance and call before delivery service.
This price does not include the S4 mounting plate, whose cost is $130.




S4 Heavy Duty (HD) Motor Mounting Plate: $130


1.5″ thick. Made from Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and coated with urethane.
Each mounting plate ships with a pair of 5/16″, 3″ long bolts, and self locking nuts.
It takes a couple of minutes to attach this mounting plate to the boat: Just insert it into the molded-in stand for transom motor mount, drill two 5/16″ holes, and secure in place with the two bolts provided.

Fits 20″ long (L) propeller shafts.

Click image to enlarge


Wavewalk® 9 ft long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $190

Common dual blade (‘kayak’) paddles are neither long nor sturdy or rigid enough for paddling this paddle craft, pole it in shallow water, and paddle standing.


Wavewalk® 9’8″ extra long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $230

For very tall people, or people who plan on paddling standing and poling most of the time.


Wavewalk® Detachable Spray Shield: $140

For high speed motorizing in choppy water.


Wavewalk® Joystick Steering System: $270

For easy and fun steering seated and standing.




Best Stability in Small Boats


        • Initial (Primary) Stability: The S4 is more stable than any kayak, canoe, Jon boat and small skiff, including Wavewalk’s W700.  A 200 lbs person standing with both feet in one of the S4 hulls will make it draft barely 1″ lower than it would if that person stood with one foot in each hull – hardly a noticeable difference.
        • Secondary Stability and Balancing Capability: The unique combination of a saddle seat (such as ATVs, PWC and snowmobiles feature) with high-volume twin hulls enables the passengers to balance themselves easily, intuitively, and more effectively than in any other boat, including kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, dinghies, skiffs, and personal watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’).

The S4 is unrivaled in Stability terms.

Read more: Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4 »

Best Boat Ergonomics


The 15″ high saddle featuring in the S4 is similar to the saddle featuring in other high performance land and water vehicles, such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Personal Watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’), and Snowmobiles, as well as certain Rigid-Inflatable Boats (RIB) designed for high speed motorizing offshore.
Passengers riding this saddle can travel for long hours, including in choppy water, without suffering from back pain or fatigue. This is due to the fact that while seated in the Riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle, the passenger’s legs support them in the most effective way, and no horizontal pressure from a backrest is being applied on their lower back.
In addition, the S4 passengers can stand up any time they want, and keep driving and paddling while standing up. They can even lay down with their back on the saddle, and relax. Switching between positions assures that no extreme fatigue or tension would build up in any part of the passenger’s body.

Easy Transportation and Full Portability


The S4 weighs 98 lbs without a motor attached to it. This means that it does not require a trailer for transportation, since it can be car-topped. The S4 can be dragged or carried over rough terrain, and launched practically anywhere, whether it’s a rocky beach, shallow water, and other difficult spots that are not accessible to other boats.

Mobility and Range of Travel


The S4 can go anywhere, thanks to a number of special features –
No other boat offers such a combination of shallow draft and total multi-modal propulsion, namely the ability to keep going in an effective paddling and poling mode even if the water is too shallow and/or infested with weeds to allow for motorizing.
No other small boat works so well both on flat water and in the chop.

On Board Storage


The space available for dry storage on board the S4 is equivalent to the storage offered by a good size Jon-boat, or a regular skiff.


So far, the speed record for the S4 is 17 mph. This record was set with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor by Captain Larry Jarboe, and documented in video. Based on the boat’s perfect performance at this speed, it could go faster with a more powerful motor. Please note that Wavewalk does not recommend using motors that are over 6 HP with the S4.

7. S4 vs. W700


        • W700 advantages over the S4:  Solo kayaking, tandem kayaking, solo canoeing, portability.
        • S4 advantages over the W700: Motorizing, tandem motorizing, tandem fishing, stability, offshore trips, load capacity.
        • Shallow water – The S4 drafts less than the W700, and it features a skiff stand up casting platform, but the W700 paddles better, generally.
        • Offshore – Being more of a boat than the W700, the S4 offers a clear advantage in the chop.