Leash connector bet IK and paddler?? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-24-2013   #1
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
Paddling Since: 1990
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Leash connector bet IK and paddler??

Have given the idea some thought as I realise that in heavy water if the IK gets away, you will be swimming, or be dependent on others to corral it and for rescue.I know that such lines are frowned upon in ww conditions but with a reliable quick release system, may be something worth trying.Any thoughts on this?

I have a plan how to do this and will try it out next week in moving water and post what I find with it.

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Old 08-24-2013   #2
 
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Newport, Oregon
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Definitely a risk but I SUP with a leash attached to my rescue PFD and feel okay with it most of the time. In heavier stuff with more rocks I take it off because it scares me though.

I've never seen an IK leashed, but in the PNW I have seen long webbing "painters" tied to the ends though to aid in grabbing it when you fall out. I feel like the SUP needs leashing because you fall off so damn much but you can stay in an IK through some pretty gnarly stuff (up to Class IV+/V-?) so I wouldn't run the risk if it were me.

If you are set on it then look at the coiled SUP leashes and a rescue PFD. I'd only use it on big clean rivers though, no rocks or, especially, strainers. Be safe!
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Old 08-24-2013   #3
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My feeling is that you are swimming if you dump an IK in a rapid. You coral your gear in the calm sections. You aren't likely to get.back in and will need to detach anyhow. Seems it will only add an extra hazard.
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Old 08-27-2013   #4
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
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re leash

Well, I tried it today. I used a flat stretchy bungee type strap with hooks at either end. I hooked one end into the thigh strap loop near my foot and the other end I hooked into a bungee I had around my chest over the PFD.Can't get any quicker release than that.I went into a small hole that still managed to flip me and gave me a chance to see how this worked.It worked fine, I stayed close to the boat and could even use the leash to pull the IK out of the hole, where it was surfing upside down.
I then played around in flat water, flipping over and seeing if it gave me any problems , but none so far.The leash is about 5 feet long, and stretches to about 7 feet.
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Old 08-27-2013   #5
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New Castle, Colorado
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I would be concerned that the "quick release" hooks will be impossible to release if the IK is hung up and you are pulled downstream by the current. At that point it becomes too easy for the water to stack up and push you downward. Sometimes you want to get away from the IK.
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Old 08-27-2013   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
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Don't suggest

"I would be concerned that the "quick release" hooks will be impossible to release if the IK is hung up and you are pulled downstream by the current."

That was exactly what happened to me many, many years ago. I was wearing a quick release rescue system, one where you can pull the buckle to release it. I was towing a boat with it after the paddler's wet exit, with the system attached to me. Well the force of the current made it impossible for me to release the system. It scared the $^^&#$ out of me; it's the closest I think I ever came to thinking I might be killed on the river. Fortunately I got lucky and was able to get close to shore and release it... I never used the system that way after that; if I needed it for a tow, I took it off my waist and held on to it instead so I could release it easily if needed.

Ropes, bungee, etc. can snag on or wrap around anything: rock, strainers, your legs, your neck.... I'd definitely carry a knife and know how to extract it if needed. But I do not suggest attaching yourself to the boat... Practice instead re-entering your boat after a flip.

Just my sand pebble of an opinion.

Annie
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Old 08-29-2013   #7
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Dundee, Oregon
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I paddled Iks for years and years in Oregon, Washington, and even some Idaho WW. Don't leash yourself to anything. You are putting yourself an bigger position to get harmed than any trouble you might save yourself. You have to develop a skill set for falling out, holding your paddle, and grabbing your boat.
The worst thing that ever happened to me was I had to take a 1/4 mile jog in a very remote wilderness to get my boat corralled. I've done a lot of small, creeky no name stuff with wood, boulders, and even railroad ties. Having anything to get hung up on could mean death, period. You will find the more you flip and self rescue, the less need you will have for a leash.
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Old 08-29-2013   #8
 
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Newport, Oregon
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Wow, shocked at Amatula's story (never heard of a rescue buckle seizing) but more so at Jimm's. I'm not gonna tell you how to live your life but attaching your IK to your PFD by a tie down bungee is really scary to me and almost everyone else: there's a heap of ways that can go wrong. I suggest googling "kayak tow leash" and "whitewater rescue PFD" to see some examples of good gear that is moderately safe.

I agree that the best thing you can do is learn to self rescue quickly and paddle with friends that can help you out!

be careful out there!
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Old 08-29-2013   #9
 
Denver, Colorado
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Shocked too

You often hear it said to practice using rescue devices. That's good practice. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will always work in the "real" (I-would-never-had-anticipated-this-could-happen) paddling situations we can find ourselves in. I had a good system (sorry I cannot recall the name; and ironically, I lost it on the river one day; it fell off somehow). The force from the boat and current pulling me downstream was incredible. I didn't have a knife at the time (mistake!) to cut the rope. A friend of mine, an ACA certified instructor, told me recently when I mentioned I had been with a rafting group: wear a knife especially on rafting trips! He mentioned that throw ropes can be tangled around swimmers too and jammed in rocks (something I never considered). And with a knife you can save yourself if you do get entangled in one. So that's probably one of the most important pieces of gear you can carry. JIMM: another point to consider with a leash: sometimes you need to move fast, to get to shore (say to avoid a strainer). If you are leashed to your boat, that isn't going to be easy... Even if paddling easy water, don't leash. The scariest things that have happened to me were in easy class 2ish water and on rivers I have run multiple times. Don't be complacent and assume you'll be safe just because it's easy or familiar or because you're with your buds or ___ (whatever your thinking is). Oh and JIMM: thanks for posting the question! We all can learn from the questions such as yours that are raised on the board!
Be safe and enjoy,
Annie
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Old 08-30-2013   #10
 
StGeorge, Utah
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I like the idea of the webbing tails tied on and dragging behind for something to aid in recovery. Had a tough swim the other day to retrieve my packraft after a flip and 6 to 8 ft of tail would have saved me a lot of work for sure. I know it's not an IK but I think the method still applies.
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