The Wavewalk S4 keeps changing people’s perception of both kayaks and car-top boats. Anglers, kayakers and boaters are learning that with this lightweight craft they can expect more, get more, and achieve more than they previously could, even if they owned several boats of different types and sizes, for fishing in different places. Texas is a big place that offers a wide variety of fisheries, both inland and in the ocean, and the S4 delivers high performance in all of them.
The S4 does much more, and it does it better too.
Here are some new demo movies that show the S4 in action –
1. Driving the S4 at high speed in narrow, winding mangrove creeks. The unrivaled stability and balancing capability that the S4 delivers to its crew allow for making sharp turns, and having a lot of fun – Because a good boat should be able to get you to the fisheries and fishing holes that you’d like to fish in, whether it’s the ocean, the flats, or the mangroves, and you should have fun while you drive there, and on your way back. Note that passenger sitting in the front is a big and heavy guy (6’3″ 260 lbs) who happens to be disabled as well. He rides the saddle-seat with a foot in each of the S4’s twin hulls, while the driver sits side-saddle, with both feet in the boat’s left hull, and facing sideways, dinghy style. Both positions are comfortable and stable, and switching from one to the other is effortless –
2. Driving the s4 at high speed offshore, in the ocean chop. This movie shows how seaworthy the S4 is. In fact, this 98 lbs Polyethylene boat that’s designated as a kayak is more stable than any kayak, as well as from many larger boats. The S4’s stability, together with its user’s ability to easily and effectively keep their balance on its saddle, result in a new level of seaworthiness, comparable to that of a personal watercraft (PWC), namely the ability to drive it standing up –
3. The S4 breaks the world speed record for motor kayaks – Captain Larry Jarboe drives his S4 powered by a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor at 17 mph –
4. Comparison of the S4 powered by a 5 HP outboard motor to an S4 powered by a 9.8 HP motor – Both work perfectly, and provide a smooth and enjoyable ride, but the bigger and more powerful motor drives the S4 at a higher speed. Note that if you want your S4 to go faster, you’d need to outfit its motor with a high pitch propeller, and you may also want to consider outfitting the motor with a hydrofoil.
Read more in this article How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor? »
Fisheries along Texas’s coastal areas are diverse and most productive, from flats to estuaries, and to deep blue water.
The Wavewalk S4 works extremely well in all these environments, since it can go in shallow water that bigger skiffs that draft more cannot access, and if necessary it works perfectly with a paddle, be it a canoe or a kayak paddle.
But the S4 shies in choppy water too, as well as in actual ocean waves, which means that crossing bays and estuaries with is not only possible, but it can be fun too. Unlike other skiffs that may get their crew to feel seasick in rough water, the passengers of the S4 ride a saddle seat much like the saddles of big personal watercraft (PWC – “jet-ski”), all terrain vehicles (ATV), and dirt bikes. These vehicles allow their users for the most effective balancing possible, so they don’t feel seasick.
This first movie shows the Wavewalk S4 driven in wavy seas and towed behind a big motorboat, as a tender boat. Note how well it moves with a second passenger on board -This is not a solo skiff!
This second movie shows the WAvewalk S4 driven in choppy water –
Both these movies demonstrate the S4’s versatility and high performance that rival and even outperform various types of skiffs and microskiffs out there.
Portable boats offer one big advantage, which is that when you own one, you don’t have to use a trailer to store and transport it. In other words, after a long drive to the beach, you can put in without necessarily waiting in line at the boat ramp, together with other impatient and frustrated boaters like yourself. And when your fishing trip is done, you can simply take the boat out, without having to wait for others who where there before you. Traffic at boat ramps can definitely take too much time away from your fishing trip, and it can definitely take away some of the fun.
Portability is important, but portable boats come with their own problems and limitations, and these have to do mainly with their size – Being of smaller size, these boats are neither stable nor comfortable, and their seaworthiness leaves much to be desired. Being boats and not paddle craft, they aren’t well fit for human propulsion, and paddling them across long distances is impossible.
