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Hey all,


I just bought an inflatable kayak and was looking for input and discussion on leashes.


Basically I plan on doing up to class III, sometimes alone and have concerns about the boat and myself getting separated.


A body to boat leash would be a bit crazy, but I was considering a paddle to boat leash.


What are others doing?
 

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Don't do it. It's never acceptable to leash yourself to a boat. The one exception is while SUP'ing, but you need to have a safety vest pfd with a quick release harness.... and you need to fully understand and practice using it.

When IK'ing in a ducky you need to have at least one other person with you to help retrieve your gear when you swim, but more importantly to watch your back and help provide safety if something were to go wrong.
 

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Having a leash from your paddle to your boat can result in you getting tangled in the leash and wrapped around objects in the water. Don't let go of your paddle when you swim. Your boat will be close by when you surface. You put yourself at significantly lesser risk by having your IK float away than you do by floating down the river with an omnipresent entanglement hazard. Just my 2¢.
 

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boated with a guy who did this for a lotta years. he often got entangled when swimming. finally he took a hole ride where the leash tangled him and held him in the hole for an extended chundering. he finally quit using the leash.

A better plan would be to carry a spare paddle, add tag lines, and thighstraps with a footbrace.
 

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I have had good experience leashing my paddle to my PFD with a leash that has a coiled springy nylon cord about 6', stretched. On one end is a Nylon J-hook that goes on my pfd strap. On the other end is a velcro wrist band that goes on the paddle shaft in the middle.


95% of the time it keeps the paddle accessible in a swim. 5% of the time the paddle gets caught on something and J-Hook on the PFD releases. Doesn't take much pull to bend that Nylon. And it bounces right back assuming I get the paddle back.


I don't think a breakaway device would solve boat to person or boat to paddle configurations and make it safe because the entanglement danger isn't enough force to release the device, but enough to pin to the boat ( Which is technically out of control ) even if for a short time ( Decision point )
 

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boated with a guy who did this for a lotta years. he often got entangled when swimming. finally he took a hole ride where the leash tangled him and held him in the hole for an extended chundering. he finally quit using the leash.

A better plan would be to carry a spare paddle, add tag lines, and thighstraps with a footbrace.
I agree. Don't let go of your paddle. It feels awkward at first but if you practice you can use your paddle to swim.
 

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No leash on anything. Ive taken my swims. I always grab hold of the boat, though there will be a time to let it go for safety purposes. The best thing to do is learn to reenter your boat in river. And boat with others as much as possible. And take a course on proper technique. Youtube "paddle education."
 

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Here is what I do:
Put a strap around the boat directly behind your seat and cinch it up really tight. It gives you some extra back support, makes the boat more rigid and gives you something to grab if you need to flip it back over. I also use a 6ft strap as a tag line from the stern. If I get separated from the boat I have something to wrangle it up by. Works surprisingly well....
 
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