View Poll Results: Is there a need for better river knife design?
Yes, current options are not good at all 4 16.67%
No, current options are just fine 1 4.17%
Yes, but current options are generally good enough 19 79.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-04-2009   #1
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Paddler/Rescue River Knife Design

How interested would you guys be in a river knife designed from the ground up with imput from paddlers, river rescue experts, guides, pros, etc.?

Do you feel that there is a need for better design options for river knives?

It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

-Jack Handy
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Old 08-04-2009   #2
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
New and Improved River Knives

Yea, I'd be interested in that... seems like there has to be a better way to build a knife specifically for paddling.

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional
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Old 08-04-2009   #3
Davis, California
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 71
my ideal knife would be the bear claw with a pfd attachment similar to the co-pilot.
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Old 08-04-2009   #4
freexbiker's Avatar
B.F.E., Wyoming
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 907
If it could happen I would definatly be interested
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Old 08-04-2009   #5
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
I think the knife / PFD placement should be designed together.

The knife needs to be out of the way, but quickly accessible. Safe enough to use with numb/gloved hands blindly (bear claw), and versatile enough to used in rescue situations.

Bonus points... built in bottle opener
You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 08-04-2009   #6
Edwards, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 139
Two cliches...

Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door. (unknown)

100% of the shots you don't take don't go in the net. (also unknown)

So go for it.

Following is some business advice I plagarized from some website some time probably already know all this but I go back and re-read it sometimes. Because I forget.

The better mousetrap theory presents many problems:

Market Awareness
If nobody knows you exist and have built a mousetrap, no one will know that there is a path worth beating.

Actual Needs
If people do not have a mouse problem, they do not need a mousetrap.

Perceived Needs
People who have mice, but are not aware of their existence, will not be interested in your mousetrap. Likewise, people who think mice are, "the cutest little things," are not good prospects.

Definition of Better
Prospects will buy your product only if they agree it is better. Someone who is style conscious may consider a mousetrap that is 10% more effective at catching mice, but 20% less attractive, to be inferior. For that prospect, a better mousetrap comes in designer hues.

The Effort of Beating the Path
Finally, even if customers have real needs, perceive their existence, and recognize your product as better, they still may not beat a path to your door. The effort customers will expend to buy your product depends on their perception of its value. If they believe it offers only a one percent improvement over other mousetraps, they likely will not travel through miles of untamed jungle to get to your door. However, they may call a toll-free number if you promise to deliver the mousetrap and install it for them.

Oh, yeah, I'd buy one, after I lose my Gerber, which I likely will some day.
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Old 08-04-2009   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I think current designs are already pretty damn good. Rust resistant, easy to put onto PFD tabs, blunt tips or sharp tips, serrated edge vs. non. Many choices for whatever your personal needs are.

I have a bear claw and think its a good paddling design.

I'd be all for "experts" making an unbreakable kayak, or an ice chest that keep beer cold 10X longer, but river knives seem to be fine to me.

What do you think is missing?
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Old 08-04-2009   #8
WhiteLightning's Avatar
Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928

I was curious after all the discussion on the other tread about people loosing knives if people are happy with theirs. That thread led me to wonder if there was ever any real thought to the design, or if they were designed by marketing people or knife people instead of river people. It seems like a lot of people on here who have put some thought into it like the bear claw. On the Bear Claw site, it seems like the good design for river people might be sort of an "accident" rather than designed as a dedicated river runner's knife.

I'm not saying I will attempt to make one, but part of what I'm doing on my upcoming vacation is thinking of some ways I can pursue my interests more with my work and business(es). I'm keeping options open. I'm an entrepreneuer, so I always see problems as opportunities! (And yes if there were ever a WhitleLightning knife, a bottle opener is a must).

I also echo the sentiment that half of the problem is with the PFD people and the placement options. Also, I think of the knife problem being like if deer hunters designed the kayak you are using on Gore as a tool to transport meat instead of run the meat... That's all I'm saying...

I should have worded the question more like this:

If such a knife were available that were reasonably priced would you:

Buy one right away and replace your current knife

Buy one once your Gerber/other knife falls off in the river

Not buy one at all

Buy one if you were a new paddler, or never had a knife, vs. the current options
It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

-Jack Handy
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Old 08-04-2009   #9
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
I am not a diver, but I think Dive knives are a good model, just mostly too large... designed for someone wearing big thick neoprene gloves... The few i have seen have quite good sheaths. The knife I use is a Tekna dive knife. Tektite - LED Flashlights, LED Replacement Bulbs, Dive Lights, IR, Strobes, Marker Lights, UV, CSI, LZ kits, & Tekna Knives and lites
Good size, all metal, double sided serrated blade. Spring loaded sheath seems pretty bomber after 20 years of use. I have adapted a couple of small quick release straps to secure it to my shoulder strap... I think it retails $60-$80 ish these days

Some thoughts:
1 Simple knife design. (I think double sided / serrated blade makes good sense.)
2 Need a Solid Sheath release system
3 Need a way to attach to Shoulder strap. (PFD Patches are always in exposed areas / vulnerable to being smacked)
4 Make it to sell for under $50. This price point would be very attractive to the boating community.
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Old 08-04-2009   #10
castle rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 203
I have a friend that makes knives. They are by far the best knifes I have used. He even makes the metal by taking the iron or what ever out of the rocks. I will have to talk to him and see if he can come up with something. The only thing would that would be hard would be a clip to hold it to the vest

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