I carry my spare paddles on the rear deck. When I first started doing this I found the end of the paddles were scratching the gel coat as can be seen the photo below. I also found it is almost impossible to re-stow your splits (when on your own at sea) under the boats rear bungees.[singlepic id=793 w=300 float=center]
Having seen other Sea Kayaker’s securing their splits in tubes, I decided to make my own.
1 x 6ft domestic waste tube from B&Q (or similar). The diameter of the tube has to be large enough to be able to insert your split paddle into, otherwise the tube will be useless! (unless you happen to be a plumber)
About 8 inches of 4 mm bungee shock elastic cord. (I bought 10 meters of black bungee off Ebay for a £5. This has all sorts of uses, not just for kayaking, but for around the house too!)
A bit of closed cell foam and maybe some Duck tape.
Saw, Knife, Drill with 4mm bit.
1. Cut you tube to length. On my first set I made, I cut the tubes far too short, about a foot in length. This was way too short with my deck line/bungee cord configuration on my Valley Etain. Take a look at the photos below to get ideas how long/best to cut your tubes. I ended up with a tube length approximately 22 inches. They are this length so that the ends of the tubes can fit under the bungee cord fitted to my boat. (at the bottom of the picture below)[singlepic id=794 w=300 float=center]
2. Drill through one end of both tubes with your 4mm drill
3. Take the 8 inches of bungee cord and tie a nice big knot in the middle. In the pictures you will see I have a plastic toggle. This is the end of a hook that I used in the prototype, but found it was unnecessary. Instead of a big knot you could thread a bead or similar.
4. Pass the ends of the bungee through each tube and tie off. [singlepic id=791 w=300 float=center]
5. On the other end of the tubes add your foam (to protect the deck and also raises the tubes away from the deck for easy storage). The foam I used had self adhesive glue on one side (hip pad from another boat that was never used). I wrapped some duck tape around the foam to make it nice and secure. [singlepic id=792 w=300 float=center]
6. It is also a good idea to carefully using a knife to chamfer off the inside of the tubes to allow your splits to stow easily. [singlepic id=795 w=300 float=center].
7. By inserting the tubes/bungee cord under the deck lines at the bungee cord end, the other ends are fitted under the boats bungee cord as in the picture below.[singlepic id=790 w=300 float=center]
At first, I created some additional bungee attachments to secure the tubes (using some of the 10 meters of bungee cord I bought), but I found this to be completely necessary. I have yet to loose a spilt paddle (Doh! I’ve done it now, famous last words etc) and have paddled/surfed with them in some pretty heavy seas. I’ve yet to try it yet, but I reckon if I needed to, when capsized I could reach behind and grab a paddle to roll. But I may well wait for some warmer weather before I try this out.