Tag Archive: SOT kayak

SOT kayak stability, or lack thereof

Three anglers fishing standing in the world's most stable kayak, the Wavewalk S4

Why do you need a stable kayak?

Simply, stability is key to your Safety, Comfort, and Successful Fishing. Without it, you could end up swimming, or worse – drowned, and if you happen to lose balance, you could also lose some precious gear that would slide down from the deck and into the water, never to be seen again. Any stability issue that you have to deal with while fishing automatically draws mental and physical resources from you, and mobilizes them for the task of keeping you balanced, and your kayak level. This continuous effort affects muscle tension in your legs, your back and your shoulders, and it reduces your casting performance, as well as your ability to turn and to focus. But most importantly, the feeling of instability leads to discomfort, and this hurts your well being. In other words, fishing out of unstable or insufficiently stable kayak is not fun. 

Under such conditions, your ability to land big and powerful fish is significantly reduced, and you can’t expect to be very successful in your fishing trip.

Now you know the reason why despite the fact that kayak fishing looks so easy, simple and fun, and most kayaks are cheaper and easier to transport than boats, the number of kayak anglers has stayed stable in recent years, after years of growth. Many people have tried fishing out of kayaks, but the combined effect of instability, wetness, discomfort and back pain, and not enough catching has led many of them to quick this sport, or outdoor activity.

What’s the most popular fishing kayak?

The primary concern of any angler who fishes out of kayak is stability, of course. The inherent poor stability that kayaks offer make it the first and foremost concern, which is why fishing kayaks are typically much wider and often bigger than kayaks used for Recreation, Touring, and obviously speed competition. The fear of capsizing their kayaks and the potentially disastrous results of such event drives kayak fishermen toward sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks, and therefore, they are more popular than sit-in kayaks.

Are SOT kayaks more stable?

No, they are not. In fact between two ordinary (mono-hull) kayaks of identical size, namely the same width, length, and overall buoyancy, a sit-in kayak will always feel ore stable than a SOT kayak. Why is that? Simply because the sit-in kayak offers its user to sit lower than the SOT kayak, and the lower you are the stable you are. Therefore, SOT kayaks are the least stable kayaks out there. If this is hard for the reader to understand, they should try standing on the steps of a ladder, and once they start climbing up, they will feel the decrease in the ladder’s stability. Now you know why the typical SOT fishing kayak is so wide and so huge – It’s because if it wasn’t that big, fishing from its deck would be limited to children and very small and lightweight people. And you you also know why pictures that show anglers fishing standing on the deck of SOT kayaks are typically not very big, and if they appear to be big, or at least just tall, the image appears to have been doctored…

In this context, it’s interesting to observe that people who fish from boats are frequently seen standing, while people who fish from kayaks rarely stand up in them. The reason for this is stability, or lack thereof in kayaks.

What’s the problem with big SOT fishing kayaks?

The problem that users of big SOT fishing kayaks users face is twofold – First, these behemoths are are to transport and carry, and the biggest can hardly be moved even on land. Second, these huge kayaks don’t paddle well – They are slow, hard to move, they track poorly, and they are mostly for short trips on flat water. People who are not in good shape find it hard to handle these large size SOT kayaks, both on land and on water. The same people also find these kayaks to be most uncomfortable.

What is the most stable kayak?

The Wavewalk S4 twin-hull is the world’s most stable kayak, and it beats kayaks that are much bigger and wider.  Three large size guys can easily fish out of an S4 standing up, in full confidence and comfort. The S4 powered by a 10 HP outboard gas motor can go at full throttle in rough water, in the ocean, and its driver can stand up while driving it. Three adult passengers can stand up in a Wavewalk S4 and paddle without any balancing or stabilizing issues.

The world's most stable kayak is the Wavewalk S4
Stability tested in various environments, crew size, and propulsion modes

What makes this kayak more stable?

The sides of the Wavewalk S4 are more buoyant than the sides of ordinary (SOT and sit-in) kayaks, which are generally oval. The S4 features two large size, straight hulls, separated by a wide saddle seat. The people who sit on its saddle have their feet rest at the lowest point of the hulls, and the same is true when they stand up. The riding posture is similar to the posture of people who ride large jet-skis, ATVs, snowmobiles, and dirt bikes. The posture offers a higher degree of balancing capability that simply sitting with our knees in front of you, such as when you sit on a canoe or Jon-boat bench, and it is also more stable than the very unstable and most uncomfortable L position, where your legs are stretched in front of you.

Motorized Wavewalk 500 for offshore fishing

By Neo Chino

(YouTube pen name)

South Florida

I get back pain from sitting in other kayaks, but never in this one, even after eight hours offshore. It’s really good for your back.

You sit in it like on the saddle of a jet ski, but sometimes I sit sideways, with two feet in one hull.

