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Trouble with Barnacle Leash

Dan Mayhew
Feb 23 #26124

Yesterday, after I practiced remounts I realized my barnacle-style leash was no longer attached to my waist. Apparently the buckle on my waist belt was scrapped open as I slid over the side of my bucket during one of my remounts. Has anyone else had this problem? Any solutions? Here is a pic of the buckle that failed.

Reivers Dustin
Feb 23 #26125

wow, this is in the category where LB lives. He used to twist off peoples leash attachment clip because they had a weakness to torque. Not break anything, but just the way the jaws worked they had a way of coming loose. I found some great clips that don't do this and replaced all the clips on my leashes.

Amazing how little strings or buttons you would never suspect can raise hell. In this case the handy pull release is a bit of convenience that has an evil side. Expedition kayakers know this problem well. If you chat with a BCU (British Canoe Union) certified coach they bring up amazing points. Many of the little rules have heartbreaking tragedy in their history. For example International surfskies have no knobs, or protruding bits. The rudder shaft does not extend beyond the deck line. The Saffa's and Ozzies laugh about our Huki boats. They joke that the rudder post will …ahem, rip off your scrotum mate. I've heard of people catching a zipper pull on their PFD on a bungie tie-down. A local tragic story involves a touring kayak. The lady was a highly respected tour guide. She was just off Larrabee trying some new gear. They found her upside down not far from Whiskey Rock. She had put a small container in the cockpit between her knees. This messed up her eskimo roll and prevented a wet exit.

For my stern leash system I made my own belt with some parts from Hardware Sales. The two inch webbing with those plastic clips. I had to sew some of it. Not so easy to escape, but I could probably manage it. We don't do a lot of beach breach stuff around here anyway.


Feb 23 #26127

Yes I have. I tried it with a whitewater PFD years ago and the ball on the line attached to the buckle would catch on the rim and pull open the buckle. You can’t use it with the buckle on a ski, and the whole system is suspect.


Dan Mayhew

Feb 23 #26128

Okay, that confirms it. I am going back to an ankle leash. I would like to have a waist leash option for surfing into beaches and will search for other options.

Thanks for the input.


Nicholas Cryder
Feb 23 #26130

Hey Dan,

I recently stumbled on a very promising middle ground idea that solves the issue in a really interesting way. Need to test it some more, but if we see each other I’ll show you what I am up to, and when I am convinced it’s safe I’ll share our with the group.

Gonna be controversial and say that overall I am not a big fan of the stern leashes, as they seem to introduce a bit of complexity where you really don’t want it. Namely I’ve seen paddlers remounting with them and they frequently become tangled, or they spend a good deal of mental energy not getting tangled instead of focusing on just the nailing their remount.

For whatever reason, it appears to me that when remounting with a stern leash it’s typically out of site, and difficult to account for the long length. Yes, there are upsides such as being able to left the ski drift downwind of the paddler, or being able to swim to the back of the ski to use a rudder saver if a rudder line breaks. But in my opinion, a fast, 100% accurate remount that is executed in one continuous, fluid movement is mission critical to get a paddler out of cold water, help them remain in contact with their party or not lose needless positions in a race.

Asks training tip, I’d strongly suggest paddlers time their remounts. I don’t swim very often any more, but when I do I am back in my ski and paddling in under 5 seconds. Sometimes less depending on conditions.

Reivers Dustin
Feb 24 #26133

Nobody around here heard of leashes for first few years. Boats, paddler and paddles got separated. Some of us tried a technique of swimming with the paddle in order to catch a wind-blown boat. You can make awesome speed, but only for a short time. Then for some years most of us used just paddle to boat leash only. The simplicity is great: attached means hold something, separated means let go. Still, it's a string that can tangle. And must be attached mid-boat.

Dean and Morris might still be using paddle-only leashes. Deano is a guy who spent years larking about in trees with chainsaws tied to his waist. Morris is another guy with presence of mind worth trusting. This is wonderful when you want both hands for rescue or opening a can of beer.

I have been off-boat in 70mph winds and was amazed at the forces on my mid-boat leash. It was tough getting the boat pulled back close to me and no way to turn it shape-wise to the wind. So, you know, broadside mount with waves and wind issues. I would never be out there if I thought the wind was going to be like that. But doing a downwinder you don't always know what's going to happen.

I've also come off the boat with my stern leash deal and I'm pleased with it. A problem is not having the paddle leashed. And I did have to pull the leash off the rudder. But I don't care about remount speed. I've put a paddle leash on while having the stern leash, but it makes me very nervous. Michael M has a short paddle leash system worth checking, but I just can't go there.

This whole thing is wide open. I might go back to paddle-only leash. I don't expect to go really big anymore, but then how much can I control that? Also, it's a problem to change systems very much. I don't deal with change like I used to. My caution for folks: do your own work. The state of your equipment and your skill with it is between you and misfortune.

Dennis Mowry
Feb 24 #26136

I like the leg leash and don't mind remounting sideways to the waves. Having the waves or wind push the boat away is a bit concerning.

Once had a leash break after dumping when broached on a wave. I was able to swim for it and catch it before it got the rocks, thankfully.

Recently I dumped in strong East wind, the boat blew away from me, stretched my leash out and I gently pulled it back in worried about it breaking. If it did it would of been gone, leaving me screwed. The leash is now twice it's length and suspect.

I've seen people use kite boarding leashes which won't break but could pull mount off.
Any other concerns here?
The Velcro sometimes is questionable. I'm always lining it up properly while putting it on but still have it in my mind.

I'd be interested in trying a stern leash but would need specific details on setting it up.
I'm curious to see what Nicolas comes up with.


Jeff Hegedus
Feb 24 #26139

try a carabiner to pfd approach.

Larry Bussinger
Feb 25 #26140

One of the things with a stern/belt leash is that the belt has to be loose around the waist and loose between the leash and belt. So that everything will spin around the waist and not wrap around you. It also gives enough slop so you can reach and see the buckle under the pfd to unhook when coming in in surf.

Larry Bussinger

waist_buckle_opening_2_2020.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/16 21:50 (external edit)