Tag Archive: whitewater

My multipurpose Wavewalk S4

By Terry Pritchard

Western North Carolina

I’m a retired guide, and I live in the mountains of western North Carolina.

I bought my S4 early this year, but so far I had only one chance to take it out on the river because this year has been been very unusual, since it kept raining until July, and the rivers have been high. The S4 was very stable in fast moving water, and easy to maneuver.

I outfitted our S4 with a 1987 6hp Johnson outboard, and it works perfectly.

My wife and I took our S4 to Florida, and we enjoyed it very much. She likes it, and she even likes driving it.
I drive my S4 with a tiller extension, and I can drive it standing with no problems. I drove it in saltwater at a top speed of 15 mph, and at 13.4 mph in a sustained mode. I noticed that it was going faster in saltwater and at sea level than in freshwater in the mountains. I attribute this to the combination of more oxygen and more buoyancy. Note that the place where I live is at a 2,700 ft elevation.

I take a lot of gear on my fishing trips, and the first time I went fishing with my S4 was confusing for me, since I didn’t know how to store my gear in its hulls. But after I gave it some thought and arranged things properly, the boat turned out to be perfect. I added a storage hatch inside the saddle, works great. I also stiffened the gunnels with wooden ribs so that I could use the sides of the boat to store my fishing gear, and I laid foam on the bottom of the hulls.

I’m planning to add rowing oars to it.

Here are some pictures that show how I rigged it.


Wavewalk S4 motorized kayak skiff

Wavewalk S4 motorized kayak skiff


I need the gunnels ridged because I will be attaching oarlocks soon


I really thought my career was over before I got a W kayak, by Robbie Cairl

The W is as comfortable as any seat in my house. My back feels so good while I am kayaking now, I really thought my career was over before I got a W. I absolutely love it. I mean that so sincerely, but to say I have been out a dozen times usually for over 3 hours and a couple of times for 7 hours says it better. Yesterday was a drift on the Deerfield River with a couple of friends and just to be a wiseacre I stood up through several sets of class 1 rapids with no instability. In fact being higher up I could scout the rapids better. Not that I recommend such foolishness.
I have been meaning to check in but I wanted a snap shot worthy of my appreciation, it’s just that we are all more interested in fishing and paddling than photographing. I must recruit a friend to take a couple of shots next time I go out.
Getting the yak on and off the car gets easier every time and lashing the hulls to the roof rack instead of going all the way over the yak is easy and stable. I went up to Vermont on 91 twice, cruising at 65 with no movement or annoying strap hum.
I love changing positions, standing while paddling and especially fishing from a standing position, again increasing visibility. I understand why you asked that I use it for half an hour before showing it off to friends. A very steep learning curve, I was so comfortable in half an hour and now after what I estimate to be over 50 hours I am a hopeless show off.
I love the looks I get while driving or on the water. Everyone has to ask about it. The park ranger at Wilgus State Park in VT is an avid kayak fisherman and proudly showed me his very expensive kayak/canoe hybrid. He looked mine over and was very curious. As luck would have it we met on the water later that day and he got to see the W in action. The next day he excitedly told me he looked on line and how impressed he was and how ergonomically well designed and on and on. I was very kind and feigned interest. But on the inside I was like, I know friend I know. I bought one!
Oh, problems? I had to transport 90% of the camping equipment when a friend and I went camping on Grout Pond in Vermont last weekend. We only were a half mile from the launch but made it in one trip. With 2 conventional yaks it would have been several trips at best. That would have been a great photo, sorry, all the coolers and tents piled up and you couldn’t even see all the supplies in the hull. But seriously, I am only more excited and pleased than my wildest dreams every time I go out.
Thank you Yoav, I sure hope I am responsible for many orders to come.

Robbie Cairl

Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

Boyd and Sandy Autumn Kayaking In Southern Ontario’s Grand River. Canada

October is a beautiful month for kayaking.
Here in southern Ontario, the leaves are at their peak colours and the heavy rains have raised the river flow to provide some exciting white water opportunities.
The W500 is higher and drier than other kayaks.

Boyd and Sandy Smith

Two kayakers paddling river in South Ontario, Canada, October 2011Two kayakers with kayak paddle, at the entrance to the parkriver bank viewed form kayak. Ontario, CanadaAutumn leaves by the river, Ontario, Canada

More paddling and fishing with Boyd »

John King & Son Running Rapids In Fishing Kayaks On A River In Ohio – Movie & Trip Report

Just a short video of a river trip my son and I took. A small rapids run that the w500 seem to handle very well. A set of rapids that we ran later was larger and had some 3ft swells, that was interesting!
The w500 is not a whitewater kayak but it does pretty well when you pay attention to how the water is moving. What’s funny is at the end of the video my son hung up on a rock that I slid right over…
We ran 4.5 miles of the river in about 4hrs that day, floating and fishing. Another great day on the the water in my W500.
Been to busy the past couple of weeks and have not been able to get out on the water. Have made some Fall kayak fishing trip plans on a couple of larger lakes and rivers.
Hope to have a lot of pictures and reports to send. Till then, hope everyone is well.

John King

More from John  »


Keeping the Inside of Your W Kayak Cockpit Dry in the Surf

You’re planning to take your W kayak on a fishing or paddling trip in the ocean, and you may be asking yourself what’s going to happen if you have to launch it in big surf, and in such case how to protect yourself from getting wet.
Indeed, if you’re launching in big surf some spray might get the inside of your W kayak wet, and even splash you. This is why all 2008 W Kayak models come outfitted with a preparation for a cockpit cover:
You can use any waterproof fabric or plastic sheet to cover the front part of your W kayak cockpit and thus prevent spray from getting in. Once you’re past the breakers you can easily remove the cover, fold or roll it, and store it in the cockpit or on top of the hulls

This picture shows the cover protecting almost the entire cockpit, leaving some place for you to sit in the back, which is where you want to be when launching in big surf:

cockpit cover for fishing kayak

This picture shows the cockpit cover protecting just the front part of the cockpit. This is a preferable when you’re positioned in the middle of the cockpit:

cockpit cover for fishing kayak - half open

Normally, even without a cockpit cover spray shouldn’t be a problem at all since if some spray gets in the water will be drained from the saddle to the bottom of the hulls, and you won’t have to sit on a wet surface.

If you’ve had some bad encounters with big breakers while not using a cockpit cover and there’s too much water in the bottom of the hulls for you to feel comfortable with you can easily drain it using a small bucket or a kayak bilge pump. Then you can dry the hulls completely with a sponge.

Unlike SOT kayaks, the structure of the W kayak enables you to clearly see the bottom of the hulls, and therefore water can’t be there without you perceiving it.

Similarly, when you’re going paddling in fast streams and you want to keep dry you may find the cockpit cover to be useful – without it getting you entrapped in your boat like a traditional kayak spray skirt might.

The W kayak cockpit cover is also useful in case the weather changes suddenly and you get caught in heavy rain, and it offers protection against cold wind.