Emergency knife carry

3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34062 by SurfskiEstonia
Dear forum members,

For some time now I've been thinking about carrying an emergency knife with me. The reason is to be prepared to cut a leash or a piece of gear in case I'm entangled in it after a capsize.

It has been somewhat discussed here www.surfski.info/forum/1-general/6024-so...o-watch-out-for.html  and the usual options for a pfd knife (especially in whitewater kayaking) are the NRS Pilot:  www.nrs.com/product/47301.02/nrs-titanium-pilot-knife and the Gerber River Shorty:  www.gerbergear.com/Knives/Fixed/River-Shorty-Green_31-002645 .

These are sheathed fixed blades and I think that in a whitewater setup this is the only way to go (mounting the sheath on the pfd for quick access).

For surfski paddling this seems a little extreme, especially taken into account the frequent necessity to remount (at least for the purposes of practicing), cause the sheather knife may often get in the way between the boat and paddler's torso and damage the ski. So I was thinking of getting a folding locking blade and after some research have narrowed the choice down to either a Spyderco Assist Salt www.spyderco.com/catalog/details.php?product=926  or a Spyderco Saver Salt www.spyderco.com/catalog/details/C118YL/264 , which both have exceptionally strong corrosion resistance (Salt stands for blade steel H1). The Assist especially is a rather large knife with a rounded tip and fast deployment.

I have two questions: 
1. Has someone used either these or other folding knives with a standard Mocke pfd? And if yes, is it an OK idea to do so? Again the goal is to be able to access the knife in case of an entanglement or other similar emergency.
2. What would be the best way to attach it to the pfd? I was thinking of putting the knife into the front pocket of the pfd, where I usually keep a flare torch, an additional item of headwear - either warmer or lighter than is already on my head (a cloth or neoprene cap) and a mobile phone on a leash around my neck with the phone in the pocket. The water bladder is only in the back pocket. My idea was to put the knife in that front pocket and to tie it to the pfd with a thin coiled leash or to prevent it from falling out. Has anyone tried this and if yes, do You have any suggestions from experience or logic. I kind of understand that there are too many things to get entangled with the knife leash already, but can't figure out a better way :)

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34065 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Emergency knife carry
Always have a folding knife in my PFD or on the boat habit from whitewater paddling. As long as knife holds a decent edge,  easy to open and close with one hand and has a clip to attach to whatever doesn’t matter what brand. Sure high carbon content blades will rust so not the best option nonetheless I’ve used these and though sounds odd just drop the knife into light oil or automatic transmission fluid after a paddle. Ones I use currently - one for each of my two PDFs are stainless but very sharp. I always wash after a paddle and  every other paddle spray with CRC/WD40, Inox or a silicon spray. And yes have used them often enough - fishing line tangles around rudder, a fishing rod floating at sea attached to something very heavy like a stingray (big rod too with first class reel worth a few bob) and just cutting shit... Opens beers too. Anyway not overkill at all, primary reason is being able to free self if tangled up in whatever when and if bad shit happens. Likely never but it’s there. Have used rudder line to attach to pfd previously however now I just clip them in inside front pouch either in the inside pocket (Palm pfd) or open zip end of Mocke. 
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3 months 3 weeks ago #34067 by SurfskiEstonia
Thank You, Watto!

Could You please expand on the "open zip end of Mocke". I just checked my pfd and I don't have a zipper there.. Am I misunderstanding something?

Has the knife ever fallen out of the pfd without the leash? 

And where do You think is best to tie the line on the pfd? 

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34069 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Emergency knife carry
Would a safety line cutter (for example used for scuba diving) be easier to carry safely?
E.g.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FSCJ26H  (just an example, I have no idea whether this particular model is worth anything)

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34072 by nwsurfskier
Replied by nwsurfskier on topic Emergency knife carry
I always carry a safety knife. I have the  Spyderco Salt 2 It's on the saltwater 3-4 days a week and never rusts. A little pricey but will last a long time. Keep it on a leash connected to my PFD on a quick release.

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34073 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Emergency knife carry
Apologies SurfskiEstonia, no zip on the Mocke, was thinking of my Hiko Sport whitewater PDF. I leash this one on the Hiko, can get very busy in and out of boat whitewater paddling. Knives in good condition and as mentioned regular wash and spray keeps them ready to use if needed.











Has the knife ever fallen out of the pfd without the leash? 
No never lost one. As above leashed on in whitewater. I used to have them leashed however have had to cut emergency rudder one on a mates boat in big water and knife cord wasn't long enough working occasionally at full arms length on a bouncing boat so did away with that. 

And where do You think is best to tie the line on the pfd? 
You can carry knife in rear pouch if you have one and just have the knife cord attached to shoulder strap - just pulling on the line pulls knife out. That's how I have my flares attached, how else do you get them from behind you in presumably big water without removing PFD?  Is easy, just grab cord and pull. They sit upright anyway and even if they don't obey instructions and lie down just pulling the cord pulls them straight. Knife one shoulder strap, flares the other. 
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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34078 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Emergency knife carry
Having to cut off something sounds pretty drastic. If the conditions are so messy I am unable to take my time and sort out my leashes wouldn't deploying a knife make it even more dangerous?

