Spare paddle on a surfski?

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24840 by MCImes
As I was paddling downwind on an OC2 yesterday, I had a thought...

What do you do if you have a paddle issue or failure on a ski? Anything from something small like the lever lock gives out up to something catastrophic like breaking a blade or shaft.

I always have a backup with me when I'm going any distance off shore in an OC, but the nature of an OC gives you plenty of places to strap stuff. I don't see how this would be possible in a ski (nowhere to strap a spare on, unless you make your own mounts on the stern, right?)

Is the general mantra 'Just dont break your paddle'? or never paddle alone? (even if you're in a group, what good do they do if your paddle completely broke?)

I'm just curious. Cheers.

Edit: Wrong forum. If a Moderator sees this, feel free to move it to the General forum

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by MCImes.
The following user(s) said Thank You: splashschool

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6 years 8 months ago #24841 by Kayaker Greg
I have broken a shaft, luckily I was only a kilometer from shore and the water was dead flat and I was able to paddle on one side, other wise could have been potentially very dangerous if out in bump, fortunately I always have at least my water proof phone and a PLB on me and in bigger conditions or further off shore out of the harbor I have a VHF, other than paddling with others not really much more I can do. It is an issue with surf ski, sea kayakers with any sort of experience always carry a spare paddle as the the OC1 guys that I know of.

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6 years 8 months ago #24843 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Spare paddle on a surfski?
You can carry a spare paddle on your ski, and you are right: You will need to create your own mount… if that's the route you want to take to assure safety.

Here are couple of things I can share with you through my own experience. Perhaps you will find it helpful.

1. Place some duck tape wrapped 4 to 5 times around the center of the shaft of your current paddle. Should your paddle ever break, you will have enough duck tape to fix most break.

2. Practice paddling with your hands - only your hands - in calm waters and then practice that in rough water. Couple of hints: you want your stroke rate to be very high… you will be amazed at how much your stability will be improving. You'll want to practice using your rudder, and even turning around in heavy winds / swells. The trick is to keep your rudder straight… pick up a lot of speed… and then turn around.

3. Especially if paddling alone, take water and all necessary equipment, PLUS: a set of palmed gloves. Those will do 2 things for you: you will be able to paddle much faster, and you'll be able to keep your hands warmer. You will notice that those gloves do not weigh much, and fold up really nicely. They are dirt cheap.

4. You'll want to learn to use ONLY ONE SIDE of your paddle to get back. This is another skill that you must practice before you need it. You'll want to learn to brace with that one side, and paddle hard enough to even catch some runners.

All in all, I have broken a few paddles. Everything else being equal, I shouldn't have:
I am super light weight, and do not have a huge muscle mass. Nonetheless, I have been stranded enough times to know that there are many ways to get back in when all fails. Here are the last two resorts:

SWIM
Do not venture any further than you can swim. Regardless of the conditions, if you can't swim it, don't paddle it. That's pretty restricting to some… but it's either that or carry a second paddle.

STAY WITH THE BOAT
When all fails, and you are still with your boat without a functioning paddle… simply lay down on the back of your ski and paddle it like a surfboard. For many, this is better than dying.

In the end, you have a personal choice to make:
Carry a spare paddle, or not. Look around and you will notice that most surfski paddlers do not carry a spare. Don't copy others: do what is right for you and your safety. Live to paddle many more days.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 8 months ago #24845 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Spare paddle on a surfski?
I would like to suggest that you regularly inspect your paddle for any cracks or fractures. They will most likely show up long before your paddle breaks from normal paddling. Repair/Replace as needed.

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6 years 8 months ago #24846 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Spare paddle on a surfski?
Great thoughts Ludovic.

That's pretty much what I thought, Im just curious what the norm is.

Im interested to hear others experiences or suggestions

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 years 8 months ago #24848 by merijnwijnen
Good question, I have been wondering about this as well.
In the sea kayak, I always take a spare on the front deck. I once needed one, when the ferrule failed and I ended up with a paddle with a non-fixed feather angle.

When I use my K1 for flatwater touring I sometimes have a spare on deck. I use modified vacuum suction cups (to hang towels in the bathroom) with a light bungee, so I do not have to drill the deck. This will NOT hold in waves.

On my soon-coming ski, I want to carry a spare as I will be solo most of the time. As Ludovic advises correctly, I do not care about the norm but have my own safety standards. They happen to be somewhere in the middle of the road between conservative sea kayaking and only-a-leash surf ski "norms".

A small extra bungee near the rudder might be sufficient to hold a paddle, together with the rear deck bungees that a lot of skis have as a standard.
I recently saw nice carbon tape or glue on deck fittings on this site:
www.surfski.info/forum/17-equipment/1810...te-soft-pad-eyes.htm
l do not know what became of those, but they should be easy to make yourself.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 8 months ago #24864 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Spare paddle on a surfski?
For very little money and some fun woodworking, you could make a smaller greenland style paddle out of a 2x4 and keep that with you just in case. lay nice and flat on the ski.

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6 years 8 months ago #24870 by topswimmer
Hi merijnwijnen what ski are you getting & were you at the duch coast race? did you compete and if so what did you paddle?

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6 years 8 months ago #24871 by merijnwijnen
I am still in the process of demoing, the Stellars still to go. Takes a bit of time but I do not rush as a new ski is a lot of money for me. I never bought a boat new, but used skis are few and far between here.

No, I did not compete, I do not have any experience with a ski at sea so I did not think it was a smart move to rent one for the race. In hindsight, that should not have mattered this year, it was essentially a flatwater race. I could have competed in my K1....

Next year I will be there, seems fun with a lot of veterans competing. Totally different from flatwater racing where only a few take part.

Seakayak, flatwater racing and a surfski on order.
Looking for other ski paddlers in South East Netherlands (Maas / Waal)

Surfski: Nelo 560 on order :-)
K1:Kirton Tor
Sea kayak: NDK Explorer HV

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6 years 8 months ago #24876 by red_pepper
If the lever lock fails, you can still paddle surprisingly well; one friend won a race with a broken lever lock (it broke right before the start of the race). It will no doubt feel weird, but it can be done. The nice thing about surf ski/kayak paddles is you have two blades/shafts: as others have mentioned, paddling with one blade is quite do-able. If you're paddling OC, it should come semi-naturally, but you'll want to practice it. Naturally, the more stable the ski the easier to paddle with one blade.

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #24888 by goofish
Replied by goofish on topic Spare paddle on a surfski?
Yes, your paddle may break but, equally likely, you could lose it in heavy water if you typically leash yourself to your ski and not your paddle. In any event, if you feel you must carry a spare on occasion (maybe a big water day when you are going to be far off shore) you could simply duct tape a two piece paddle to the back deck of your ski. It's not going anywhere that way unless you want it to. The only problem being that if you did still happen to have the broken (and not lost) paddle, you'd have to try and duct tape to the back deck while at sea if you wanted to bring it back to shore.
Last edit: 6 years 8 months ago by goofish.

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