Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If?…(Stuff Happens)

The world's most stable small boat / microskiff

Updated December 11, 2023

It seems like all fishing kayak manufacturers these days claim that at least one of their fishing kayak models lets you stand up and fish from. Some of them even go as far as say ‘in confidence’…

The problem with those claims is that they aren’t true, and the sure way for you to know that is by asking yourself a basic, simple and essential question:

What if? What if you lose your balance for any reason, just because stuff happens?

And as you probably know, in kayaks, stuff happens is the rule, not the exception. Typically, it’s small stuff, like a gust of wind, a motorboat’s wake hitting unexpectedly, someone calling your name which makes you turn your head, a fly, a bird, a moment when you let your thoughts wander, your kayak drifting and hitting the bottom or a submerged log while you’re focusing on your line, or just a fish… Yes, some fish can be quite strong, especially those fish you’d like to catch – certainly strong enough to make you lose your balance when they bite and start vigorously pulling on your line, and most likely not in a direction that would make it easy for you…

Any of these things can destabilize you, and sooner than later it will.  And then what? You’ll tip over and fall overboard, because that’s the only solution all those wishful-thinking stand up SIK and SOT fishing kayaks have to offer you. And when that accident happens you’ll get wet, and some of your precious gear and tackle (or all of it) would get lost, and that’s too bad. You might also catch a cold…

And let us not forget that all those pseudo stand-up fishing kayaks are not stable enough to begin with: The very form and structure of those monohull kayaks is inherently unstable (read article about kayak stability). It’s helpful to remember that all of them were developed out of the native Inuit kayaks, which were supposed to enable performing the ‘Eskimo Roll’ – if you’re sitting inside… Not a practical option for the great majority of kayak paddlers, and not a solution for anyone attempting to fish while standing on top of a kayak. Understanding this is a matter of common sense – You don’t have to be a kayak designer to realize that a kayak that’s barely stable enough for you to feel fully at ease while fishing sitting cannot support a full size, adult fisherman standing on top of it, and still be safe.

BTW, none of these facts has ever prevented any kayak manufacturer from hyping their kayaks as being ‘stand up fishing’ kayaks. People want to stand up while fishing, and they want small, portable and inexpensive boats like kayaks. Naturally, kayaks manufacturers want to satisfy this demand, at least verbally….

There is only one fishing kayak out there that has a real, dependable, tested solution: Our Wavewalk kayaks.

To begin with, the Wavewalk the only watercraft out there that was invented and designed specifically for stand up paddling in all types of water: flat water, streams and surf. We have a US utility (invention) patent on it.

Each of the Wavewalk kayak’s twin hulls offers sufficient lateral buoyancy to support strong and sudden shifts in load, which is what happens when you lose your balance. Your feet are planted at the bottom of the hulls, below waterline – exactly where you can tap the hulls’ buoyancy to the maximum.

The Wavewalk kayak’s high saddle seat is positioned between your legs, which is exactly where it would be the most helpful to you when you’ll need to lower your center of gravity both suddenly and intuitively in order to regain your balance and keep your kayak from tipping over.

Bottom line: Marketing hype won’t make you stabler if you try to fish standing from an inadequate kayak platform that’s bound to send you overboard sooner than later. Having no plan B when your plan A is too shaky is a strategy that you’re bound to regret.

You need a specially designed, real-life tested and truly dependable fishing kayak for stand up fishing, and there’s only one such kayak that can answer these requirements: the Wavewalk.

More on fishing and paddling standing in kayaks »

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4 thoughts on “Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If?…(Stuff Happens)”

  1. Jeff McGovern says:

    I had forgotten about that video. Hmm at least for me I try and hold off on the jumping up and down since it scares off my fish. Although it might work to attract gators for close up pictures, especially during mating season. Then I’ll be glad I have in my hand the world’s toughest paddle also made by Wavewalk.
    Another thing about sit on top kayaks along with standing and fishing. You can’t easily get your gear. It’s all the way down around your feet and the balance require to get to it is impossible. With the W kayak if you are standing and fishing you just sit for a moment get what you need then stand up. Also, most folks add a rope to the bow as a hand line in sit on top boats to pull themselves up. Try getting up and down many times over the age of 30 from sit on top, gets old real fast. In the W kayak if I want to stand I just get up from a comfortable sitting position.
    While standing if something happens it is quick and simple to just lower your body and land on the saddle. I’ve hooked larger fish while standing sight casting to them. I was so easy to just sit for a secure battle and not have to fight for balance with a large fish pulling like crazy.
    Yoav, you are right there is no other than the W kayak if you want to stand in a kayak beyond it being a stunt.

  2. This is one amazing demo movie, one of the best from Wavewalk. If you watch it carefully you’ll see there’s nothing in it that you can do with any other kayak.

  3. As a swimmer, surfer, standup paddler, and kayaker, it’s simple. If I’m not willing to fall in, I don’t get on the water in my craft. What keeps me out of the water? Cold temps, high winds, dangerous water conditions. If I do fall in, then I simply come to the surface, catch my breath, get back on, and continue where I left off. Recommend anyone getting on the water in a small craft learn to swim, wear a PFD, learn how to use his equipment properly, keep his equipment in good condition, study the conditions before getting in, stay alert, never go alone, and don’t get nuts.

  4. Jane, I agree about the need to be prepared, learn to swim, and always wear a PFD, but getting back into a kayak, or even on top of a sit on top is hard, and sometimes impossible for many people, especially if their yak is overturned, and in deep water.
    Not to mention that when you capsize there’s a risk of losing fishing tackle, cell phones, cameras and other stuff that can cost you hundreds of dollars.

    This is why fishing from a stable kayak is so important, and why no one should try to fish standing from a regular kayak or a sot kayak that would send you swimming for sure the moment you lose balance, as you know you will, sooner than later–
    The great thing about the w yak is that it’s stabler, and you’re standing with your legs on both sides of the high seat called a saddle, so that when you lose balance in most cases you fall on the saddle, in a pretty stable position, and you don’t go overboard like you would in other kayaks.

    The wavewalk website has some pretty amazing demo movies on this subject.

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