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Casting and sitting sideways

South Florida Kayak Fishing Club Dania Beach FL 4-29-2016

My biggest tuna ever

I store my fishing tackle in boxes inside the hulls.

I outfitted my Wavewalk 500 kayak with a 2.5 hp Suzuki outboard motor. I was one of the first guys with a motor in the South Florida Fishing Club. Sometimes I fish almost 3 miles out with my motorized Wavewalk 500, so I had to put adjustable outriggers on it for more stability. Before I added the outriggers I flipped it about 60 yards from the pier, and it was not cool, so I don’t recommend that you drive it offshore and in the currents without stabilizers.

A poor man’s fishing boat 🙂

 

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That Cat in the Yak Catching a Cool Crowd of Catfish

Captain Larry Jarboe

Yesterday, I took advantage of a calm, relatively warm day in December to make a morning run to Mallows Bay on the Potomac.
The fog was just lifting as I launched the W500.

I canoe style paddled past the “Ghost Ship” and anchored in the flats just inside the river channel north of the mouth of Mallows Bay Creek. The incoming tide was as I had planned according to the Mayland DNR “Tide Finder” tables.
Pretty soon, I was hooking up and using my rubber boots to push the Blue Cats behind me which was in the forward “foc’scles” of the twin hulls.

Sliding the big cats past my legs was a challenge in the Wavewalk but would have been impossible in a cockpit style kayak. A SOT kayak would have capsized.

I looked back after catching a Baker’s Dozen of medium to big Blue Catfish and noticed the tips of my W500 front hulls were touching the surface of the river.

The tide was still coming in as I eased up the anchor and gingerly paddled home with a couple hundred pounds of catfish chilling in the cat-a-yak.

Got a bigger boat coming. A W700.

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Fog on the river

 

25 lbs and 30 lbs catfish

25 and 30 lbs catfish

 

200 lbs of catfish

200 lbs of catfish – a boatload

 

a boatload of cat fish

Fishing cat hulls stuffed with catfish

 

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Big one hooked

 

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Another big one

 

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“Ghost Ship” boat

 

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Fishing standing in two fishing tournaments, and getting results

By Joe Stauder

HBBCO Kayaks

It took a couple of fishing tournaments for me to get into the swing of things. But the last two I finished 2nd & 3rd respectively.

Standing up to fish is almost an unfair advantage compared to the other guys on their sit on top kayaks.

They won’t admit it, but due to their sitting position they just can’t be as accurate when casting, and they sure can’t see their targets like I can, when I am standing in my Wavewalk. Sure once in a while some do stand up for short periods of time (when the water is glass calm), but not all day, like they’re in a bass boat. Like I can!

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16 inch bass in my Wavewalk 500

 

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3rd place in this eastern Pennsylvania fishing tournament on the Susquehanna River.

Here are some pics of Me in my Wavewalk working on a 2nd place finish on Fairview Lake –

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2nd place at the Fairview lake fishing tournament

 

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Read more about Joe’s fishing trips and rigging tips »

Whether paddling or fishing in your kayak, try to stay dry

Abstract

This article examines the problems stemming from prolonged exposure to wet clothing, which is sometime viewed as inseparable from all forms of kayaking and kayak fishing, and all types of kayaks. It exposes possible dangers and inconveniences associated with direct exposure to water, excessive humidity and cold in various circumstances, and describes solutions based on the new, patented technology applied in Wavewalk’s Kayaks, which offers the users a drier way to paddle and fish.

What’s the problem?

The problem, often called “wet ride” can be described as a kayaker’s experience of paddling and/or fishing while being wet. It can be caused by many things, including stepping in water while launching, being splashed by spray and waves, water getting into the cockpit through the scupper holes in sit-on-top kayaks, condensation under the spray skirt in sit-in kayaks, and more.
A most common and unpleasant sensation associated with wetness is being seated in a wet area, but a being wet can also be hazardous –
The combination of cold water with cold wind can cause hypothermia, even if the kayaker did not go overboard. Hypothermia is a condition that significantly reduces the paddler’s physical and mental ability to navigate and arrive safely to his/her destination.

In warm waters,  exposure to water can cause exposure to jellyfish larvae (‘sea lice’) in sea water, parasites and bacteria in both fresh and salt water etc., and result in unpleasant and sometime severe skin and allergic reactions.

Snails infected with certain microscopic parasites found in some birds and mammals release those parasites into both fresh and salt water. Swimmer’s itch (cercarial dermatitis), which appears as a skin rash is caused by an allergic reaction to those parasites burrowing in the person’s skin.
The presence of certain chemicals in the water is known to cause unwanted physical reactions as well.

Contact with sea water can cause a highly pruritic eruption known as Seabather’s eruption (SE).

Contact with warm, stagnant waters such as found in swamps can in some extreme cases lead to serious bacterial infections.
Vibrio bacteria are usually found in warm waters. Coming in contact with those flesh eating bacteria can cause severe infections leading to limb loss and even death. Vibriosis is a risk for swimmers, boaters and fishermen.

