Tag Archive: ocean

Fishing in the ocean is practiced by some kayak anglers, although they rarely venture to distant fishing grounds, but prefer to fish in protected areas such as bays and estuaries. This is due mainly to the fact that human powered fishing vessels such as kayaks are no match for ocean currents, wind and waves, and neither are electric trolling motors.

Trends in Fishing Kayak Design

As the popularity of kayak fishing increases more kayak designers and manufacturers are drawn to offer their solutions to kayak fishermen. Interestingly, if one can judge from the solutions the main problem that needs addressing is the fishing kayaks’ poor stability.

Out of three recent, original monohull designs all three are explicitly designed to be stabler than regular fishing kayaks, and two out of the three represent experiments in combining canoe features into the kayak design – for the purpose of increasing overall stability.

The two canoe-like or canoe hybrids are different by the fact that one is a SOT and the other a SIK. Both are very wide, and are offered as solutions for flat water fishing. This could mean that either their manufacturers estimate the offshore kayak fishing market to be too small to be worth addressing, or their boats not to perform well enough in the surf. This brings up again the question of seaworthiness, and whether these designs are indeed stable, comfortable and and safe enough to be used for standup fishing.

The third new fishing kayak design is a monohull as well, but it departs from the conventional approach of trying to increase stability by making the hull wider. This design offers a mechanism enabling splitting the rear part of the kayak in two and pulling the ends sideways, thus creating a stabler platform for the fishermen to fish from. The obvious problem with this design is that once the fishing configuration is deployed the ‘kayak’ becomes nearly stationary since paddling it does not meet any standard of efficiency. This fishing kayak is not offered for offshore fishing either, which again implies that its manufacturers may have some concerns about its possible performance in the ocean.

In this context it is interesting to see that another manufacturer of fishing kayaks now offers outriggers to accompany their kayaks, which is yet another fact that shows stability to be a problem at the core of the kayak fishing concept.

Overall, the appearance of new designs and solutions that address the stability problem is a sign showing that some kayak designers and manufacturers are attentive to the real problems that kayak fisherman face. Whether any of the solutions offered are viable in the long run remains to be seen.

Tandem Kayaking

By ‘tandem’ we mean two adults, since paddling with a child onboard is less of a challenge, at least in the W kayak.

A lot has been said about kayaking in tandem, and it usually confirms the observation that kayaks are basically meant to be solo boats more than anything else…

However, paddling in tandem can be fun and rewarding – if it’s done properly.

First, you need to address the problem of balance, especially if your partner is not experienced in W kayaking (assuming you’re a proficient W kayaker yourself). The way to do it is mount (ride) the back of the saddle and then let your partner in (slowly) and position himself or herself as forward as possible – in the riding position as well.
You will probably need to compensate for your partner’s lack of experience by taking extra care of balancing the boat yourself – at least in the beginning.

The second problem is synchronizing your paddle strokes. It’s less of a problem if both of you are using canoe paddles, or if the front paddler is using a canoe paddle and you are using a double blade one.
If both paddlers are using double blade paddles the front paddler should just make slow strokes, switching regularly from left to right, regardless of tracking, turning etc. The back paddler’s paddle should follow the front paddle in parallel, touching the water a fraction of a second after the front one did, and getting out immediately after the front one.
The back paddler is also the de facto skipper, and he or she should take care of tracking, turning etc… This task can be quite demanding, especially in moving water, and this is why you’d better practice tandem W paddling on flat water first.
It is very helpful to be aware of the possibilities offered by the extra long W paddle in terms of controlling the length and direction of the stroke, J strokes etc.

This video shows a couple of W kayakers paddling in tandem in the surf – Needless to remind the viewer that both of them have some experience in W kayaking.