Backup Release Kayak Spraydeck

-- Last Updated: Mar-23-11 5:55 PM EST --

Here is the installation of a backup release for tight fitting spraydecks on composite kayaks. A friend of mine had a near miss last year with his neoprene deck.

perhaps more useful to practice
getting the skirt off without the grab loop.

The only time this has been an issue I was pinned on the rear deck and had to release the skirt by pushing on the sides.

easier solution
A number of skirts have a strap across the middle of the deck. Pull this, and the skirt pops off. Also saves screwing something to your deck.

another way to skin that cat

never use the release strap
The one time I’ll need it I’ll have tucked it underneath. So I use it to put on the skirt but peel from the side to take it off. It’s good practice.

Side usually works
There’s less tension than at the forward point. If the problem is just too much tension, you can bring both elbows together on the deck for leverage and curl. If the handle isn’t outside the skirt you can dislodge the skirt with a single knee thrust or escape the tunnel (both take a little practice). Or, just go to the knife.

Snapdragon has that too
Not sure if for all their skirts, but one of my Snapdragon neo skirts has the deck release strap. Though I tend to call it a knee-off strap… mine is set where it’ll help take the skirt off with a good lift from the knees that’d otherwise be ineffective in a neo skirt. At least for me. The knee push thing can be made less useful if you are shorter and have less length of leg under said knee. I’ve been in a number of neo skirts that I could not push off with my knee because they stretch so well.

Use knees as a backup. Push the skirt off with one or both knees.

Buddy check
That’s why it’s a good idea for paddling buddies to check each others set-up quickly before paddling. Pfd’s and sprayskirts on properly? Just like climbers check each other’s rope and harness.

As above,
Doesn’t always work in an unaltered skirt. Found that out in my first capsize with a neo skirt, way early on, in a boat with a plastic coaming no less, a skirt with a really grippy edge.

I got my act together and went for the loop, but there was no way knees were going to get me out of that. The skirt just kept stretching.

seadart and nate have it right

– Last Updated: Mar-24-11 11:05 AM EST –

Ideally it would be best to practice popping the deck without using the grab loop. It's not that hard, even with tight-fitting skirts, but practice would ensure success unhindered by panic and the surprise of a missing grab loop. Try it onshore first if you're hesitant to try it submerged.
A backup like the grab strap makes sense and is a good 2nd choice.
I absolutely hate the idea of drilling holes in things when it can be avoided. I enjoy coming up with "worst-case" drills and trying them out in controlled conditions.

Caution: knee strap or knee-off strap
At one time I had a Neo Snap Dragon skirt with the ‘knee strap’. I really liked the idea of an emergency release strap and it was very handy for attaching a chart case to.

These straps do have a pretty significant Achilles heel, particularly if receive an assisted rescue or perform any number of self-entries (e.g. scramble, cowboy, etc.). The strap seems to get hung-up on just about everything. Even if you paddle with a ‘clean’ deck the strap can and will snag on the edge of the cockpit coaming, hatch cover, backband… well you get the idea.

Good stuff.
But, it’s “coaming”, not “combing”. “combing” is what you do to your hair.

thanks grammar check
is it gunnels, gunwales, gyro, hero…i never know.

Ryan L.

you really should capitalize ‘I’
:wink: They will get you every time.

But thanks - I know what I’m gonna have for lunch!

my other question would be. why so many quotes? are we suggesting the coaming doesnt exist? or can we not really comb our hair?

Ryan L.

I usually keep my hair short enough to avoid needing a comb. :slight_smile:

What? Are you anti-quote?
Why “wood” “yew” “bee” anti-quote?

I hesitated to post it. For some reason it gets me.


I also don’t like disappearing threads (or even portions) – so I hesitate to delete this break-off on the thread.

its a joke
From a movie that apparently only I’ve seen.

Ryan L.

Must have been.
What movie?