These limitations practically mean than portable boats don’t work well in moving water, such as in the ocean, and on the other hand, they don’t work well in very shallow water (skinny water) and weed infested water, since outboard motors’ performance in such waters is very limited.
Fishing kayaks are considered by many as unworthy of being called boats because they are neither stable nor dry enough for fishing in the ocean, nor comfortable enough to fish anywhere, unless you’re a young, lightweight and physically fit person who suffers from no back problems at all.
Another problem that fishing kayaks present is their being unfit for effective motorizing, namely with outboard motors, and this severely limits the user’s range of operation, and could even be a safety problem in fast currents, strong wind, and bad weather. For these reasons, few kayak fishermen venture in the ocean along the Texas coast.
Seaworthy portable boats that work perfectly as paddle craft
But what if there were portable boats that were seaworthy enough for fishing in the ocean, yet narrow enough to work perfectly as paddle craft, whether with canoe or kayak paddles?
Such boats are the Wavewalk® 700 and Wavewalk® Series 4 (S4), patented twin-hull (catamaran) ultralight skiffs.
Both boats are lightweight enough to be car-topped by one person, yet roomy and stable enough to take on board two large size anglers with all their fishing gear, plus an outboard motor. They can be launched pretty much everywhere, including rocky beaches nicknamed “rock gardens”.
They can even be dragged across rough terrain. Both boats work well as paddle craft, with a crew of one (I.E. Solo) or two. In case the two passengers are not particularly heavy, the cockpits of these two boats are roomy enough to accommodate a third, small size passenger, such as a child or a dog, or both.
The fact that these two boats work in either a canoeing or a kayaking mode allows their crew to fish the flats in very skinny water, as well as fish and hunt in marshes and other fisheries where vegetation abounds, and in non-motor zones (NMZ).
This unique combination of seaworthiness and shallow water capabilities makes extremely well suitable to serve as skiffs for fishing the flats, bays and estuaries along the Texas coast. In fact the Series 4 (S) features the typical skiff stand up casting platform at the bow.
The differences between the W700 and S4 is that the bigger S4 can carry a bigger payload and a more powerful outboard motor, while the narrower W700 works so well as a paddle craft that it’s easier and more comfortable to paddle than any canoe or fishing kayak, whether in a solo or a tandem mode. And this is where it’s important to say that both boats feature a saddle seat that’s similar to the seats that personal watercraft (PWC) a.k.a. Jet-skis feature, and they are totally back pain free (see this review »), which can’t be said about sit-in and SOT kayaks.
This movie is about a 15 mile round trip offshore in a W700:
This video shows the W700 sneaking into a mangrove tunnel –
So, whether you’re after redfish or tarpon, seatrout, mangrove snapper or bass, or any other saltwater or freshwater fish species, and whether you fly fish or hunt for ducks, solo or with a friend – these two boats offer you a higher level or freedom, comfort and versatility.
The voyage began at Seadrift, Texas, the best kept fishing secret in Texas. Seadrift is the home of the Saltwater Cowgirl and Reel Time Lodge to name a few of our favorite establishments. I was actually a little overwhelmed as the mother ship, piloted by Captain Russel Cady along with Captain Jeff and Captain Joey, met us at Goose Island. These three Captains at heart are commercial shrimpers that total over a 120 years of experience between the three. Fishing and shrimping is a hard life, though a good life, definitely the heartbeat of this small community of Seadrift, Texas. This community knows the bays, good and bad, and I dedicate this blog to the Cady family members and others that have not returned home from these bays.
The two Wavewalk 500 s set on top of the mother ship and was an awesome site to see while beginning our voyage to Mesquite Bay. Fifteen set sail for an unchartered voyage.
Our camp, Camp Oklahoma, in honor of our friends that joined us from the Sooner State, was established on a uninhabited island. Tents were set and facilities were built to afford us a resemblance of an established community with amenities. Fifteen of us camped for three days and nights.
