Tag Archive: strong wind

Tom and Jenny’s W Kayak Adventure in a Storm

Tom and Jenny surf kayaking at the beach

Tom and Jenny on another day – enjoying surf paddling.

Tom Buddington recently wrote us from Florida:

-“Just thought I’d post a follow-up review after having several more experiences with this truly unique boat. Recently my daughter and I were caught out in what I estimate were 25 knot winds (higher gusts I would bet for certain) and the river became dark and menacing (Gosh it was so calm and peaceful moments before!). The waves were like a white water washing machine. It just happens with those out of nowhere summer storms; I try to be careful, especially with my daughter with me, but you might not ever go out if you worried about the possibility of a storm that wasn’t even predicted. THAT’s the moment of truth. 30 minutes of dark weather paddling at first into and against 20-25 knot winds and 2-3 foot storm slop and then having it on your tail (which is worse in my opinion). We just strapped on our PFD’s NICE and TIGHT and worked it with the Wyak. And she kept us out of the water and got us home. I was impressed the whole time with the stability of the W kayak in serious conditions. We used her best attributes (those twin hulls) and the geography of the Indian River Lagoon and ducked into a safe little cove and waited for things to get calm (we were in the middle and had a long way to go to get to that cove mind you). I can’t stress enough that the ability to alternate between significantly different positions (i.e., standing to riding and a few others) in the W kayak and use different muscles made this one a story with a happy ending. Would have been wiped-out exhausted in any other boat that day.

I speak from the perspective of a guy who loves the water and lives on the water and has been a waterman for, oh, say 30 years. I have 7 other boats of differing designs, 2 of which I have committed to sell to make way for my next Wyak . The W is an incredible craft and I like it.”

And here’s another picture of Tom and Jenny surf paddling at the beach:

Tome and Jenny at the beach surf kayaking

Jeff’s Windy Memorial Day Weekend W Fishing Kayak Trip Report – Florida

“I got about four hours of water time with the 2008 W again this morning. It was predicted to be a windy day so I headed out early. There were a number of cyclists heading over to the coast this morning and I spoke to some of them at a convenience store on the way over. Of course the W drew a crowd and created some interest with the upright riding position.
As with the other trips so far this boat worked very well. Being able to slide back and forth really helped to hold in the wind on the sandy areas as I fished.
An interesting note is how easy this boat is to paddle into a strong wind. Not real fast of course but you don’t wear yourself out making progress.
When I paddled in around 10:30AM there was a group of kayakers getting instruction from one of the guides at the fish camp. They were facing me on the water and his back was turned to me as he spoke and demonstrated paddling techniques. As I got closer I noticed them all craning their necks looking past him at the W. He went on not seeing he had lost the interest of his crowd. As I came in and then pulled the W up the stairs from the beach they just stared. The silence was broken when one of the folks stated “we want to rent one of those kayaks, they look like fun”. Ahh very nice moment. Had I been paying better attention I should have pulled in standing up…

Overcoming Windage Issues – Paddling and Tracking in Strong Wind

Once you get used to your W Kayak you’ll find that you’re likely to be out paddling it and fishing from it on windy days, when other kayakers and kayak fishermen prefer to stay at home or simply can’t use they kayaks because of ‘windage’ problems.

Thanks to its exceptional, ‘catamaran’ tracking capabilities the W kayak has less windage issues than traditional SIK and SOT kayaks, including sea kayaks. In addition, your ability to move fore and aft along the saddle as well as lean sideways give you effective means to counter affect the wind.

  • Side Wind

You’ll be able to track well while a strong side wind is blowing once you’ve mastered the following things:
1. Position yourself in the middle of the cockpit (not in the back for this matter). In case of exceptionally strong side wind you can even position yourself a notch forward and by that let the stern ‘trail’ behind the bow. Generally speaking, you will find that your location along the saddle can help you in more than one way.
2. Lean into the wind, similarly to leaning into the turn – You can use the difference in the hulls’ height to act as a powerful ‘rudder’ that would help your W kayak track.
3. Apply the appropriate paddle stroke on each side of the kayak, that is use a weaker and regular style stroke on the side from which the wind is blowing, and a stronger, longer stroke on the lee side. By doing so you will compensate for the wind’s tendency to deviate your boat from its intended course.

  • Head Wind

Interestingly, much of the headwind passes between the W hulls, and eddies have a lesser effect on it than they have on monohull kayaks that have broader hulls.

You can paddle against a strong head wind in the Riding position (recommended) or one of the Kneeling positions.
The more you lean forward the more power you’ll be able to apply in your paddling.

The paddle itself might become a mini ‘sail’ when a strong wind is blowing, therefore it is advised to keep the paddle at a low angle above the boat, regardless of the direction from which the wind is blowing.