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(Paddle) Leashes?

Rick Lingbloom
11/08/16 #20213

Thoughts about leashing body to boat and paddle to PFD?


Reivers Dustin
11/09/16 #20214

My two bits: more string is worse. Unless it isn't.

For example, Dean has a more closer lineage to the tree dwelling primates than some of us. I mean if you have climbed trees for years with running chain saws, you will have some major gripping instincts. In my case, I'm more related to the donkey species. I'm still figuring out this opposable thumb deal. I don't like change. I don't like anything very much. But I won't give up on a thing. So all this equipment stuff is rather a befuddlement. Less is more. Unless you needed that particular thing.

I would love to hear what others say about this. So that I can disapprove of it.


Larry Bussinger
11/09/16 #20215

I do it all the time. Yesterday at MP, several more were saying they did it too.

Larry B


11/09/16 #20216

Since the last time I was without a paddle in big wind, I have been experimenting occasionally with various paddle-leash systems. I must admit that the two-leash tangle issue has all the mental charms of a hidden strainer in a river. However, my conclusion at this point is… The human-boat leash is the primary safety system (I concur with Reivers that the PFD serves mostly for body recovery, though it is nice not to waste too much energy swimming). If you have a bomber boat-leash, the paddle-leash only needs to keep your paddle handy. Therefore, it does not need to be very strong at all. In fact, I use one that I could rip off in a single small effort. It has become invisable to me and I don't even notice it anymore. Don't underestimate the strength of parachute cord, shoe laces, or even those little sewn on tabs on the PFD. I am also intrigued by the systems that stay out of the way and unattached till needed. I don't really picture losing the paddle in a fall. In my experience, you hang on REALLY WELL to the thing in your hands as you go over. It is remounting and all the associated screwing around trying get everything lined up and right-side-up with only one hand that seems to be the main issue.

Steve Scoggins
11/09/16 #20217

Shawn Clarke has a pretty good temporary use paddle leash thingy in his boat. Shawn, care to enlighten us?


11/09/16 #20218

In sea kayaking in high wind we would use a short paddle to wrist leash. The benefit being if you let go, the paddle is only a few inches away but long enough to remount and not be in the way too much. basically a loop of 1/4“ elastic with a sliding toggle to make a figure 8 shape. shaft goes through the small hole, wrist goes through the large hole.

Reivers Dustin
11/09/16 #20219

trying to visualize this for remount effort. Say for instance you have to go under the boat to get on the upwind side. I like the idea of keeping it simple, but seems troublesome for use of hands with that big stick attached.

This is where I get stuck with paddle-leash to PFD as well. Any string you tie on works both ways, ties you up as well as whatever the thing is. Lets see, if I could have a paddle leash to stern runner line. 4,000 pounds breaking strength, unless I wanted it to release. Nothing at all tied to me. Except a spider line that would shoot out and grab whatever I wanted. And a drone that would follow me and lift me back home whenever I said a magic word. Oh, and the boat would be 15 pounds except with a chargeable ballast of 5 pounds in the hull. that would change shape from an S1-R to an S1-X based on mind thought.

retractable outriggers. hidden 5 hp jet drive. heads up GPS display that would say whatever I wanted it to.

did I leave anything out? Oh yeah, and it's cheap.

Jude, you got this?


11/09/16 #20220

As a newbie I have thought that all the conversation about aft string, calf string, foot strap, paddle lash is really about personal preference. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING about your kit is that you practice with it. The day at Padden, Peter the genius, added a re-entry to the intervals showed that some of the most stable and fast people are lucky they are stable because god help em if they do go over. (You know who you are! ) I'd say if your worried about origami then get your self tied up and go practice.

J (window shade) Davis

Reivers Dustin
11/09/16 #20221

hee!!! I'm one of those ones. Like an albatross. So graceful in the bucket. Such a dweeb when I swim. Thing is, I'm really slow getting back in. It's a sure thing, like everyone's irritating little brother who eats his ice cream very slowly so that his is the last one.

The one I heard about this morning is The Scog. I guess he's drilled on his re-entry like this: get up-wave, wait for the boat to go into a trough, then ride the incoming wave into the cockpit such that you butt-plant and paddle off. We need video of this. (Film-Fest?) Bottom line: get your re-entry so that your life can depend on it.


Dennis Mowry
11/09/16 #20222

I'll chime in.
I wear a paddle leash attachéd to my PFD, always. It's a coated cable coiled like the older telephone receiver cords ( unlike the umbilical corded cell phones). Its better than a string since it stretches when needed and recoils, less likely to tangle. It's about a foot or so long and clips to the paddle.

I use it in rough conditions or extra for confidence when paddling solo. I have a death grip I'm learning to relax but never want to lose the paddle…. again, but we won't bring that up.

I've remounted without problems including going under the boat. I figure I could drop it if needed to grab a bow for assisted remounted, fix a rudder or clip it on if struggling to remount.

I don't really notice it when paddling or not. It's not a back up to the leg leash since its not secured to the boat. Although I have used it in a pinch when I've forgotten my leg leash, not recommended.

I like it. It works for me,

paddle_leashes_2016.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/16 21:50 (external edit)