Tag Archive: Wavewalk S4

A new look at the super micro skiff

People who watch videos showing the Wavewalk S4 micro skiff in action have no problem realizing that it raises the bar in performance terms, beyond anything that small skiffs, Jon boats and fishing kayaks can. However, some people find it harder to understand how the S4 is built, and this is not surprising, since the S4 is unique, and revolutionary.

Recently, Wavewalk released this new technical figure (see above) that describes the S4 visually, in detail. In itself, this figure isn’t enough to provide a full understanding of all the aspects of the S4’s technical innovations, unique features, and high performance in multiple applications, but it can serve as an additional means to get a better insight.

Click this link to see this figure in full size

Note the slanted sides of the cockpit that enhance performance in kayaking and canoeing, and the front deck that can serve as a stand up casting platform, which is a feature typical to microskiffs.

Also, it’s worth noting the integrated (molded-in) pairs of carry handles (total of 4) at the bow and stern, which make it so easy to carry this ultralight microskiff, as well as attach it to a vehicle or a dock, or to another boat.

Looking at the animated slideshow featuring on this website’s header is another good means for getting an instant snapshot of the Wavewalk S4 unrivaled capabilities, but eventually, learning about these things is best done by watching movies. For this reason, we recommend visiting Wavewalk Kayak and Microskiff YouTube channel »

 

 

 

High speed and seaworthiness for the Wavewalk S4 microskiff

Microskiff are neither fast nor seaworthy, or at least this was the common perception of these small skiffs, until now.
But Wavewalk’s S4 has recently begun to show that it can push the microskiff’s performance envelope in terms of speed and seaworthiness.
The S4 features a twin hull (full fledged catamaran hull) and a personal watercraft (PWC) saddle-seat, so it is constrained neither by the mono-hull form, which is inherently unstable, nor by the ergonomics of small skiffs’ seats that limit the users’ ability to balance themselves effectively.
The S4 also lighter than other microskiffs (98 lbs without a motor), and this is a good thing when speed is concerned.

The following two movies were shot in Key Largo, in southern Florida. They feature the Wavewalk S4 outfitted with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard, which is a powerful motor for this class of small watercraft. Interestingly, the S4 is officially designated as a kayak, so the fact that it clocked 17 mph makes it the world’s fastest motor kayak.

Captain Larry Jarboe drives the S4 at 17 mph on flat water:

 

High speed in the ocean chop, seated and standing:

 

Solo skiff?

Solo skiff means a skiff for one person, and this definition does not fit the S4, which can accommodate up to three adults anglers and their gear, in the microskiff configuration, that is powered by an outboard motor, such as see here –

 

Photos courtesy of Mike Silva, Massachusetts

Pushing the microskiff boundaries

The Wavewalk S4 has pushed the microskiff boundaries in all directions –
It showed that a microskiff can be effectively paddled, and that the slogan “Forget about paddling” belongs in the dustbin of history. After all, when it comes to skinny water, paddling can be key, and even critically important, and the same is true for weedy water.
The S4 also proved that a microskiff can be easily car-topped by one person, and its users can be freed from having to transport it on a trailer and launch it only at boat ramps.
And now, the S4 has pushed the microskiff envelope again, by displaying top performance in rough water, waves, offshore, and on flat water.

In sum, these are good times for anglers who are looking for a lightweight, portable boat that would effectively replace both a fishing kayak and a skiff, Jon boat, and dinghy, for flats fishing as well as offshore fishing.

The most lightweight skiff

At 98 lbs without accessories, Wavewalk’s S4 is the world’s most lightweight skiff.
In fact, it is lighter than some fishing kayaks.

How does the S4’s light weight translate into advantages for its users?

Advantage in ratio of weight to carrying capacity (payload)

With its carrying capacity of over 650 lbs, the S4 boasts a weight to payload ratio of 1:6, and no other skiff comes close to delivering such performance.

In other words, every pound of Polyethylene from which this skiff is made, can carry six pounds of passengers, motors, equipment and provisions.

In this photo, Captain Larry Jarboe drives his S4 skiff at 10 mph with two adult passengers on board. The total payload carried here is over 550 lbs, and the position of the bow above the water shows that this S4 could have taken some extra weight on board.

Wavewalk S4 skiff carrying a 550 payload at 10 mph

Both the captain and passengers are relaxed and comfortable – This is a leisure trip in the mangroves of Key Largo, Florida, an area where many motorboats go, including fast powerboats that leave big wakes behind them.
The free board seen here, combined with the S4’s unrivaled stability, provide this crew adequate means to deal with this problem that everyone who goes in small boats, including Jon boats and micro skiffs is aware of, and often wary of.

Advantage in transportation that saves time

This micro skiff is so lightweight that one person can car top it on any vehicle by themselves, and transport the motor inside the vehicle.

 

 

No other skiff or micro skiff offers such performance in transportation. Not even paddle board style skiffs designed to carry just one person on board.

The economic advantage of being so lightweight is that the owners of the S4 skiff waste no time launching it at boat ramps, and they have more time to spend on the water, fishing, touring, and diving. In addition, they can save the money that other boat owners must spend on a trailer.
One person is enough to launch and beach the S4 practically anywhere.

Advantage in mobility and fishing in shallow water

In paddling terms, the S4’s light weight combined with its catamaran hull and its cockpit’s slanted sides makes it fun and easy to paddle, even for a solo paddler, who doesn’t necessarily have to be particularly strong or experienced, as told by this Texan angler in his “first impression” review of the Wavewalk S4 »

The ability to switch to anytime to an effective paddling mode is a major advantage for anglers who fish in shallow water, grass, seaweed, and no-motor zones, namely highly productive fisheries, such as the flats, mangroves, marshes, etc.

Paddling this skiff kayak is easy both seated and standing. The latter is yet another advantage since it greatly improves the ability of the angler who practices sight fishing to spot fish at a greater distance. This advantage is critical for fly fishing in these areas.