My wife, Valerie, enjoyed a day on the bay fishing for red fish and at one time I looked up and she had laid down on the W500, feet propped in the air and was taking a nap!!! When she awoke, she heard red fish jumping all around, cast her rod with a gold spoon and snagged a sweet little red, she was able to net him and put him on a stringer, all the while feeling very steady in the Wavewalk 500.
Captain Joey’s son, Trey, the youngest of our group demonstrated the speed and maneuverability of the W500 when he skimmed along the grassy lands in search of red fish. Captain Jeff is 6’3″ and over 200 lbs demonstrated the stability and agility possible while fishing for reds. His wife Cheryl was with him navigating the waterways while he was casting.
We started paddling at sun up and continued until sun down, with little land time for the W500, they were a most enjoyable add to our trip.
The wind blew hard at times, but the two Wavewalk 500 handled well, we caught reds, trout, flounder and a few mosquitoes. A trip and an experience of a lifetime!
I’ve been a fly fisherman for twenty years, and I’ve fished around the world.
For me, being able to fish out of a Wavewalk kayak is the realization of a dream to be both absolutely mobile and stable at the same time – to walk on water…
I’m seventy years old, and my sense of balance is impaired since I had a serious ear infection several years ago. I also have back problems that prevent me from fishing out of conventional kayaks.
Me and my son sold our sit-in fishing kayaks, and ordered a W500 kayak from Wavewalk.
After I got my Wavewalk 500, I took it for a test ride in a creek behind my house.
Within less than half an hour, I stood up and paddled it standing without feeling any problem.
Took my Wavewalk 500 out this morning for my first paddle and decided to take a trip thru some of our marshes down here. According to a google earth retracing of my steps I covered about 5.7 miles in 2 hours at a leisurely pace (as would be expected from a Retired Gentleman of Leisure).
The wind was blowing about 8 mph when I started and picked up to 15 to 20 towards the last half of the trip. We had a thunder storm moving in with the usual increase in winds, cloudiness and slight drop in temperature. Literally “no sweat.”
This gave me a chance to compare how the Wavewalk handled the wind as compared to my experiences with both sit in and sit on top kayaks. I think that I can sum it up as WOW! All I had to do was shift my position to raise the bow or stern enough to give me enough weather vane effect to keep me pretty much on a straight course. It took a little experimentation, but I picked up on it pretty quick. I also think that the wind being channeled between the 2 hulls helped me stay on line to a degree. The main point is that I did NOT have to paddle just on one side to keep my heading in a quartering or broadside wind, even when crossing open water. Just scoot towards bow or stern and keep on truckin’.
I had a tug pushing a load of barges up the Neches River throw a pretty good wake at me when I was fixin’ to cross on my way back to the launch. I was pretty nervous, but I shifted my weight all the way to the back of the cockpit and took the 1.5 to 2 foot wake head on. No problems once I got over the initial “oh crap” moment, and the boat took the waves just fine.
I got caught in the rain for the last 40 minutes or so, but I was having so much fun that I decided that if Indians didn’t have ponchos then I didn’t need one either. I wonder if Hyawatha got as nervous as I did when the lightening started popping…
I had a great paddle.
Snuck up on birds, fish, a boat full of fisherman and the one small gator who wasn’t paying much attention. (choot ’em, Lizabet) Got a few blisters and my muscles are a little sore (hey, I’m 60) but no yak back and my shoulder with arthritis feels pretty good. I was kind of surprised when I stepped out onto land at the end of the trip and staggered around for a few minutes. It’s true – you do use the muscles in your thighs when you paddle a Wavewalk, you just don’t notice it.
Being able to change positions while paddling also helped my knees tremendously. Years ago I shattered one knee cap twice (full of screws now) and tore cartilage in the other, so that was a big plus for me.
I only have one question – how come nobody thought of a catamaran hull concept for paddling craft a long time ago? Ok, so the Polynesians may have figured it out first on a larger scale. It needs less energy to paddle than a sit in, is much more stable than a SOT, your back doesn’t hurt and your butt stays dry! What more could you ask for?
