Counter balance for paddle float?

Anyone ever used this before?


oh brother
what will they think of next?

make your system as simple as possible.

a friend actually does have one of these and it ‘seems’ to work, given a perfect recovery scenerio.

with a little practice it’s un-necessary. one should really learn and practice getting back in with a re-enter and p/f roll, IMO. then eventually a re-enter and roll w/o the float.


North Water
has some good stuff, but I scratched my head about this one. I felt, like Flatpick, that it would require flatwater conditions. If you need to use a p/f, a reenter & roll is quicker and easier, not requiring the balancing act of a p/f reentry.

Oh I agree…
that you should have the skills to be able to re-enter without all the extra gear otherwise you’re taking a huge risk but you know how that goes. I’m the first to admit that I have a tough time getting back in my Eddyline Fathom kayak but I dont know if its me (it probably is) or its the style of the kayak - never had a big issue with my Current Design Breeze - God, I miss that boat but it was just too short…

What we need is kayaks that pivot
just behind the seat. If you flip and can’t roll, you pull the entire tail of the boat over to the left, and then climb up and in.

Don’t thank me, I’m here to serve.

Paddle Float Counter Balance
I have several boats and primaily paddle open water, Bay and Ocean, if you are going to all the trouble of using this device a better ssolution would be to (a) perfect a roll, (b) Scoop self rescue © Paddle Float recovery without any other devices attached. On the eastern shore of Virginia several of the open to public areas such as Fisherman’s Island recommend the use of “Sponson Bags” [Inflated paddle floats attached to the deck lines] I am sure someone thought long and hard about the design and in calm water it may be an aid but have some serious concerns as to a counter weight attached when in open water and wave conditions.

Thinking with all the devices I have seen this one is not going to be included on my wish list. I have different boats and lengths and designs work out with your boat more and develop your skills profienciently makes more sense than this gadget…Just an opinion …Lee

Counter Balance
is supposed to be what you are doing while reentering the kayak. It comes with practice. You can cobble together the best doodad in the world and you will still see the yellow or orange streak across the sky. I have never used anything other than the outside of the cockpit and my hand. Works every time, is free and will never let you down if you practice. K.I.S.S.

two arguments seen here
Some are really arguing about paddle floats period regardless of counterbalance while others just about the counterbalance.

I do agree that it’s often easiest to roll or do a non-paddle float re-entry, but whether due to skills or conditions these preferred methods may not always work and so a paddle float has it’s place. Of course when the non-float methods do fail then likely the paddle float method may fail too which is where the counter balance may help.

So IF you use a paddle float then I see no problem with the counter balance. It’s not some complex, easy to fail contraption, but simply a pocket to allow some water to rush in. In calm conditions its normally not needed (unless your skills are still weak), but in rough water most know the paddle float re-entry to be a challenge since big waves easily push your weight away from the paddle float side (especially near the end of the re-entry).

I agree
The counterbalance is sold to accompany their foam paddle float.

My two-chamber inflatable paddle floats effectively have a counterbalance because of the water that gets in between the two chambers. Just like the counter-balance linked by the OP, it fills and emties quickly, it just dampens the rapid rise of the paddle float if the user makes a mild error in use.

I thought it was a neat marketing idea.

In Matt Broze’s discussion
of doing a paddle float reentry on the Mariner website he makes a point that the paddle float should partially fill with water (not be over inflated) so that the water in the float will act as a counter balance. I think Matt has probably spent more time than anyone working with and perfecting technique for paddlefloat reentries so I tend to think that having a counterbalance is not a bad idea.

One of my misgivings about using a solid float was its lack of a counterbalance feature. As one who has seen the “yellow rainbow” when not executing the paddlefloat reentry correctly I can appreciate the usefulness of counterbalance. If I could do everything perfectly then I would never need the paddlefloat in the first place. A counterbalance of some sort helps eliminate the “not enough weight on paddle” error and reduces rocking of the kayak in waves as you are trying to get back in and pump out. If you are solo and using a hand pump, the extra stability of the counterbalance really makes a difference in your ability to pump out the kayak after getting back in.

I have no idea how the North Water system works in practice, but I do think it does address a deficiency of the solid float vs the inflatable type.


the first two posts
advocate using the paddle float for a PF roll. Almost anyone can do that, whether you know how to roll or not. Heck, you’ve got a PF on your paddle! How can you miss a roll?!

Missing roll with float

– Last Updated: Jan-08-09 1:51 PM EST –

Pretty easy to miss, actually, if you try to come up headfirst and do it all with arm strength, especially for folks with weak upper bodies. Looks more like a wrestling match than a roll.

How many “crutches” does one need?
Are we supposed to carry a piece of gear to compensate for every skill we lack? While I understand the function of this thing and I imagine that it probably works OK, where do we draw the line between buying unnecessary, single-purpose gear and just learning the skills that make them unnecessary? As with many paddling “safety” gadgets - paddle floats, rescue slings and sponsons come to mind - if you you depend on them rather than your skills, you’re screwed if they get lost, break or malfunction. Being gear dependent is UNSAFE.

well done!

agree to a point
clearly improving skills allows you to handle rougher conditions with less dependence on special gear. But there is no hard line on this. If you’re awesome in all conditions you won’t need help and so don’t need a VHF, but I’d still recommend one for many situations. Likewise a pump seems wise for even the most skilled unless you can guarantee you never wet exit. So for some given skill level and situation I think a paddle float may be a good idea and if said float just happens to be more stable due to an extra flap to hold water then no harm.

Personally I’ll do a re-enter and roll if too rough for other non-float methods (i.e. cowboy/scramble). But that just happens to match my skills at this point in time and so isn’t for everyone.

never used it
my opinion is that the more one relies on the pf the more weight that will be put on the paddle shaft instead of getting that weight low,centered, rotated and in the cockpit as fast as possible.

I did the pf self-rescue about a dozen times in two years when I first learned it but never in need, then I learned how to roll and practiced the pf self-rescue a few more times but never in need.

Then when I started teaching it I did it about two dozen times in two weeks and and improved my technique 100% simply because I did it a bunch of times. Instead of it taking three steps to get in after inflating the pf doing it in one smooth motion up, in, twist and bring paddle around.

My $.02 is the person who hasn’t learned to prevent the windmilling of the paddle hasn’t practiced enough(at least two dozen times) and if they have and it’s still a problem they better stick to nice stable kayaks and paddle with other folks.

rei has it on sale
clearance sale going on - pretty cheap if you still want it.