Paddling and fishing from kayaks is perceived by many as a hassle, due to the simple fact that the paddler or angler can expect to end up wet, and remain so for extensive periods of time on board their kayak, whether it’s a sit-in or sit-on-top (SOT) kayak.
Many people shun SOT kayaks just because paddling them and fishing from them inescapably means getting one’s feet and butt soaked (soggy bottom). For others, even sit-in kayaks are a no-go simply because they necessitate stepping in water upon entering and dismounting them, in no way assuring the passengers’ dryness, in fact almost certainly ensuring the eventuality of being thoroughly soaked.
This article elucidates and elaborates on the various maladies that may result from remaining wet while paddling a kayak and fishing from it. Those ailments and problems include bacterial infections, pruritic eruptions, exposure to a multitude of aquatic parasites, jaundice, muscle aches, rashes, and enlargement of the liver and spleen.
Clearly, exposure to wind while wearing wet clothes is highly conducive to hypothermia, a condition that in acute instances can lead to death. This is true more so for elderly people, and people who are in sub par physical condition due to other reasons such as recent illness, weakness, etc.
Needless to say, if you’re experiencing other kayak fishing and paddling related problems, such as sciatica, back pain, shoulder pain etc., being wet, and consequently being cold is not at all advisable, as cold contracts the muscles in the afflicted area, increasing your discomfort and pain.
In summation, avoiding continual wetness is a incontrovertibly a good idea, and the archaic sit-in and SOT kayaks universally available for paddling and fishing don’t offer adequate dry usage conditions. This is yet another serious ergonomic problem that is rarely acknowledged by kayaking and kayak fishing professionals, or by paddling and kayak fishing magazines. The prevalent attitude they usually perpetuate is “So what? If I get wet so can you, and besides, kayaking and kayak fishing are water sports, and that means you get wet!”. Such a viewpoint is unprofessional, inappropriate, and erroneous. It just serves to increase people’s discontent and frustration with kayaks.
As for yourself, if you enjoy paddling and fishing, and you dislike getting wet unnecessarily in the process, you may want to consider a W kayak, since these new, patented kayaks offer facile, dry entry and exit, and an entirely dry ride, whether you’re fishing from your kayak or just paddling it for the fun of it.