The only thing that I would suggest so far is a couple of tie downs inside the hull to tie a small dry box or whatever to securely keep your ID, cell phone, fishing license and maybe a few bucks from going swimming if you get swamped or capsize. Just a thought…
Anyway, thanks guys! I’m having a blast! I’m gonna infect my son with Wavewalk fever the first chance I get, as he is still using a SOT. I think Village Creek would be a good place to start him out.
We’re owners of two new Wavewalk 500’s, and we take them out almost every weekend in one of the many many surrounding bayous and beaches. We’ve learned so much from this website. After considerable research we knew that the Wavewalk was the perfect Kayak for us. Stability, comfort, roominess were perfect for our needs.
We’ve invested in a trailer, built a platform for our dog (including several saddles) and are gearing up the W’s to catch flounder and redfish, plus it’s good exercise.
We take lots of pics and videos of our surroundings and enjoy the whole geocaching experience as well.
Aaron landing a couple of large and legal Reds using the ample room of his Wavewalk kayak, and then taking his W to ride the surf. Aaron just had to try it out and I have to say… he rode with great adeptness??!! haha. I was not as brave or willing to scuff my beautiful Wavewalk 500 up.
Our dog rumor enjoys our trips, sitting on a custom dog platform
I am 61, 280lbs, retired, 100% disabled, veteran Navy Officer.
I have a very bad back resulting from damage done while I was on active duty. My back has 4 bad disks in the lower end, three bad disks in the neck, and pinched nerves going to my legs. Added to this I suffer from Fibromyalgia. My meds for the most part keep the pain at a semi-manageable level, but the hurt never goes completely away. If I can help some other Vet or civilian with frequent orthopedic pain be able to enjoy kayaking it’s good enough for me.
I think it is important to clarify why I am passionate about the Wavewalk 500 Kayak.
I used to be an accredited Canoe instructor, and have taught lots of Boy Scouts how to make a canoe go straight. For me a regular kayak makes “Pain Management” impossible. I have tried conventional kayaks and NONE OF THEM give me the freedom to stretch and move that I require in order to keep my back from cramping up and making fishing pure hell. The W500 was my last hope for a personal watercraft. If it weren’t for the W500, I couldn’t be a kayak owner – my back will not allow me to sit in a regular kayak for more than about 20 minutes.
The W500 allows me to move into positions that relieve the pain from where it is hurting the most and have it hurt somewhere else for a while. I found the ONLY KAYAK AVAILABLE that allows me complete freedom of movement – something none of SITS or SOTS can claim. I will match my W500 up against anything the SITS or SOTS have shown me, especially since I can use the Wavewalk 500 and I CAN’T use the others. It does bother some other yakkers though that I always have easy answers for the problems they are trying to solve…
I think that eventually I will manage to give HOPE to disabled people that Kayaking is not something beyond their capabilities. Before I found the Wavewalk 500, kayaking was beyond my capability. You couldn’t have gotten me in a kayak for a days fishing on a bet. I would have passed on an all-expenses paid fishing trip with a guide who was fishing out of kayaks. I COULD NOT HAVE STOOD THE PAIN. Hurting just isn’t worth it.
In late January through early April the white bass will be running in the rivers near me. Kayakers have a field day getting into water that others can’t get to. I plan on showing the W500 off to many of those guys and will offer free rides. They will be bundled up in their waders and still be getting wet. I plan to entice them with a DRY RIDE.
I promote your product on the net for FUN. Its something I believe in and would like others who have the same problems as I do to have the freedom to participate in kayaking without hurting themselves more.
The biggest problem I have faced with my W500 is the comments from non-believers. Some of the things they say can be painful if you don’t have a thick hide. They make their comments UNTIL they get on the water with me. I then do things like reversing direction in the kayak and watch their faces. I also make a big deal about stretching and twisting, standing up to show that I am completely free to move as I desire.