Giardiasis– an infectious diarrhoeal disease usually transmitted through oralfaecal contact and by contaminated water was diagnosed in 14% of US paddlers, compared to a background level of 4%, according to one study.

Another infection called Leptospirosis and its more severe form, Weil’s disease, are considered to be typical paddling hazards. These infections are often transmitted by infected rats’ urine in the water. The diseases are characterized by jaundice, fever, headaches, muscle aches, rashes and enlargement of the liver and spleen. They can be treated with antibiotics in most cases but sometime they lead to septicemia, organ damage and even death.

Kayakers risk infections of enterovirus and coliform as well.
And obviously, everybody knows that wearing wet clothes can cause skin rash, especially during and after a prolonged physical effort.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that getting wet while kayaking is either unpleasant or hazardous, but it certainly points to the need to provide kayakers with means of protection in case they don’t want to get wet or come in contact with the water.

Recent research indicates that water in popular subtropical beaches contains staph and MRSA bacteria that may infect open wounds in your skin.

‘Kayaking and kayak fishing are water sports’

Some ‘Pro Staff’ kayakers and kayak fishermen associated with SIK and SOT kayak brands use the term ‘water sport’ to define kayaking and kayak fishing, and by that they mean to say that getting wet is an inseparable part of any kayaking activity, as it is of water skiing, surfing etc. It’s their way to justify the fact that this problem is unsolved for people who use the kayaks produced by their sponsors.
This approach also implies that the kayaker or kayak fisherman should not expect to be comfortable in his/her kayak, and that getting wet is inevitable.
This argument is fallacious for a number of reasons:
1. Originally, the native people of the arctic who invented and developed kayaking tried as much as possible to avoid getting wet, and for good reasons.
2. Like kayaking, canoeing is another group of traditional, popular paddle sports and activities, but unless practiced in whitewater it does not involve getting wet, since most canoes offer a better protection to their passengers than kayaks do.
3. Fishing from other small boats (e.g. dinghies, pirogues etc.) does not involve getting wet as much as kayak fishing does.
4. Considering the efforts different groups of kayakers from sea kayakers to kayak fishermen put into avoiding and minimizing wetness, it is obviously a very real problem.

What causes wetness kayaks?

The general cause is insufficient protection but specific causes vary depending on kayak type and application:
Traditional, or sit-in kayaks (SIKs) have little free board, so that even paddling in eddies and small waves can result in some water getting inside the kayak through the open cockpit. As for sea kayaks, these are normally equipped with a spray skirt, which doesn’t necessarily make them watertight in surf and waves conditions.
Sit-on-top kayaks (SOTs) offer even less protection than SIKs do in terms of free board, and typically let water into the cockpit through holes called ‘scupper holes’. This is why SOT kayaks have become popular only in warm waters.

The dry storage problem

Another unwanted effect of water getting into your kayak is the difficulty to keep your gear dry. Some seasoned sea kayakers say that before they go on a kayak expedition they simply take into consideration that eventually all their gear will get wet, even if it’s stored below deck. The solution to that is using watertight bags, which similarly to sea kayaks are not absolutely watertight…Most fishing kayaks come with storage compartments called ‘hatches’, which are notorious for letting water in.

The solution to these problems

Since the wetness is challenging many kayakers’ well being it must be addressed by kayak designers and manufacturers. Wet suits are uncomfortable, and dry suits aren’t that comfortable either. The solution offered by the patented Wavewalk™ Kayak concept is simple, and basically consists of more free board protecting the passengers inside the cockpit.
W kayakers can also sit change positions on their boat’s longitudinal saddle and sit, ride or stand in the back of the cockpit. By doing so they raise the bow and avoid much of the splashing and spraying that other kayakers are forced to put up with when launching in the surf or paddling in choppy water.
Another good news for kayakers is the fact that even if some water gets into the W Kayak’s cockpit it just gets drained to the bottom of the hulls and away from the passengers’ sitting area on top of the saddle. This eliminates the unpleasant sensation of sitting in a puddle that many people who use ordinary kayaks (SOT and SIK) have to put up with.
Since it’s possible to enter the W Kayak’s from behind and exit it from the front it is no longer necessary for a W Kayakers to step in water when putting their boats in and taking them out. Some say that keeping your feet dry is priceless…
And finally, since W Kayaks have a big, internal dry storage space it is no longer necessary for the equipment carried on board to get wet.

Related articles:

More About Dangers To Kayakers and Kayak Anglers in Warm, Fresh Water

Vibrio Bacteria

Cutaneous Manifestations Following Exposure To Marine Life

Swimmer’s Itch

Sea Bather’s Eruption

Bites and Stings: Marine Envenomations

Over-Exposure To Cold

Hypothermia

Injuries and Infections

 

More Wavewalk™ Kayak information

Fishing Kayak reviews