Sunday, July 3, 2016

Drive your motorized fishing kayak or boat in comfort

Driving a motorized fishing kayak or a small motorboat can be a pain, literally.
Outboard motors are great, but they're not exactly designed for maximum comfort, and their tillers are basically just simple devices that allow the driver to direct the propeller and set the RPM, which makes them easy to operate, but not comfortable to use.
In most small boats such as dinghies and Jon boats, the driver sits at the rear part of the boat, namely the stern, next to the motor, or right in front of it, and holds the tiller's grip handle. This can work without any problem for a short drive, but the fact that in most cases the driver has to turn sideways makes things a bit problematic for longer trips.
Driving with an articulated tiller extension allows the driver to sit facing forward, which is a considerable advantage, since the driver no longer to twist their body and stretch their left arm backward, but having to control speed and direction with one's forearm, wrist, and elbow can be hard over long distances.
The next step in comfort is driving with a steering wheel. This makes steering very easy, even over long periods of time, but the steering wheel is fixed in one position, and doesn't allow switching from driving seated to driving standing...
And this is where the joystick steering shines, as this video shows:

Note how easy and natural it is for the driver to stand up and sit down, and how stable he is evenin this choppy water, and when performing sharp turns standing up.
No back pain, no shoulder pain, no wrist pain - Just pure fun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Some Updates About Kayak Fishing With No Back Pain

No Back Pain -Biomechanical and Ergonomic Solutions in Kayak Design

This comprehensive article pretty much summarizes all that you need to know about what you should expect as far as back pain is concerned, when you consider fishing from a kayak. It explains what causes discomfort in a kayak paddler's back, what leads to pain, and what are the dangers in paddling and fishing over a long period while suffering from back pain, namely the risk of back injury.

Another excellent article on this subject is named Common Kayak Injuries.
As its name indicates, it focuses on the more severe aspects of paddling kayaks and fishing from them, which are various injuries, including back injuries.

The article Lumbar Spine and Kayak Back Pain focuses on what happens to your lumbar spine when you sit in a kayak for a long time, and what drives the pain you'd start feeling after some time.

We recommend reading these articles attentively, since back problems are the number one source of disability in the US, and kayaking (including kayak fishing) has become synonym to back pain. 
This is to say that many people seem to develop back problems that may be avoided if these people were more aware of what causes back pain in the first place, and acted sensibly.

And finally, we'd like to recommend this basic, common sense rule: When in doubt, don't.
If you feel any discomfort, let alone pain in your back while kayaking, or after paddling your kayak and fishing out of it, it's a sign you shouldn't ignore or dismiss, because your body is sending you a message that means "Problem!"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No yak back down under

Are you Australian, and are you interested in kayaking or in fishing out of a kayak?
If you are, chances are that you're aware of what paddling a kayak feels like after some time, and by this I mean that your back gets sore, your legs get numb, and you feel uncomfortable to a point where all you can think of is getting back to shore and standing up, so you could stretch and relief the pain in your back and the awkward feeling in your legs.
If you've been in such a situation you already know, and chances are that you've decided that kayaking isn't for you, and as far as kayak fishing goes, you'd rather stick to fishing from shore, or from a motorboat.

But you may want to reconsider all that, in view of the fact that W kayaks are back pain free, and do not cause any leg pain or numbness even when you use them for many hours without getting back to shore.
The reason for this is their patented catamaran form which allows for increased stability and improved ergonomics, as well as other advantages that are not part of this blog's focal theme. In fact, you can stand up in such a kayak anytime you feel like it, even if you're neither athletic nor very young and lightweight. Many middle aged and elderly anglers prefer using this kayak over a bigger motorboat because they get a similar level of comfort from it without the hassle of handling a boat trailer.

Anyways, these special kayaks are made in the United States, and they're available in Australia by direct order from Wavewalk, the company who makes them.
Here's more info on these back pain free kayaks, and how to get them in Australia.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

What's new in fishing kayaks' ergonomics?

When we launched this blog years ago, the notion of ergonomics in fishing kayaks basically meant that manufacturers added foam in the kayak's seat... Not that it helped much, really, since foam gets compressed, and leaves the angler to struggle with the increasing sensation of their lumbar spine being compressed both vertically and horizontally. This problems has often been described in multiple articles published on this blog, as well as in other websites dedicated to elucidating the truth in these (often painful) matters, and educating anglers about the inconveniences and risks associated with the singular and almost cruel L kayaking position...

So, what's new these days? 

Not much really.  Most fishing kayaks out there still feature the classic setup that based on footrests and a backrest designed to trap you in between, and allow your legs to work as powerful pistons that would continuously compress your lower back against the seat's backrest.
Some fishing kayaks feature wide canvas seats that are similar to stadium seats, or director seats. Why has anyone thought such seats may be more comfortable than foam filled seats is beyond anyone's understanding, but the field of kayak design is extremely restricted in the possibilities offered to come up with meaningful innovations, which is why such innovations are so rare in it.

Other fishing kayaks feature seats featuring a mechanism enabling their user to raise or lower them at will. The idea behind this innovation must have been that a higher seat is less painful to sit on, as far a the infamous 'yak back' syndrome is concerned. This is not absolutely true because sitting higher in a kayak that's essentially not a very stable vessel makes the user feel even less stable, as anyone can understand intuitively. Furthermore, and here it takes a kayak designer to analyze this family of products, the user who loses some of their stability and sense of comfort automatically tries to compensate for their loss by increasing their control over the kayak's lateral motion (rocking). This can be done in the L position only through a more rigid and tighter posture of the legs and back, and consequently more pressure on the sensitive area known as the lumbar spine. The end result of sitting higher in an unstable kayak that offers its user no effective means to improve their control over their kayak is an awkward sensation of helplessness and discomfort that gradually turns into the well known yak back or some other type of lower back pain and marked discomfort in one's legs.
The only way manufacturers of those kayaks found to help their clients with this new problem is by making the kayaks increasingly big and wide, in an attempt to improve their stability. This may work to some extent, but it also exacerbates the problem of such fishing kayaks being 'barges', that is particularly slow, hard to propel by human power, and lacking acceptable tracking capabilities - In other words, nothing you and I would like to spend time in.
Which brings the angler who hopes to find the perfect fishing kayak back to the Wavewalk 500 series that's back pain free and offers both unrivaled stability and unmatched ease of paddling.