Paddle leash

6 months 2 weeks ago #30818 by SpaceSputnik
A newbie question.
I am confused about using a paddle leash. Seems like a basic question but I am struggling to find a clear answer.
Is paddle leash to be used all the time? Specific conditions? On sea kayaks there are no leashes but you are supposed to carry a spare paddle.
My case would mostly be flat water if that makes a difference. If I went by my sea kayak training I would strap a spare to the rear deck of my V7 and be done with it. With a paddle leash can't help wondering about the increased entanglement potential.
Can someone please set my head straight?

Thanks.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #30819 by Ranga
Who told you to have a paddle leash? I don`t know of anyone that uses one!
Leg leash is all that is required so the ski will not blow away in strong winds.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #30821 by SpaceSputnik
There are topics in this site discussing paddle leashes, hence the question.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #30823 by PSwitzer
If you only carry a spare paddle, you can still lose your whole rig if you capsize in windy conditions and the boat (with spare paddle securely attached) blows away at a shocking clip.

I used a paddle leash when I was younger and didn't have any money for a leg leash. Tied a cord around the foot strap then to center of paddle. If you capsize you won't lose the boat as long as you hang on to the paddle. If you did somehow let go of the paddle, my theory was that it would act as a sea anchor and slow the boat/ keep it from rolling so you could swim to it before it blew away in the wind. Worked fine but slightly more hassle than a proper leg leash.

I don't see any reason to use both paddle leash + leg leash. If you needed to stop and jump in to execute some kind of jury rig repair I suppose the paddle leash would allow you to stay hands free easily.

I believe the touring sea kayaker folk bring a spare paddle in case of breakage and you are far from land or on a multi day trip or whatnot. For surfskis this is overkill since you can get a ski back to land with no paddle at all by sitting normally in the bucket and double stroking with your hands like a paddleboard (with practice).

Years ago I broke a carbon paddle during an offshore downwind run when I was a couple miles out. Was able to use just one blade - the right side- and keep enough speed to catch runs and angle back to land.
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6 months 2 weeks ago #30824 by feeny
I don't use one, and I've watched people get their leg leash and paddle leash well tangled up at the most inopprtune moments!

If I were to use one, I'd probably try practicing with some sort of wrist lanyard. One end loosely around the paddle shaft (it needs to move, just not be able to move past the blade), the other around a wrist.

That ought ensure that the paddle can't run away and avoid tangles.
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6 months 2 weeks ago #30826 by SpaceSputnik
The more I think about the more uncomfortable I get with the idea. Carrying a spare seems more reasonable. Tried strapping one to the rear deck yesterday, seems to work fine with some extra rigging and retrievable while seated.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #30827 by Newbflat
I use one in all conditions except flatwater with no wind. It’s a small diameter bungee with a loop tied in it slightly smaller than the paddle shaft on one end and a small snapshackle on the other. I snap it to my PFD. It’s just a little longer, maybe 3 inches than my stretched out arms holding my paddle. I had to sew a loop onto my Mocke PFD as there isn’t one. It works great. I don’t know it’s there when I paddle, it’s not too long, never gets tangled on anything, stays with me wherever I go like back to the rudder, I can let my paddle go and attend to anything I need to, I can help someone else and not worry about my paddle, use a Marine VHS raído and hang on to my or another sk without worrying about the paddle ..etc. It’s way more useful than it has disadvantages and I consitterimg it a critical pice of safety gear on a downwind especially. Coming from a sea kayaking background myself I think a spar paddle is a good idea but for what ever reason don’t use one. Even if I carried one I would still use my leash for sure.


Stellar SR excel (gen2)
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 months 1 week ago #30828 by wesley
I am with Newbflat. Since my sea kayaking days obviously used one but that carried over to my surfski days. I 99.9% use my paddle leashes for the same reasons Newbflat pointed out. I tried leg leash many times and comfortable using them, and have 4 hanging up next to my paddles. I have paddle leashes attached to everyone of my skis, not velcro but simple loop and ball system from Lendal(pre 2017 are the better ones). No fuss remounting with paddle leash, I can perform assisted rescue or lay paddle in water if I truly need 2 hands. Paddle also slows down blown ski marginally if become separated. I think most surfski paddles just use a leg leash because they see most guys use them without ever using a paddle leash or even thinking about it.

So great question and topic.


Yes I have used both, extremely rare and I did practice using both but I don't recommend it. I did use body leash and paddle leash also but I need better system for my body leash similar to one of my buddies or one that had been talked about on this forum.

Wesley Echols
Former Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis, Performance Director, USA ,
SurfskiRacing.com, #1 in Surfski Reviews.

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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #30829 by SpaceSputnik
So let me make sure I understand. You use a paddle leash but not a leg leash? Do you attach it to the boat or pdf?

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6 months 1 week ago #30830 by wesley
Yes paddle leash to boat. I dont use velcro paddle leashes.

Wesley Echols
Former Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis, Performance Director, USA ,
SurfskiRacing.com, #1 in Surfski Reviews.

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6 months 1 week ago #30831 by nwsurfskier
I use both leg leash to boat and paddle leash to pfd. The leg leash is the coiled surf type and paddle is cord attached to pfd. Used this setup for many years and never had an issue. You've got to consider what is worse, getting a paddle leash tangled and dealing with that or being offshore without a paddle.
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6 months 1 week ago #30832 by robin.mousley
I use a belt leash to keep connected to the boat - I injured my knee using a leg leash years ago and have been averse to them ever since.

And I use a thin bungie paddle leash attached to the foot strap. The reason I use a paddle leash is so that I can let the paddle go either when I'm trying to fix something on my ski or, as I've done a number of times, help someone else with their ski.

And yes, on occasion when falling in, the two leashes have tangled, but all that means is that you have to slow down and disentangle them. It's never been a serious problem - and I've swum in fairly hectic conditions.

If I'm paddling on calm water, I'll discard belt leash first and perhaps the paddle leash too - but I've embarrassed myself on occasion doing that too, when the weather has changed and I've suddenly felt very exposed without half my safety gear...! Best to use it all, all the time so that you never get caught out.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others!

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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #30834 by SpaceSputnik
I see the point about being able to hand paddle back to shore. I doubt you can do it in a sea kayak, except maybe if equipped with a rudder.
Loosing a paddle during a hectic wet exit in a kayak is a very real possibility since you are going all the way under the boat, detach the skirt and get out. Gets pretty hectic sometimes. They teach you always hold on to your boat and paddle but I have let go of a paddle on occasion, so carrying a spare is a must in a kayak.
I will probably still carry one for the piece of mind. It does not take a lot of space on the rear deck.

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6 months 6 days ago #30868 by davgdavg
Really bad idea to not be connected to the boat if you paddle in the ocean. Figure out a way that works for you and do it. Paddle, meh, that's not going to blow away though you might lose sight of it I guess.

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6 months 6 days ago #30871 by SpaceSputnik
Yeah, I am not questioning the leg leash, just the paddle leash. But then maybe both are fine, I will need to try it out.

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6 months 6 days ago #30872 by robin.mousley
I had an issue with my paddle leash at the finish of a hectic downwind race yesterday... As I tried to get out of the boat, the leash caught in my foot...

The problem is that you have to cross the line with your boat in most races in South Africa - otherwise I just toss the paddle away.

I need to practise this one!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others!
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