Outfitting and exercise are the two customary approaches to dealing with pain and injuries associated with kayaking and kayak fishing.
The first method consists of tips and tricks offered by outfitters, kayakers and kayak fishermen, in combination with home-made and accessories such as seats and cushions that promise comfort but fail to deliver.
All of the above are supposed to help people who paddle kayaks and fish from them avoid discomfort, pain and injuries caused by kayaking and kayak fishing.
For example, the perennial advice given to kayak users who suffer from circulation problems in their legs that lead to discomfort, numbness and pain, is to place a small pillow under their knees in order to support them in a higher position. Like other cushioning solutions, this doesn’t solve the source of the problem at its root but merely delays or masks it – or moves it elsewhere.
The second approach is advocated by professionals who treat pain and injuries, such as chiropractors. These people are more aware of the physiological causes of discomfort, pain and injuries related to kayaks, and what they basically recommend are multifarious forms of physical exercise that can make paddlers and fishermen more fit for their kayaks.
Such approach makes sense when considering activities that people can’t do without, such as office work and driving. That is to say that office workers and drivers don’t have a choice but to engage in non-ergonomic activities such as office work and driving, but this is not the case with paddling kayaks and fishing from them, since people are not forced to paddle and fish – they do it for fun and relaxation. Therefore, the idea that kayakers and kayak fishermen should spend time exercising at home or in fitness clubs in order to avoid physical injuries that occur as a result of leisure activities performed in kayaks is illogical and unnecessary. Indeed, why should you waste time, energy and money exercising your body to fit a certain product just because you feel like going on water, or fishing, or both?
Paddling itself should be your healthy physical exercise, and the same is true for kayak fishing.
If sit-in and SOT kayaks require exercising at home or in gym in order to protect your body from injuries that are have a tendency to occur while paddling and fishing from such kayaks, then the sensible approach would be to avoid using them, and look elsewhere.
This is a matter of common sense: Your kayak should fit you, not the other way around.
If you’re not in great shape (most people aren’t…) you’d better get a kayak that would help you get into shape organically and leisurely, without exposing you to the common kayaking injuries, especially in your back.
Such kayak should not confine you into a single posture that’s uncomfortable and potentially harmful to your back. It should offer your spine support from your own legs in a natural angle, with freedom of motion and change, and not from a padded plastic accessory that continuously pushes against your lumbar vertebrae from the wrong direction.
Unlike sit-in and SOT kayaks, this kayak should be easily paddled in various paddling styles, in order to reduce excessive strain on particular muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.
Most chiropractors are unaware of the existence of an alternative to traditional sit-in and SOT kayaks. The good news is that such kayak exists: It’s patented, tested, and offers a legitimate, complete solution to the ergonomic problems that other kayaks simply can’t address.
It’s called the W kayak, and it is made by Wavewalk Fishing Kayaks. The company’s website offers countless testimonials from customers who had previously been suffering from typical kayaking and kayak fishing problems before they switched to the W kayak. It also offers several technical articles on the new ergonomic design of this boat.