Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

New Outfitting – Bow Airbag

One the really great things about Prijon and Eskimo river running and creeking boats was the fact that they all came supplied with a bow air bag. That bag played an important role keeping water out of the void between the full plate footrest and the bow.


If the boat becomes bow heavy due to water replacing the air in the you run the risk of some serious boat damage if it was to go on a solo mission. 1 litre of water under “normal” conditions weighs in at 1kg.

The key to try and prevent this (and making the rescue of the boat easier) is to limit the amount of water that can get in the bow.

Packing the area with buoyancy is what is needed – foam, beach balls, arm bands, wine bags or better still purpose made air bags.

If the area in front of your full plate footrest doesn’t have any central buoyancy pillar you can use one of Yak’s bow airbags.

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Alternatively (as in my Recon) if you have central foam all the way to the end of the kayak you can use bow split bags, e.g. Palm’s Infinity air bags. I use two 15L bags in the front of the kayak and two 30L ones in the back. So this could prevent up to 60kg of water getting into the kayak.


  1. Bill Whatmuff

    Wrong these are not easy to inflate in the bow as the tube is way too short the bags are not durable and deflate over time so you end up neglecting them really poor kit I have gone through dozens of them and am now searching for a better alternative

    • Unsponsored

      Never had an issue. If the hose is too short the full plate could be pulled back and the bags brought closer. My bags hardly ever need a top up. Shame you have gone through so many.

      • R. Mandeville

        Buying a Mamba 8.1 and planning to get maximum floatation (I swim a lot). Thinking two palm 30l for the stern but what size can I get up front? Two 15l? Other option? All advice greatly appreciated.

        • Unsponsored

          The 15l ones will be fine for the front. Bigger is better!

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