Tag Archive: stable fishing kayak

How Effective Can A Fishing Kayak’s Outriggers Be?

Your fishing kayak’s stability is key to your success and fun in kayak fishing, and the outriggers may help in achieving better stability, but at a price.

By effective we mean how much stability can a pair of outriggers add to your fishing kayak’s initial lateral stability, and what are the drawbacks for using outriggers or that purpose, if any.

First, you need to understand what makes your fishing kayak stable (or unstable), and here is the skinny:

The kayak’s total amount of buoyancy, or roughly its volume is what defines its overall load capacity, or in other words, what weight it can carry without sinking.

All kayaks are symmetrical, which means that every kayak has a longitudinal axis, or center line – It’s the line that divides it in two identical parts: left and right. Each part is buoyant, obviously, and its characteristics are what defines that kayak’s lateral stability. These characteristics are:

1. Buoyancy (roughly the volume of each half), and

2. The distance of that kayak-half’s center of buoyancy from the kayak’s center line.

For this purpose it’s enough to say that the half-kayak’s center of buoyancy is the point at the center of that half-kayak’s mass.  If this definition isn’t clear enough, let’s just say that the center of buoyancy is the point that best represents what that half-kayak can do in terms of keeping that side of the kayak from sinking in the water.

To make a long story short, a kayak’s stability can be simply defined by a number that’s the result of multiplying each half’s buoyancy times the distance of its center of buoyancy from the kayak’s center line.

That number would give us a relative answer as to a kayak’s initial stability: The more buoyancy on each side, and the further apart the kayak sides’ centers of buoyancy are – the stabler it is. It’s something that’s easy to understand intuitively, and reading this article about kayak stability will explain to you what makes the W fishing kayak stabler than the widest fishing kayak out there.

Going back to outriggers, what each outrigger does is two things:

1. Increase the buoyancy of each of that kayak’s halves, and

2. Displace the half-kayak’s center of buoyancy further away from the kayak’s center line.

This is why outriggers can increase your fishing kayak’s stability, and the bigger they are, and the more remote from your kayak’s center line – the stabler you’ll be.

And here are the drawbacks of using outriggers in fishing kayaks:

  1. Extra cost – A good pair of outriggers doesn’t come cheap
  2. Lack of efficiency – In order to properly stabilize your fishing kayak, outriggers would have to be attached to its middle section. This is impossible because doing that would prevent you from both paddling and fishing. This is why outriggers are mounted in the back of fishing kayaks, where they cause less disturbance to paddling and fishing, but at a price of offering no extra stability towards the kayak’s bow, and considerably less stability in the area where you sit, paddle and fish (or stand up, if you’re an over optimistic person…)
  3. Extra weight – With its attachment bars a pair or outriggers can weigh a lot, and that comes on top of your fishing kayak, fishing gear and tackle you need to get tom and from the beach.
  4. Extra complexity – In many case you’d have to attach the outriggers before launching, and detach them after beaching. It can take precious time.
  5. Reduced speed – Outriggers generate quite a bit of resistance, especially since their hull speed is much smaller than the main hull’s speed (I.E. they are much shorter than the kayak itself).  In addition, outriggers create a windage problem, which can be a nasty experience for you when the wind picks up, and for some reason it tends to do it almost every time you go out fishing…
  6. Fishing problems – Outriggers and fishing lines don’t get along very well…

More information: How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

Bottom line –

Outriggers offer a solution to the stability problem in kayaks, and it’s a solution that comes at a price that you don’t want to pay, in terms of money, weight, complexity, and other problems. This is why you’d better think simple and effective, namely get the alternative that works better, which the patented, super-stable Wavewalk kayak.

Read more about kayak stability »







Some Truth In Advertising Fishing Kayaks

Advertisers often cross the line between fact and fiction, and sometimes they cross the line between true and false.

For example, a well known kayak fishing store has recently advertised on its website that one of the brands it offers* for sale is (quote): “The only kayak to truly let you stand & fish with 100% confidence”.

By doing so that store made a number of significant mistakes:

First, they openly admitted that all the other brands they have advertised for years as being suitable for stand up fishing in fact do not offer to stand and fish with 100% confidence. This is exactly what what Wavewalk has been saying all the time.

Second, that store is misleading the public to think that particular kayak is safe, while it is far from being so since its outriggers are positioned at the stern, and therefore leave the standing kayak fisherman with no extra buoyancy at all to support him on the sides of his kayak’s middle and front parts, where he’s likely to tilt his boat when fishing. Anyone can see that.

Third, if a kayak fisherman standing on that SOT loses balance, as he’s expected to do sooner or later, he has a metal frame to hold on to, but nothing to fall down on – Assuming that fisherman is holding his fishing rod with both hands (common practice…) he’s likely to fall overboard, as he would from any other SOT or sit-in kayak. In fact, holding on to the metal frame increases leverage on the hull and makes it easier to tilt sideways and overturn.

And last but not least, that store’s statement is obviously false since the only fishing kayak that really offers fishermen to stand up and fish with 100% confidence and safety is the Wavewalk, as anyone can see by watching these movies at the bottom of the article discussing stability in kayaks.

* a sit-on-top kayak equipped with folding outriggers

Super Stable Fishing Kayak – New Movie

Here’s another one of those spectacular (goofy?) demo movies we produce from time to time. It shows a rather special stand up paddling technique involving hopping while paddling…
Totally useless in terms of kayaking or fishing, but it’s the best workout I can imagine.

Fishing Kayak Stability Demo – New Movie

This is a new demo video showing what ‘super stability’ means. We show the footage in X4 slow motion so that the viewer can better appreciate what’s going on:

The movie was shot on the Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts, by no other than Jeff McGovern, from Florida, who was on a business trip here and came to visit us.

Thanks Jeff!

By the way, I’m the one demonstrating the Wavewalk kayak – I’m 6 ft tall, and I weigh 195 lbs.