Grab Handles and Security Bars – Testing, Testing

They are one the bits of kit on a kayak that I have in the past paid little attention to. But I have found that if the design is right they are great for carrying and rescue duties.

Most manufacturers use either a metal bar or some sort of climbing tape arrangement. In all cases you should periodically check your boats outfitting to ensure that they do not have any sign of damage or excess wear. All manufacturers can supply replacement parts if required.

Shane at Liquid Logic has filmed one of his Safety/Security bars being put under extreme conditions. Well worth watching.

Security Bar Testing from Shaneslogic on Vimeo.

We recently did another Security Bar test. It’s always fun so I filmed it again. The head of the screw popped at just about the same time as the insert that the
bar is attached to pulled out of the plastic.

Different Setups:

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Too Much Water?

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A common problem faced by paddlers each time they buy a new boat so the issue of water finding its way in. Reasons for such problems can be placed into one of two categories;

* The paddlers kit is letting the water in.
* The boat is really leaking.

If your paddling kit doesn’t fit correctly it will leak and yes the boat will fill with water. If it’s a simple case of ill fitting dry top or deck then the solution may be easy but expensive – get some kit that fits. On the other hand your kit may need a little TLC – check seals/seams and repair or replace as necessary.

In most cases water getting in tends to be com a deck that isn’t a great fit on the cockpit or on the body tube.
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Leaking Kayak?

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A common problem faced by paddlers each time they buy a new boat. Reasons for such problems can be placed in to one of two categories;

* The paddlers kit is letting the water in.
* The boat is really leaking.

If your paddling kit doesn’t fit correctly it will leak and yes the boat will fill with water. If it’s a simple case of ill fitting dry top or deck then the solution may be easy but expensive – get some kit that fits. On the other hand your kit may need a little TLC – check seals/seams and repair or replace as necessary.
Continue reading

Carbon Fibre Repair

Nick Wright, engineer and all round carbon repair guru has sent this slalom K1 repair in to the site. Many thanks Nick.

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Once again, by poor old slalom boat was not doing too well, and it was time to fix it up (especially with BUCS just around to corner). The current problem was that the very end of the tail was cracked and leaking quite badly. Continue reading

Kayak Outfitting Guide

From the very first moment you sit in a boat you start to get “a feel for it”, how it fits and possibly even how it may perform. As beginners we start off in boats that may be used by many different size paddlers, which results in cockpits being kept clutter free. Loose, comfortable boats feel good on flat water, but they can make leaning and bracing difficult. Once the boat is padded to provide a close, body-hugging fit that still allows for quick and easy water exits, performance can dramatically improve. This same rule applies to all levels of kayakers, whether they’re paddling easy whitewater, big water runs or creeks. Customised outfitting helps transfer every trace in the river’s current through the kayak’s hull to your body, helping you sense your surroundings, make critical maneuvers and maintain your balance, thus staying upright!

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Since paddlers press against their boat’s inner hull with the small of their backs, butts, hips, thighs, knees and feet, it is these key areas that should be customised to match the shape and size of the paddler. To make this as easy as possible I am going to break the cockpit into a handful of sections and tailor each one to help you get the best control possible from your boat. Many boat manufacturers have really stepped up their game and are providing some excellent outfitting as standard in their kayaks. However these systems still need adapting in some way to ensure that they fit YOU correctly. Continue reading

Caring For Your Kit – Part III

Keeping on top of kit repairs is pretty straight forward and a little bit of TLC could prevent the damage getting worse.

Holes in most stuff can be repaired with Stormseal which is a clear flexible glue. I’d avoid the larger tubes as this stuff will go-off once opened. Keeping it in the fridge will help but you can get packs of 3 x 5g tubes which are superb.

I few mates of mine have also had good success using the Stormseal instant patches to repair dry tops. For breathable fabric McNett patches may be worth considering.

Stormseal will work great on most things including neoprene but I have found that black witch works even better on wetsuits and decks.

Once in a while your kit gets to a point where it is no longer safe to use or it simply doesn’t do its job as well as it should. When it does it is time to get rid.