Tackle Trade World (TTW) is a magazine published in the UK, and it is one of the world’s leading sources of information on fishing tackle and equipment, including boats and kayaks.
In its July 2014 issue, TTW magazine published a spotlight section on boats and kayaks worldwide, in which it included a short review of the Wavewalk kayak (page 41), and this article contributed by Wavewalk (page 39):
Wavewalk, Inc. Yoav Rosen, president
VIEW ON THE GLOBAL FISHING BOAT/KAYAK MARKET
The fishing kayak market has matured. In the past decade most US kayak companies and brands, big and small, changed ownership, some of them more than once. Some of the biggest kayak companies were either sold, or decided to de-emphasise their kayak and canoe business.
Many companies and brands were consolidated, and this process is still going on in the current marketplace.
The barriers for entry in this market are lower than ever. This prompts entrepreneurs and plastics manufacturers to create their own kayaks and enter what is becoming an increasingly crowded market. Companies that were active in other kayak niche markets that got hit by socio-economic factors are trying their luck in the fishing market as well.
Big retailers in the fishing and boating market now offer their own fishing kayak brands, which further increases competition and keeps driving retail prices down.
The United States is still by far the biggest market for fishing kayaks and related products, worldwide. Wavewalk has been serving this market for a decade now, and it’s still under the same ownership, which is rather uncommon.
Pricewise, fishing kayaks are becoming cheaper, a trend driven by Chinese exports. Years ago American manufacturers looked to outsource their production to China, but these days Chinese kayak manufacturers actively seek to increase their market share in the US.
In the high end of the market, manufacturers seek to distinguish themselves by making their kayaks bigger, and by accessorising them more. The result is a plethora of fishing kayaks that are hardly distinguishable from each other, and feature decks that are crowded with accessories to a point where their functionality (aka fishability) is considerably reduced. These large kayaks are promoted as offering sufficient stability for their user to fish standing on them, but few clients seem to believe it, and they are mostly young, lightweight, and physically fit, unlike the typical angler out there.
The Wavewalk is still the only kayak offering practically anyone to fish standing in full confidence, including anglers who are elderly, heavy, big or disabled.
Wavewalk’s strongest markets are the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea. Our fastest market penetration is in colder regions, where other types of kayaks offer their users too little protection from the elements, and their poor stability is perceived as a risk factor. We recently recruited our first dealer in the UK, which we hope will also be an exciting market for us due to its large amount of saltwater fishing.
TOP-SWING PRODUCTS? Wavewalk’s top-selling product is still the W500 F2 fishing kayak model, and the biggest increase is in selling motor mounts for outboard gasoline engines. In general we have a healthy selling range.