I needed a stable kayak, that kept me dry (I mean 100% dry except for sweat) and after almost a year’s search finally decided that a Wavewalk W500 was the ticket. You are welcome to come to my home and try mine out on our neighborhood private lake. I offer this, because I had to buy mine sight unseen, untried, acting only on faith of others testimonials and several phone calls to a preacher in Corpus who owns one. The W500 is stable enough to not only stand in, but to paddle standing up. If you get wet in one its your own fault or because you decided to go wading. It has so much storage space that is so accessible that a crate isn’t needed. Unlike conventional kayaks I have a seat that is 6 feet long that I can sit anywhere on. I can stand, bend, twist, do anything I desire and stay in the kayak. Without doubt I feel I made the right choice, and I am however, a completely satisfied customer.
I read the Texas kayak fishing boards and just laugh. “Regular” kayak owners complain about lack of stability, lack of storage space, wet butts and wet feet, etc. An owner of a Wavewalk 500 has NONE of these problems. Take launching for instance – in a regular kayak you wade out half the length of the kayak and then get in – WET already. In a W500 I walk down between the hulls for 2 1/2 feet and step into the cockpit pushing off with the last foot on dry land and have launched completely dry. Landing I do essentially the same. To land I merely slide back in the seat, thus raising the “bow” and paddle or push quite far up onto the beach. I then slide up to the front pinning the hull tips to the beach and walk out between the hull tips – DRY.
Don’t believe the hype you will hear from folks who have other kayaks, and criticize the W500, because they have no idea what they are talking about (99.9% of whom have never even seen a W500 much less paddled one) that the W500 won’t turn, is hard to paddle, won’t track. Phooey on them. I can turn a W500 literally in place using 2 methods they don’t have in their arsenal. IF I need to change direction immediately I just turn around in the kayak (don’t try this in a regular kayak) and paddle the opposite direction OR I slide to the back of the seat lifting the front tips and do a couple of back paddles on the same side of the W500 and pivot in place. Regular turning is no problem either. Anchoring is another problem solved in a W500. A regular kayak MUST have an anchor trolley to be able to keep the anchor in the proper position to keep the kayak from going broadside to waves. The anchor trolley moves the anchor from place to place. In a W500, I can move from the back to the front of the kayak and I can move the anchor with me. I do have an anchor trolley on my W500, but its for MY CONVENIENCE mostly with Drift Socks so I can move the socks in small increments to keep me in position on a drift Quickly so as not to interfere with my fishing.
The Wavewalk kayak will keep you completely dry (no scuppers for water to enter to soak your butt) both on using the kayak and upon getting in and out of the kayak. The W500 has more storage than I can effectively use (14 cubic feet). I use a crate, not because I have to, but because it allows me to have a convenient place to fly my 360 light and flag from, and a place to keep my anchor and drift sock where it is instantly available should I need it. I use an anchor trolley because it makes the adjustment of where an anchor is located, not because I have to. Unlike those who use a conventional kayak and are largely confined to one place, I have a 6 foot long cockpit seat that allows me free access to the kayak tips on both the bow and stern which are interchangeable since the kayak can be paddled equally well either direction as they are exactly the same. You talk about turning – I can turn on a dime by sliding back to the rear of the seat and giving a couple of back paddles and the W500 will swivel in place. I can reverse direction simply by turning around in the cockpit and paddling the other direction. I don’t need to add flotation as that comes standard in the kayak tips and no it does not use up some of my storage space. Can anyone who has a regular kayak even approximate these features?? The features are as they are, and I will be posting about the merits of the W500 because I believe for the big guy and more importantly for the person who has disabilities that the W500 is the best kayak going.
It is so much easier to throw a cast net when you don’t have to do it from the sitting L position, and it’s so much easier it is to get things from your crate and from the 14 cubic feet of storage in the hull tips, if you can turn completely around like in the cockpit of a W500.
