Learned about oar tethers
For what my simple insight is worth to other, I am passing on a lesson learned. I have only been rafting for just under 6 years so still soaking in new stuff all the time. Was on an "easy" family float last night and got sloppy tending my oars while taking a picture. Not surprisingly, my down stream blade hit a rock and popped my oar out into the water. I thought that maybe I had forgot to attach my tether on that side but found that the hardware had broken. I have Phantom tethers that I got from a local shop that is no longer in business so I called the company direct. I was pleasantly surprised to have my call answered by the owner, Douglas. I told him my lack of attention and described where in the product the failure occurred. He informed me that yes the buckle failed but that it is designed to, at a certain force as to product the boaters and the rest of the equipment. He explained that you would rather have it break and have an oar in the water than hitting you in the head or launching into a passenger. He then thanked me for being honest about how things happened as he said most people tell a story that does not add up. He then offered a very reasonable discount on a new pair even though the product did its job and it was I who was at fault. That goes a long way with me building brand loyalty. A product that is made in the USA, an owner who takes his own calls, who takes the time to pass on some knowledge and who goes above what is expected gets my business.