2nd August 2021 / Tips

Paddle Park that Paddle!

Do you use your deck bungees to park your paddle? Does your paddle get twisted up in your deck bungees? Does your paddle end up out of reach when you do your recoveries? Have you lost your paddle when doing a recovery?

These are common problems for sea kayakers when working with both hands in deepwater, often in testing sea conditions or under time pressure. I often see paddlers who haven't thought through the problem of securing their paddle when they need both hands for a recovery. Most tend to simply use their deck bungees. But what happens if you are hit by a wave and your paddle is either twisted under your boat or ends up out of reach?

Of course, you can use a paddle leash BUT cordage in the water can be a dangerous snag hazard. And your head, arm or leg is usually the first thing to get caught up.

THE SOLUTION is simple; swop the forward deck bungee for a secure deck line sheathed in a plastic tube. This then allows you to hook your paddle blade under the paddle park securely whilst having immediate and quick access throughout your recovery. Do the same at the forward RDF (recessed deck fitting) and you'll have a very secure and 100% bombproof method for securing your paddle for long casualty recoveries.

If you're still not sure, have a look at our Guide's boats, all of which are geared the same way with paddle parks fore and aft. You can join us on our 'Introduction to Sea Kayaking'  course to get first hand coaching on how to handle your paddle through recoveries.

And remember, never swim and never let go of your paddle. Safe paddling.

Sea kayak guide buckling his buoyancy aid
Kurt Finch

Since surfing with the pros as a kid in Durban South Africa on my hollow 12ft barge & getting absolutely trashed, I was hooked on sea paddling. Over a period of thirty-five years I’ve surfed, white watered & sea kayaked in locations around the world. I've guided as a full-time professional for the past sixteen years and my journey continues.