I did a lot of research before I finally settled on the Wavewalk 500, and I am glad that I can continually point out the things that are HARD OR IMPOSSIBLE from a regular Kayak that are so easy from a Wavewalk. It is most important to me for DISABLED KAYAKERS to know about the only kayak that I can own and actually use. As I have said before, my legs and back will not let me sit in a regular kayak for more than about 30 minutes before I have to get out. The having to get out is true for both paddling or sitting one place fishing.
The other fun and easy stuff like having max storage space, having max stability, ability to throw cast nets, are just gravy, because if you can’t get comfortable in the kayak, then you won’t use it and the subject is moot. IF I had a fishing kayak with the pedal drive I could not use it, and would not use it, because my disabilities keep me from using it. That said, after having a Wavewalk 500, I would still not use a pedal drive kayak even if I could. There are just too many other advantages to the Wavewalk that I would want to take advantage of. Why would I use a kayak with reduced capability and comfort???”
Give me a call or better yet come and paddle my W500.
How I rigged my Wavewalk 500 for fishing
Wavewalk 500 all decked out with the crate attached, the light/flag pole flying, rod holders (2) in place, the paddle holder based on Jeff’s Wal-Mart hooks in place and if you will notice sitting on the seat there are three 2 gal containers and three 1 gallon watertight containers that I use for storage up in the hull tips. You will see in another picture a closeup of how I extract the 1 gallon containers which get pushed way up in the tip.
My 2 gallon and 1 gallon ciontainers that fit up in the hull tips attached together. To maintain their watertightness I put silicone seal aroung the holes where the rope goes through their sides. To store, the big container pushes the little one up into the tip and to extract it the big one pulls the small one out. In one of the hull tips I don’t attach them together as the big container is filled with water and has an aerator for keeping shrimp alive as bait. When I get to where I am going to be fishing I pour the shrimp into a mesh bait bag that hangs over the side. I keep my cell phone, wallet, and anything else that can’t possibly get wet in the small one that has no holes drilled in it to ensure it always stays dry.
I drilled a 3 inch hole in the third section of the seat and installed a 2 1/2 tank fitting (the black round fitting) that goes through the poly board that hold the holder for my GPS. My depth finder/Fish Finder is dropped down through this hole and extends into the water beneath the hulls. Since the fish finder has side looking sonar on it too it has to go that deep. When underway I have a piece of 3 inch pvc that goes on top of the fitting and holds the sonar transducer just under the water when I am paddling, thus reducing the drag. The 2 1/2 inch fitting screw tight from underneath and reinforces the seat where I drilled the hole. A second, but no less valuable use for this hole is to run a chain through to lock the kayak into my truck when I am not with it. It keeps the kayak from wandering off if you get my drift.
GPS mount swung off to the side so I can move up to bow in boat. To exit the boat I would leave it straight and remove the depth finder and set it behind me and just walk off as usual.
My stake out stick. It consists of a 4-8 ft long roller painting extension pole from Home Depot with a 1 inch pvc T shaped handle on it on the top end and a roller handle (red part) that has had the part you attach the roller to cut off and then the shaft straightened and sharpened on the end. Works great and I attach it to the large carabiner on my anchor trolley.
My flag/360 degree light pole. It’s made from 1 1/4 inch pvc in three sections of 18 inches each. The Tektite white 2 led light drops in the top. When storing the pole for transit the pole sections are held in a piece of 4 inch pvc in the crate. I mount the flag/light pole in a 90 degree flush mount rod holder mounted as far back on the Hull tip a possible right next to the flotation foam. To make the 1 1/4 pipe fit into the pole holder I use a decreaser to 1 inch PVC.
Simple method of just using a carabiner to attach the anchor trolley to the handle and a picture of my rod holders. The BIG red carabiner goes over the stack out stick for anchoring.
My favorite small boat cleat. Its called either a zig zag cleat or a W cleat. I’ll go with the W. Very quick and easy to attach lines to and more than one line can be attached to the same cleat.
Looking down into crate. The 4 inch PVC holds the anchor and anchor rope and chain, also a piece for the broken down flag/light pole, and one for a couple of drift socks which are not here yet. One of my 1 gallon size watertight storage containers fits here too.