This is the first time I try paddling in tandem with a paddler that’s heavier than me, while I paddle standing up.
Craig is 215 lbs, and I’m 200 lbs, and with our gear etc. our combined weight was 440 lbs, and that’s 80 lbs above the max recommended load capacity for the W500, which is 360 lbs.
It was fun, and pretty easy, although the overloaded W500 was somehow sluggish.
Craig Masterman came to visit yesterday. Craig is a saltwater kayak fly fisherman who’s been fly fishing out of his W300 for the past couple of years, mainly in Cape Cod and Florida.
He enjoyed paddling the W500, and fishing from it, and soon he’ll get his own, yellow W500.
Craig and I paddled the W500 kayak in tandem, and we both were surprised to see how easy it was, and how well the boat performed considering it was visibly overloaded, as our combined weight exceeded the maximum recommended load by 20% : Craig weighs 215 lbs, I weigh 200 lbs, and with our paddles shoes and clothes the total load was about 440 lbs, while the max recommended load for the W500 is 360 lbs.
The kayak moved at a reasonable speed, presented no significant balance issues, and was even pretty easy to maneuver considering the unusual circumstances.
The last time I did something like was when Jeff McGovern to visit me back in October of 2008. Before that I had paddled the W300 in tandem during demos, with (sometimes frightened…) clients, one of which was Craig, back in the summer of 2008 🙂
And one last thing: The W500 is such a pleasure to paddle because it’s only 28.5 inches wide, unlike common fishing kayaks that are much wider, and therefore are slow, clumsy, and difficult to paddle with or without a rudder.
I have back pain and and have to say my w-500 is the most comfortable boat I’ve ever paddled. I had an unfortunate encounter with a bad chiropractor and have issues with L5 and sciatica now, and had tried SOT kayaks with bad results… but I could see the w kayak is entirely a different story after only one outing!
After I’ve had my w500 out for only 4 times and I could see that once you get your technique down it’s FAST, easily as fast as a 13′ kayak (if you’re in the aggressive mounted position)… and the leaning into a turn works really well, especially if you’re seated near the stern. I have gotten used to a milder cruising stroke in the seated position that allows me to paddle for literally hours with no problems or back pain (holding the paddle closer towards the center and letting the paddle and gravity do some of the work).
Last night I took it out into some choppier, high traffic areas and got a lot of inquiries from some sea-kayakers who were very impressed with a boat you can stand up in.
I am loving my w-500… After I’d been out about 6 times, took it out with a 230lb friend… I am an intermediate paddler and my friend had minor experience. After several failed attempts to paddle together I had him try it solo. He had a good sense of humor, and I’m not deterred! 🙂 Good times indeed!
I am very comfortable paddling it by myself now and spend 1/3 of the time paddling it standing, and get tons of inquiries. I’m getting questions from Salmon fishers and sailboats (mostly because I row near a fishing/sailing boat moorage now).
I did not try my W500 first before I ordered it, I simply did TONS of research and asked many people I know who are experienced. I am one of the very satisfied customers who’s incredibly happy with his decision, it was not hasty.
I was asked last night by some kayaker where he could try a w-kayak… i said “right here, right now… pull up to that dock and I’ll let you give her a spin”
The last 3 times I’ve been out on my w-500 was to lurk outside the fish ladder and watch the salmon return to spawn, kind of fun watching 24″ fish jumping all around you, oh but I have a better view than everyone else! 😀
I have still yet to try my w-500 for fishing, but will soon once I find a few good nearby spots, and will be sure to take more pics.
-“I can’t say enough good things about the WW. When I washed it down yesterday, I flipped it over to get the water out of the hulls, and fully expected that some water would remain in the cockpit rim, but sure enough there was none; and then I noticed the drain hole in each end…also the hulls are sloped so that all the water will drain out of the boat when flipped over on the grass! As a design engineer, I appreciate those little thoughtful features that Wavewalk has incorporated…most excellent!”
-“Had an awesome father’s day on the water with the family and the WW.”
-“My son Rainier is a natural kayaker, and is paddling standing, sitting, fishing sideways, turning in circles, reversing, stopping, actually landing at the launch point where we put in, he is already well on his way.”
-“We had a lot of people watching today, taking pictures and passing cars were honking as they went past, it was great!”
-“I mounted a trolling motor, anchor, battery box and crate with fishing rods.. See the attached pictures.
With the trolling motor mounted in the front (I reversed the trolling motor handle to point towards me), at the 3 setting, it was moving along pretty quick. On the 5 setting, I was leaving a good size wake! Steering was a different matter though, as I kept doing S-turns or going in a circle no matter what I did with the trolling motor. I think it has to do with the flow channeling effect and the prop wash between and against the hulls. The reverse on the trolling motor is very poweful, so I’m just going to turn around in my seat & operate it like that for now. That will negate the hull effect, as I was able to steer very well in reverse.”
-“The battery location is critical. On the saddle, it makes the WW top heavy, esp. with 2 people on board and stability/balance became tricky. I moved it to the right hull, moved the anchor itself to the left hull and it stabilized. After that it was smooth trolling!
In between tryouts, my wife Nini happened to notice a Mayfly next to her, so I picked it up & took a picture.. now that’s a perfect fly fishing picture.. a mayfly & the WW!”
-“I played around with the moving (side mounted on pulleys) anchor trolley this morning again and could not figure out a way to easily stop the rope once the anchor hit bottom (and still be able to operate the trolley), so I bought an anchor stop & mounted it between the hulls in the rear, it works great, as I can release the anchor & haul it up real quick, and I have full control of the rope. I bought this in the boat section of (all places) Walmart.”
The older W300 kayak models enable sitting in the Riding-Over position outside the cockpit – on their hull tips. The New, 2008 design offers to ride over the cockpit as well, due to its lower spray deflector.
Riding-over is basically a static position offering you to dip your feet in the water in case you want to cool down, and try yet another position in case you feel like changing. It’s
practical for fishing, and since you can ride over the hull tips it enables establishing a bigger distance between two fishermen working from the same W kayak.You can paddle in this position, as well as correct the kayak’s location.