The Natural Position
Riding is the most stable and comfortable position, and it offers best control over your boat and the most leverage on your paddle.
Your legs are on both sides of your body, and your feet are in a direct line below your body.
For Fishing, Riding is the preferred position, rivalling only with standing. When you cast riding you have more power than when casting in the sitting position.
This position is similar to the riding position used in other high performance vehicles such All Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Snowmobiles, and Jet skis.
Riding is the best position for beginning W Kayakers. It is also the best position in white-water and surfing applications.
Sitting means having your legs positioned in front of your body. Sitting positions are less stable and powerful than Riding, and not recommended for beginning W Kayakers, or for paddling in moving water.
The sitting positions are good for relaxing on flat water. Adding a back rest (lumbar support) is not necessary in the W kayak, and few W kayakers choose to outfit their boat with such an accessory.
If your knees don’t reach the bottom of the hulls you can use padding as seen in the right side image
out there, but nothing could be further from the truth –
In fact, when it comes to normal paddlers and anglers, who are neither lightweight nor extremely athletic, only W kayaks offer the possibility to paddle and fish standing up in comfort and confidence, and only W kayaks offer a critical safety feature in the form of a 14″ high saddle to fall on, in case you lose balance.
To understand what standing up in a kayak really means from all aspects, including ergonomics, safety, stability and balance, go to this website’s
Stand Up Paddling and Fishing section >>
After some practicing you can try to paddle standing in moving water and in the surf.
Mixed Riding and Sitting
You can paddle and fish with one leg in the Riding position and the other leg placed forward in the regular sitting position, or entirely stretched forward.
Such positions are quite powerful, and can be useful for counteracting a lateral current or wind, and as yet more options for reducing fatigue in long trips.
It is sometimes useful when two people paddle in tandem using single blade (canoe) paddle – each on a different side of the boat.