What is a Paddle Leash?
A paddle leash won't make you paddle better - it doesn't help the kayak track better and it won't make you look cool. So what does it do?
It secures your paddle to the kayak should you inadvertently let go of it, say, when you're reaching for something or snapping a photo of that breathtaking sunrise ... oops!
It's one of those things that you don't think about until you need it - then you say "glad I got it".
It's a little piece of equipment that keeps the paddle secured to the kayak - in the event that your hands slip off the paddle and it (or you) goes overboard.
A paddle leash is low cost and nice to have. They are especially useful to photographers concentrating on their shots and fishermen focused on "finding the big one"!
Types: Basically, there are two types being manufactured, a bungee cord type and a coiled cord type - they both work equally well.
The coil type stretches, some up to 7' when uncoiled - about 13" or so coiled.
The bungee type uses a comparable length of approximately 3/16" stretch cording fitted with the same fastenings.
One end is clipped to deck lashing, sometimes an eye in the center of the cockpit or attached to the bow, with a snap hook made of nylon, stainless steel or brass. The other end is fastened (usually with a Velcro type material) to the middle of the paddle shaft.
Price: Approximately $7 - $30, about $20 is the average. If you're contemplating making one for yourself, the materials will probably cost you nearly the same amount as purchasing one.
Features: The less expensive leashes may not be fitted with swivel clips rendering them a bit more cumbersome. Swivel clips are an improved feature, designed to prevent tangling, in my opinion worth the extra dollars.
Some leashes come with a small carry case that'll clip on to other gear. This is a nice little extra to keep it out of the way when traveling or not in use.
Is this necessary equipment? Nope - but it is some peace of mind.
So you won't be "up the creek without a paddle"!
(Oh come on, you were thinking it too.)
You can find a Paddle Leash right here
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