The Scuba Diver, the Fisherman & the Spearo
By Stone Meharry & Tine Funderud, Goat Island Dive and Snorkel.
Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a huge boat, trailer and all the constant maintenance that comes with it, when there is a cheaper and more convenient offer out there? It’s a new age for kayaks and they have come to satisfy your needs. Who would have thought going diving, fishing or even spearfishing from kayaks would be this quick, easy, cheap and fun?
Pheonix Kayaks are customised for the outdoorsy Kiwi, from years of experience, to suit Kiwi needs. They come fully loaded with all the handy little functions you’ve always wanted.
New Zealand has a coastline like no other. Just off shore are the best fishing spots, magnificent diving and the greatest hunts. Using a kayak is a fantastic and affordable alternative compared to forking out for a boat. If space is a concern, a kayak is small enough to store just about anywhere and can be transported with just about anything, no trailers to park and no worry about maintenance. Kayaking gives you the freedom to pack up and head out to all the places you have dreamed about. This is the option that allows anyone to go anywhere.
Phoenix Kayaks’ new ‘Hornet’ fishing kayak is amazing on the water and very versatile. The storage compartments are exceptionally designed providing a large well, complete with bungee cords in the rear and a long compartment in the middle with a hinged lid and bungee latches, making for quick and secure access for smaller items. A large hatch in the bow with a lid that presses securely into place is perfect for an anchor, dry bag, food for the day or other larger items that need to stay dry. This is a very stable kayak that is not only perfect for fishing, but is stable enough for scuba and freediving exertions.
Loading up your scuba gear before you hit the water is very easy. The large open compartment in the rear offers great space for all of your gear. When loading up for scuba, assemble your equipment making sure to secure your weight system and have your BCD inflated enough that it will float. Have your fins clipped to your BCD using a shoulder strap. Using the bungee straps you can secure your gear with the tank fitting perfectly in the bottom of the well and make sure to have your weights evenly distributed to stop any movement. There is plenty of space in Phoenix Kayaks; put your mask, smaller camera and other valuables in the centre compartment. There’s room for catch bags and other items you want to take as well. Hint: the paddle strap works great for securing a cray noose.
Out on the water, paddling with the added weight of all your dive gear is no issue, with a manufacturer load limit of 120kg and their sleek hydrodynamic design. The Phoenix Hornet kayak is wide and stable enough to make getting all of your gear ready for a dive easy, as well as accommodating all your needs safely on the water.
Once you have the kayak securely anchored in place you should get most of your equipment ready, mask around your neck, fins on, making sure your paddle is secured in the handy paddle strap. Using the bungee on the back well, you can secure your BCD and push your gear into the water. Because the kayak is so stable it is very easy to manoeuvre your gear and enter or exit the water without capsizing. When entering the water, place both hands on the same side and turn, while slowly lowering yourself into the water.
Exiting the water is done in much the same way; you begin by securing any extra equipment to your BCD and clipping it to the bungee cord. You leave your fins on so you can use them for an extra push, and pull yourself up. Once on the kayak, you can straddle with both legs in the water on each side and pull your gear into place.
When freediving or spearfishing you have plenty of options. There is a handy strap to store your paddle when not in use – or when heading to your destination you can store your spear gun there. Your float and large fins fit perfectly in the rear compartment with your mask safely in the middle for easy, quick access. With everything out of your way and held in place, you have great space for paddling.
This kayak is primarily designed for fishing and has everything you need. The rod holders are situated behind the seat and are easy to reach but out of the way when paddling. The middle compartment is very useful for a tackle box, phone or radio and bait. The top lid is nice and flat so you even have a space to cut bait or deal with your catch. There is also a transducer scupper built-in, making the Phoenix Hornet a fantastic fishing kayak.
Heading out with a group of mates is probably our favourite option: include some fishing, some scuba diving and some spearfishing and you have a great recipe for fun. You can also grab a double kayak with your best mate or your partner. The ‘Fortress’ is a beast of a kayak, spacious and stable, you’ll be surprised how easily it moves through the water. The ‘Fortress’ can easily fit two divers, plus all their scuba equipment. You can get a range of compartments customised to fit your needs.
This is an awesome way to dive, and to just get out on the water. One can quickly shoot down to the beach or harbour after work and just head out. There is no need to get the boat ready, worry about fuel, or any stress; it really is just set-up-ready-go. Kayak diving is also ridiculously cheap in comparison with a boat. Kayaking is a great adventure – combine that with your favourite water activity and you are in for days of experiences you’ll never forget.
Fusion ‘StereoActive’ is your new best friend. This little guy brings life to any activity whether it is fishing, beach life, kayaking, exercising or if you like singing along in the shower. While we were reviewing the Phoenix Kayaks we had the opportunity to trial this – and it really is the ultimate water sport stereo. It easily connected to our music devices over Bluetooth and we could stream music from Spotify and Pandora. It contains a waterproof housing for a low profile USB for MP3 playback or you can simply tune into the radio.
This great unit is completely waterproof and floats – yes, floats. You can mount it on the Phoenix Kayak, like we did, or on a paddleboard or boat with a puck mounting system. The mount can be attached either by a sticky pad, or for more permanent use, you can screw the mount onto any surface. It’s easily removable later.
The ‘ActiveSafe’, a specially-made watertight compartment for your valuables, is an added option. It’s simply clicked into place between your mount and the stereo. The perfect safe place while playing your favourite tunes and enjoying your activities on the water – because it also floats!
Fusion has really considered us marine-life junkies when constructing this. It’s the perfect sound system for the active, outdoor kiwi mixing up good music with a good time.