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Tie Down Break Down

*public services announcement *

05/30/18 #23111

I was strapping on a ski today and while tightening the bow strap it broke. I wasn't pulling very hard at all. Then I got out another to strap down the bow and boom…it happened again. These straps are 4 or less years old. So…. check your straps! Think about driving 70mph against 30knots of wind in the Gorge. While polypropylene is the CORRECT choice for straps, they suck for UV resistance. Check and replace them often. I will say most of the ski branded straps I have seen have suspect polypropylene, the NRS straps seem to have better UV resistance than most.


Paul Reavley
05/30/18 #23118

“ the NRS straps seem to have better UV resistance than most” - I have NRS polypro cam buckle straps that are over 30 yrs old that are nowhere near being deteriorated enough to break (some used on a trip this spring). They have been exposed to a lot of UV on extended rafting trips but are otherwise always stored out of the sun. Have to put some WD40 in the cams and retrim frayed ends every once in awhile.

David Scherrer
05/30/18 #23119


Paul Reavley
05/31/18 #23132

Yeah - but does your rope clothing look this good?

Reivers Dustin

06/01/18 #23133


oops, wrong paste. (Complete accident - that's my grandkids there: Avery the inventor, director, amazing big sister and Landon the gifted actor)


Nicholas Cryder
06/01/18 #23134

UV damage is for real. It eats EVERYTHING. Neoprene. Nylon. Dyneema. Epidermis. Ad water, and the abuse is even more significant when a strap or leash is under load… and the windage on our toys is pretty significant from the windshield pushing up.

I used to climb, and we ditched any gear that we we're 100% certain about. I kept a log of all my slings, 'biners, cams, ropes - just to make sure that my kit was trustworthy. A friend left a high end tent pitched in front of his retail store for a month, and by the end of the month you could poke your finger thru it.

As many of you know, I once forgot to strap a ski to my roof and drove down the freeway. It was a miracle I didn't kill the guy behind me in traffic.

Remember the three R's: REPAIR, REPLACE OR REGRET. Your choice.

Nicholas Cryder

Kimberly Reeves

06/01/18 #23141

Rock climbing bible… and I climbed at the highest level for 2 decades…
Replace ropes and harnesses without falls every 5 years… it is a money suck, but better than a tomato at the base
Apply that to tie down straps, which I have not done as a paddler and most of us are overdue..
Time to head to LFS or REI…

[SWIFT] *public services announcement *
Michael Lampi

05/30/18 #23114

I prefer nylon straps. The ones I've been using for the past 20 years are still quite strong.

Michael Lampi


05/30/18 #23115


There is a reason why all manufacturers of these types of straps use polypropylene. Nylon while a lot stronger and more UV resistant has a very important trate that makes it a poor choice. Nylon absorbes water and stretches..a lot. So if it’s dry and you strap down you boat and it rains while you drive the strap can loosen quite a bit. But worse is having wet straps and snugging your boat down and having them dry out while driving. The straps can get a LOT tighter while drying and pop seams on skis and kayaks. This is exactly why they use polypropylene as it is unaffected by water. So watch those nylon straps. I like nylon straps as well but only use them on things where it doesn’t matter, never in my skis or kayaks.


David Scherrer

06/01/18 #23135

Dacron( rope) I have found is by far the best. Have never had a failure. D. I would stay away from poly.

Reivers Dustin
06/01/18 #23136

There are some good arguments for different strapage compositions. As Nicholas mentioned in a prior post even epidermis takes UV damage. But I find that the psychological value of using the skins of my competitors to tie down my craft very rewarding. rd

Kevin Olney
06/01/18 #23137

Here’s a good use for your retired straps:


06/01/18 #23138

David.. Dacron =polyester. Polyester is similar to polypropylene in function but stronger…ie: won’t shrink when drying.. It’s just hard to find pre made polyester tie downs that aren’t meant for heavy duty use. Most seem to have ratchet ends..etc. You can buy 1” polyester strap easily to make your own.
I have some long straps I made 20 years ago that seem supple and strong. Just a avoid nylon. Just make sure it will fit in the came of the buckle. The 1” polyester flat wedding I have used is more than twice as thick as the polypropylene webbing used on say NRS straps and only just fits….. just.


David Scherrer

06/01/18 #23140

Braided Dacron at Hardware Sales has always been my go to……

06/01/18 #23142

Thought you and LB used ropes, which I was considering after this stream.

strap failure
Reivers Dustin

05/31/18 #23128

Heads up posted by Ernie Wong about failure of straps. Deterioration from exposure to U.V. caused the failure. Some straps are more resistant. This is something to inspect closely because it might not be obvious. rd

Wes Hammer
05/31/18 #23129

I have found that red straps are the worst under the sun. Once a strap gets too faded its time for a new one.

John Rybczyk

05/31/18 #23130

If you lose your straps every six months or so, like I do, all of this is a non-issue.


05/31/18 #23131

Oh fine… I sent a PSA here yesterday about my straps that broke and to check yours. Ernie asks me for a photo and if he can post to Facebook about it. I said sure and now Ernie basks in the glory. I worked hard at destroying those straps and I want credit for braking stuff…. it’s all I have.


tie_down_deterioration_2018.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/16 21:50 (external edit)