Jim Luckett rigged a Wavewalk 500 with a sailing kit, and took it sailing in Vermont. The sail area is 55 SF (5 square meters)
The result is very exciting, as this video shows:
Jim is sailing this catamaran kayak upwind, at full speed, standing up and feeling at ease, although his 28.5 inches wide (72 cm) W500 is not equipped with outriggers, as one would expect under such conditions.
Craig Masterman is a saltwater kayak fly fisherman who fly fishes in Cape Cod and Florida. This video from 2010 shows him testing the now suspended W500, that was replaced by the W700, which is a roomier and stabler version of the W500.
Kayak fishing hype is everywhere, but the truth has a value of its own, since it can be demonstrated and proven in real life, as seen in this W500 video:
Kayak stability without comfort and safety is a misnomer, and so is kayak fishing standing and stand up paddling without comfort and safety.
It is not reasonable to expect a paddler or angler to rise up from the L position to a standing position, and it is reckless to expect that they’ll sit down from a standing position in case they lose balance, which always happens when you stand up in or on top a kayak.
This is where the 14 inches high W500 kayak saddle shines…
Stability is essential for fishing out of a kayak. Read more about what makes The Wavewalk design the most stable of all.
This short video shows in slow motion the stability offered by the W500 fishing kayak in the riding position:
If you’re impressed with the W500 kayak’s extreme stability, watch the W700’s absolute stability:
A 205 lbs man can stand in full confidence on the side of the W700. This revolutionary stability puts the W700 in the boat category. It is no longer a kayak as far as stability is concerned. And the S4 is even more stable…
Range of motion and protection from the fish – Sounds a little weird but the Wavewalk kayak offers a far better range of motion for anglers and some measure of protection when landing fish.
I’ve noticed this the most dealing with saltwater speedsters in the form of jacks and ladyfish. Both are considered trash fish but only in terms of eating them. For getting into lots of pulling and yanking they are a blast. But when brought boat side for landing they always have far better ideas than the angler. Leaping and jumping at the last moment can easily put one into your lap or worse. Since they also have a face full of hooks the results of this last moment dash for freedom can be a disaster. If you are stuck in that L position you are too low and too limited in movement options to do much about it. These are also fish that will run in any direction and in a boat you can’t turn your body very well chances are you’ll be tangled up in no time.
In the W kayak, because you are upright in the riding position you can turn much more toward the fish and it’s angle of pull. Also when you go to land the fish you are above most of the danger zone and far better protected. After netting a fish you can simply rest the handle across the cockpit rims and hold in in place. You don’t have a net to worry about getting caught up in the rod, a portion of your body, or other gear. Plus if you are dealing with a fish you might want to keep for a great fish meal if it does jump around it’s going to end up at your feet in one of the hulls safe for the table.
Even in the course of battling a fish if all goes according to plan the L position is a lousy one to fish from. Since you can’t rotate well from the waist or really brace for the battle your shoulders and arms take some real punishment. The L position acts to deny using your core muscles to fight the fish. The W offers so many fish fighting advantages but as with many things about the boat they are not truly realized until the angler actually can try it. If there is a problem with that it’s simply that nothing compares to the Wavewalk. No other boats have the advantages.
Anyway I just wanted to shoot a note along this line. Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for all those other non Wavewalk kayak fishermen out there.
In preparation for comparison to the new W500 I have been spending time “relearning the joys” of sit inside and sit on top kayaks.
Besides the obvious back issue already known there is the concern of shoulder pain. I have had some discomfort, but in talking to a few other fellow kayak fishermen they mentioned the pain associated with casting from the awkward L position. I noticed soreness the next day trying to power out long casts from the L position. It was far easier to just get out and wade since in the standing position the casts were braced.
I think in many cases the so called fishing kayaks are really just fishing transport devices, since actually fishing from them is a constant compromise. Many times getting out on a suitable bank or sand bar is far more comfortable. Besides, in many sit on tops the wet butt syndrome leads to other comfort problems down the road…
If we compare a standard cast from the Wavewalk kayak to a cast from a sit on top we see two different things entirely: The sit on top cast is a controlled flail with the hope for distance and accuracy. It is many times followed by a winch from the angler as they deal with the pain. A cast from the W kayak is a powerful controlled launch that accurately places the lure right where it needs to be. It’s quite a difference, and one that can only be experienced – it is difficult to describe.