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34080 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Emergency knife carry
Since I use two leashes (pfd to ski and paddle to ski) Ihave always felt it a good idea to have a cutter along, even though I have never had a tangle situation that wasn’t easily dealt with.After a couple tries with stainless folders that rust, I found one of the spydercos that work: Spyderco Ladybug 3 H-1 Rust Free Serrated EdgeKnife, Yellow . 

It weighs next to nothing and does not rust – I wash it once at the end of every season, perhaps it does not even need that, it just does not rust.  It is on a thin bungee tether and kept in a small homemade neoprene sheath (along with a whistle) that attaches to the upper chest area on each on my pfds.

And of course, if I am ever attacked by a shark, I am comforted by my irrational fantasy that somehow I could use this quarter-ounce knife to fend off a thousand pound great white.
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34081 by SurfskiEstonia
Watto, thank You very much for this post. The pics are great! I was hoping someone would show their setup and the detail in Your answer is superb:) 
The attachment system You describe is also very interesting, I should try it out.  But somehow it feels at odds putting the knife in the back pocket. For one, my lower back gets tired during longer paddles and as the Ocean Ski's rear deck is pretty low, I can lay back and relax my lower back. In that position, the water bladder gets pushed up a little and it may push the knife out. Then again, if the knife is in the corner of the rear pocket and clipped using the pocket clip as shown on the photo nr 3, it may endure the push from the water bladder and the chord pulling might actually work. I will try it out for sure:) Thanks again!!

Tve, I think a knife is more practical in the sense of broader usages on and off water. That cutter is nice, but it is kinda large for the number of things one can do with it. I'd rather go for a folding knife.

SpaceSputnik, I understand what You mean. If the situation is very grave and the entanglement is happening in a totally submerged situation, a panic may occur and the chances of getting the folder out is reduced. But then again in such a situation that knife can be a life-saver. Also the attachment system Watto suggested could work in that situation - no searching, just pulling. Another question is the increased chances of additional entanglement from the knife chord:D, but I guess this can be reduced with careful planning and execution of the chord.

NWSurfskier, nice knife!
Same words to Bill L! That Ladybug is beautiful. Although I think a rounded blunt tip knife could be safer. Interesting to see all the people here displaying Spyderco knives.

I think I will go with that Spyderco Assist Salt.

Thanks for the comments and help!! If there are any additional thoughts, please add them!!

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34082 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Emergency knife carry
Cheers SurfskiEstonia.

Don't overthink this, just do it. Test whatever setup you decide on in your garage then on the water then share here what works for you. In a difficult situation just take one step at a time, it's not drastic, it's measured. Festina lente. 

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34084 by Jef58
Replied by Jef58 on topic Emergency knife carry


My dive knife that I considered carrying on the ski. It's too big to carry on a PFD, but always thought about putting it the small bag in the footwell. Though the titanium blade has 2 sharp edges, the small foldable ones in this thread look pretty nice and may consider one...as I do like having some kind of knife on the boat.
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3 months 3 weeks ago #34087 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Emergency knife carry
MiniTac super sharp, had these on my footstraps on two skis for years never used at all but always there. These were the ones I'd just drop into a little sandwich container with ATF in it, never washed them really. Very high carbon content so rust easily however ab fab blade. I'd be super careful with one of these. Brilliant knife to have in the shed though slicing up rags, cutting rudder line etc. There's also no clip on the sheaf so need to be strapped on to whatever. other pics a bit squishy as close up with phone distorts battery a bit. Total length 17 cm  or 6.5 inches

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #34088 by Jef58
Replied by Jef58 on topic Emergency knife carry
Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks about carrying a knife on a ski. It was second nature when we used to dive and snorkel the Florida springs off our plastic kayaks, so I guess it carried over when I got the surfski. Our waters are pretty clean here but you never know when you get caught up in fishing line, etc...

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3 months 3 weeks ago #34089 by DMax
Replied by DMax on topic Emergency knife carry
I stumbled across this device the other day on the Marine Rescue NSW site (image below).  I used to carry a small dive knife on my ski but lost it in the surf some time ago now.  There are plenty of examples of paddlers getting caught up in fishing line (and hooks) on Sydney Harbour.

I liked this as the design would seem to guard against accidental self-injury that could happen with a knife on a ski in rough water if it had to be used.  12.7cm in length and comes with a carry pouch as well. Here's a link to the MRNSW site for further product spec.  https://shopmrnsw.com.au/shop/on-the-water/gill-harness-rescue-tool-mt008/
Happy to hear what others think, but I reckon I'll order this one.

Cheers, Dave

Current boat: Fenn Swordfish S (Hybrid layup).
Previous boats: Epic V8 (Performance layup), Stella SR (Excel layup).

Location: Sydney, Australia.

"The sea lives in every one of us" - Robert Wyland.

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