Sunday, August 4, 2013

This Weekend's VIP - Paddle Leash

Our VIP this weekend were our Premier Kayak Gripper Paddle Leashes. If you read this post you know why! 

Taking you back a bit here for a different story... On our very first kayaking excursion several years ago we had a rather eventful experience. As you know our blog is all about our lessons learned... 

That first trip James and I had never been on a kayak before yet we selected a section of the river to paddle that was swift and choppy (Red Flag number 1). We had kayaks and paddles and were ready to go (Red Flag number 2). Yes there had been storms the weeks before but that meant more water to paddle right (Red Flag number 3)? 

We set out with our friends on the river and very quickly realized how under-prepared we were. Within the first 1/2 mile of our trip we encountered a massive tree down across the entire width of the river. This caused the current to increase and change direction as the river attempted to navigate around the tree. This also created an eddy where the water was swirling and violent and flowing in the opposite direction.

We attempted to navigate towards the upper section of the tree where the limbs would be smaller, hopefully providing a section to pass through. One friend however was quickly swept under the trunk of the tree. She thought quick and grabbed hold of the tree but her kayak was taken under and propelled downstream. Her clothing got hung up on limbs beneath the surface of the water and we fought to get her free and were able to get her to the river bank. James took off after her boat and recovered it about another mile down river. We managed to double up on one kayak and get to James and her boat however her paddle was long gone. It was a very scary experience and we were ready to be off the river. 

After that trip James ordered us Life Jackets, Rescue Rope, Waterproof Walkie Talkie's, Dry Bags, and Paddle Leashes. We would not attempt a kayaking trip again without these very important items.

This past weekend when paddling in from the ocean James and I both flipped our boats and thankfully our paddles were attached so we didn't loose them. The current of the ocean most certainly would have taken them otherwise.

Paddle leashes are a very inexpensive and are easy to use. Ours Velcro attach to the paddle and have a clip that attaches to the kayak. A paddle leash will keep the paddle attached to your boat in the event of swift currents, a rolled boat, a snack break or even a photo op :)

Here are a few pics of our leashes attached to our boats! We use them on all waters, even the lake!

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