I have been looking for a kayak or canoe that fits my needs for quite a while.
I love the sport, and find it a relaxing and useful mode of transportation. However, as I get “older” I found that the body does not necessarily wants to do everything my mind wants to do. I am 65 years old, 5’9” and 190 lbs having had back surgery a few years ago.
The hours on end I used to spend paddling along the coast, around lakes and down rivers looking for thinks to photograph, enjoying the views or drowning some worms became a painful experience after half an hour of sitting in a standard kayak in the infamous “L” position.
I could not find a comfortable position and after about one hour I could not get out of the kayak in a graceful manner (actually I had to roll out on the dirt) and was unable to straighten for several hours.
I had to either stop doing what I enjoy, or find a different way to do it.
After a lot of web surfing I found Wavewalk’s website and was intrigued by the new design and its claim of ergonomic delights. I was disappointed that there were no dealers or a place where I could actually try it (or even see one,) other than in pictures and You-Tube videos, but my back kept screaming to try it and get my mind off my back, literally, so I called Yoav and ordered a W500.
As soon as it arrived, I went to one of the lakes north of Tucson, AZ and gave it a try. The lake was very busy with many motor boats so the water was choppy with lots of wakes. The W handled well and although at times felt a bit unstable, after getting used to it, it became easier to handle and I enjoyed the outing.
FIRST TRIP TO SAN DIEGO
The following weekend I made a trip to San Diego and took the W with me to give it a more thorough workout. In the calm water of Mission Bay it felt a lot more stable and easier to handle. I paddled for several hours without discomfort to my back.
Only when I tried to turn inside the kayak to paddle the opposite way (just like Yoav does it) I lost my balance and the W flipped… As I said, the body does not necessarily wants to do everything my mind wants…
LONG CAMPING TRIPS
I went camping in a long and narrow lake in the northern mountains of Arizona. I loaded it with a lot of camping equipment, water, food, etc for a 4-day trip, which was too much, and the overloaded W was riding too low on the water, and felt unstable. So the following day, with an unloaded and lighter W, I was able to paddle 14 miles in it and for about 6 hours, including breaks, side trips, etc. without discomfort, something I have not been able to do in other kayaks.
I am using and enjoying the W very much. It is fun to be able to spend long hours on a kayak again and do the things I enjoy such as photography, fishing and sightseeing in the water. Overall, I am happy with the W.
Those are my first, second, third and fourth impressions. I hope they help!
This review was first published on Wavewalk’s fishing kayaks blog >>