The typical fishing kayak is a cluttered barge

This short review of recent kayak design articles highlights some aspects of the common fishing kayak.

The first, and probably most striking thing about the typical SOT, sit-in or hybrid fishing kayak that’s offered in stores or online is its size – It is huge, and consequently heavy and hard for one person to carry and car top, as well as hard to paddle, especially in wind and current.
Those kayaks seem to have crossed the line between a kayak and a boat, or a skiff, since practically speaking they require transportation by trailer. And indeed, some manufacturers already refer to their larger fishing kayak models as boats, not because of their performance or some additional functionality, but due to their size.
Needless to say that this fact alone is evidence that such kayaks defy the purpose of kayak fishing.

The second most striking aspect of those large-size fishing kayaks is the dysfunctional clutter in their cockpit and deck that seem so crowded with fishing accessories and just ‘stuff’ that the angler sitting or attempting to stand in them literally has no room to do so. These objects range in size, from small cup holders to large size lean bars, and their presence in the kayak’s cockpit is not only unnecessary to the angler, it is clearly counterproductive.

The third interesting thing about these larger than life (I.E. too large for real people to fish from in real life) kayaks is the absence of hydrodynamic design in them: They are not even close to conform to basic boat design standards or even to common sense: Not only are they much too wide for their length, which slows them down and makes them track poorly and require a cumbersome rudder – their underside features a variety of design elements that are extremely counterproductive as fare as speed is concerned. Such elements can be multiple scupper holes and molded-in channels, fins, and even a skeg.

Ironically, none of these accessories, systems and design elements offers a real solution to the fundamental problems that the average angler experiences when using them –

These unsolved problems in these common fishing kayaks are:

1.  Poor ergonomics, meaning mainly lack of comfort, early fatigue and back pain, as well as bad bio-mechanical design, which the angler feels as a restricted range of motion in both paddling and fishing. The new beach seat style kayak seats are obviously a botched attempt to address this issue, as foam filled seats failed to do so in the past.

2.  Insufficient stability albeit the fact that these fishing kayaks are extremely wide.

3.  Wetness as a result of the kayak offering too little or no free board, and scupper holes that conduct water upward onto the deck and cockpit, a problem annoying to a point that  manufacturers have to offer scupper plugs…

4.  These kayaks are as wide as canoes and as as sluggish and unfit for paddling in strong wind, waves and other real world factors.

5.  With all the stuff tucked on board a typical SOT, sit-in or hybrid fishing kayak, such craft still scores very low in terms of storage, as one or more hatches address neither the need for enough storage space nor for adequate accessibility to the gear stored inside.

In contrast, the Wavewalk 500 series of twin hull kayaks offers a high level of fishability in all these factors.

References –

More is less in your fishing kayak’s cockpit – Too much stuff and too little fishability

The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside


How Much Storage Is A Good Fishing Kayak Required To Provide?

Our answer to this question is “as much as possible – there’s no such thing as too much storage in a fishing kayak”. We believe that most experienced kayak anglers would adhere to this opinion, although it seems like some people who are affiliated with certain fishing kayak brands think there’s such a thing as “too much storage in a fishing kayak”  🙂

When a fishing kayak is concerned, the three fundamental questions pertaining to storage are:

  1. How much storage space does the kayak provide?
  2. How well does this storage space protect the gear stored in it?
  3. How easy and convenient it is for the kayak angler to reach the stored gear?

Even the biggest and most expensive fishing kayaks don’t offer a sufficient amount of storage space for a serious, long fishing trip. This includes SOT fishing kayaks, and Hybrid fishing kayaks that are so big, heavy and clumsy that paddling or pedaling them is hard, and so is car topping them. This is why they’re called ‘barge yaks’, and they require that you outfit them with a crate.

The only fishing kayak that provides as much storage space as you’d need for a fishing trip of any length is the W500 (and the 502, of course). The storage space in this kayak is protected from the elements, and you can always access it from inside the cockpit – even when you’re out on the water.  This can’t be said about the typical storage solution that other fishing kayaks feature, which is called hatches.

Read more about storage in fishing kayaks >