The illustration below shows a W500 kayak in three load points –
The left image shows it unloaded.
The image in the middle shows it loaded with around 200 lbs (91 kg). The load is distributed evenly front and back, so the kayak stays level, which offers optimal speed and control. The draft is shallow.
This load results in a slight splaying of the hulls, and no problem at all. Flex is built into the W design.
The image on the right shows the kayak loaded with around 360 lb (163 kg), which is the maximum load recommended for it. Assuming the load is distributed evenly front and back, the kayak stays level, and it’s still fast, agile, and easy to paddle. -Watch tandem paddling demo video >
The hulls are noticeably splayed, but sitting on the saddle is still very comfortable, and stability is still good. This amount of flex in the kayak is still perfectly normal.
Waterline is considerably lower than the saddle’s gussets (reinforcement ribs), so there is no hydrodynamic problem, since the water between the hulls flows without restrictions.
For optimal performance, keep your kayak level. In order to keep it level, paddle it from the middle of its cockpit, not its rear. This is especially true if you’re a heavy person.
Do not paddle your W kayak from its rear, unless it’s just for a specific purpose, such as surf launching, beaching, or going over an obstacle.
When motorizing, drive the kayak from the middle of the cockpit, using a long, articulated (jointed) tiller extension. Don’t drive it from the cockpit’s rear.
When paddling in tandem, try as much possible to distribute the load evenly between the front and the back of the kayak. Do not overload the back.
Do not overload your W kayak, whether you’re going solo or in tandem, paddling or motorizing.
Do not paddle this kayak in tandem, unless both yourself and your paddling partner have each paddled it solo before, and gained sufficient experience as solo W kayakers.
Take the time to learn how to paddle this kayak when it’s loaded – Like any vessel or vehicle, the W kayak behaves differently the more it is loaded.
While it is true that the vast majority of kayakers and kayak anglers today are adults and seniors, as has been the case since the advent of modern kayaking, this need not be the case. The revolutionary new W Fishing Kayak makes kayaking and kayak fishing for younger users not only easier but actually fun, in contrast to the tedium of using old fashioned kayaks. Youth kayak fishing is a new website that highlights kayaking and kayak fishing among kids and teens, check it out!
I’ve had the kayak out a number of times now and am dialing in my photography setup. I found that splaying the tripod across the top of the cockpit is much better than having the legs inside. This way, I have more room for my own legs and cargo and I can slide in nice and close to the camera. I added some hooks to the inside so that I can keep the tripod nice and secure given the weight and expense of the photo gear. I can control the kayak and casually paddle while facing the camera with ease. I just lay the paddle across my legs while shooting which works well. If I have a long distance to cover and don’t want to take the setup down, I’ll turn the other way to avoid striking the tripod while paddling more aggressively.
Things are working out well! I’ve got some great photos of herons and pelicans already – much better than the past years of trying to get close by foot.
I recently upgraded to a combo fish finder GPS unit. I was using a suction cup to hold the transducer to the side of the W but I noticed it would create drag and occasionally fall off. I tried several different methods to mount it in the inside of the W and shoot it through the hull, not so successfully. Again sometimes the simplest method works the best. I wish I would have tried this first. On YouTube tube I noticed a installation using duct seal. I purchased 1lb. at under $3.
Simply form a well at the bottom, lay transducer flat to surface , pinch some of the duct seal over it to hold in place. When you start kayaking simply put a slight amount of water in the well you formed to cover bottom of the transducer and start enjoying drag free readings. This duct seal sticks great, is waterproof, remains soft, and is portable. If you want to move it to another W simply peel off and reset it.
In my never ending quest to simplify and diversify using my Wavewalk kayak, I just added a cable anchoring system.
I first assembled the pulley arrangement as per Jeff McGovern’s video in the rigging section of the W website (which had both the top and bottom sections of the cord at the pulleys spaced outside the carrying handles), but experienced problems with the cord coming off the pulley when moved forward or backward. So I repositioned the pulleys as shown so that the top cord passes to the inside of the carrying handle while the bottom cord passes to its outside.
This seems to work OK but I’ll give it a good test over the next week when the water around here clears after Debbie did her thing. If a problem persists, I’ll replace the plastic pulleys with the small metal ones that have built in shields to keep the cord from slipping off.
By doubling up on the anchor line as shown I can let out about 10 feet (which works well 90% of the time on the flats here), but can also easily convert it into a single 20 foot line when needed.
Of course, I also still have the option of my 6-foot metal clip fish stringer to anchor while fishing in a foot or two of water using the ropes installed through holes drilled in the top rim of the W.
Hopefully, I’ll get out later this week after the water clears. It was chocolate brown and full of grass and weeds when I checked it out over the weekend.