I have been walking the Earth long enough to know that I only know what I know. One of the things I know that I know is that there is a lot I don't know. The older and more experienced I get in all areas of my life, the more I discover, or am made aware of by others, that the scope and sheer immensity of what I don't know infinitely eclipses what I will ever know. I also know that what I know, or claim to know will always be evaluated by others according to what they know, or think they know, or perceive that I don't know. Ultimately, most people with at least a modicum of functioning grey matter can accept that whatever any of us knows or claims to know is always subject to qualified review by what we each and/or collectively consider to be the consensus of well informed opinion. The rest of you (and you know who you are) can go pound sand!
All of this is to say, that when I profess that the Wavewalk W500 kayak is "THE ANSWER", it is only my humble opinion, based on my own ranking of criteria for what is essential in a fly fishing paddle craft, and my own fly fishing and paddling experience. There are those with much more experience and skill than I out there, people I hold in high regard, that are of a different mind.
There is, however, a certain maturity, security, and comfort in one's own skin that is revealed by an expressed acknowledgement of the legitimacy of alternative points of view and a willingness to affirm, if not endorse, that what is best for one, may be something less than that for another. I would like to think that I am open-minded enough to be worthy of a tent in that camp.
Suffice it to say then, that it is my considered opinion that there may well be enough shore bound fly fishing participants of a certain age and level of physical fitness out there who are looking to enhance their access to more fish via a craft that they can comfortably and legitimately paddle, stand, and cast from, to constitute a consensus of some kind. What I know is, that I cannot ever remember being so favorably impressed by any product, of any kind, as I have by the Wavewalk W500 kayak. Part of that has to do with my passion for saltwater fly fishing and the degree to which the "W" has enriched my fly fishing experience. Part of it may be that my memory isn't what it used to be. Be that as it may, I find that I have to consciously temper my enthusiasm for the boat whenever I share its virtues with other fly fishers. I am constantly explaining that I am simply a satisfied customer of Wavewalk, and not a sales rep. Not yet, anyway. This is a boat with a design that is so beautifully simple and so inherently adapted to stand-up paddle fishing, that I find it almost impossible to believe that its creator does not, and to my knowledge, has never ...fished!!! And to top it off, he's from Israel of all places!! The whole thing is so improbable it's hard to get my head around! Add to that that he's right here in Sharon, MA, so I could readily water test the boat before I got one, and it's almost too good to be true! Since I've had a chance to fish the W500 several times now, I have devised some fly fishing specific rigging ideas that you can see pictures of in a slide show I've posted above. The next entry will be about the "thinkin' behind the riggin'".