Does anyone use a paddle keeper?

Clips or a place to hold your paddle when you need your hands free? I found these folding clips but not sure how flimsy they are and if they stay up when you remove your paddle.

got my popcorn
Here we go… :slight_smile:

Taco style
I added taco style paddle clips, right & left. Easy in & out. Helpful but not foolproof. I don’t care for paddle leashes.

No clips, but a short leash
I made using shock cord, velcro, and a carabiner.

Keep it folded up tucked under my bungees until I need it when switching paddles or want to take a photo and have both hands free.

Honestly, I just separate it and wedge it under my rear bungees if I need it secure for more than a moment or two. Seems to float okay by itself for a few minutes if this weekends adventure in capsizing is any indication.

Paddle Leash
I do have a paddle leash, but it’s coiled up under my seat and I can’t remember when I last used it. It’s just so easy to push one paddle blade under a front bungee and let it just hang there.

And personally, I don’t want anything like those clips sticking up from the deck of my kayak (and I also wouldn’t want to drill holes in my boat to install them). When clambering back into the boat after a capsize, you want everything on the deck to be as smooth and obstruction free as possible.

Terrible obstruction for reentry…

simple bungee holder
My Venture kayak came with a feature I like so much I may add it to my other hardshell kayak: it’s a small plastic hook (like the speed lace hooks on hiking boots) attached to the deck about 6" in from the gunwale just to the right of the cockpit that a short length of bungee cord along the perimeter can stretch to reach. I just lay my paddle alongside the cockpit coaming and pull the loop of bungee over the paddle shaft and slip it under the hook

Half my yaks have paddle holders. I never use it. Never use a paddle leash. Last instruction I give to anyone I’m taking paddling as I am pushing them off the shore, “hold on to your paddle”

as a pfd…many disagree.

1/8th inch shock cord from REI

Seattle Fabrics may have colored shock cord

if kayaking buy 20-30’ …for the shelf.

3’ or less for paddle

I use the paddle keeper
described by Willowleaf on all my kayaks. I find them handy and out of the way. They cost less than 10 bucks and can be seen on Amazon.

Try holding it in
your mouth to keep your hands free. Helps hydration too.

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haven’t used that type
but I use both a paddle keeper and a leash. they have different reasons. I use a leash cuz if stuff happens and I’m separated from my paddle on a lake I could be in for a real hassle trying to go anywhere including after my paddle. It’s just easier to get used to a leash. The paddle holder is a helpful addition also but mine is built right into my ride 115. I use it to stash my paddle while I’m anchored and the paddle isn’t necessary and can be in the way. For the way I fish it’s just helpfull to have at times.


no obstruction
My mariner express came with a paddle park fore of the coaming. I find it occasionally convenient and not an obstruction to reentry nor for paddling. There seem to be some other styles that could be problematic to reentry.

Not in moving water
but I do, at times, use a tether. Sometimes, at sea, I just need both hands free and I hook the paddle to a leash when I do. Other than that, as I’ve described before, I use them when I put floats on the paddle and strap it to the boat so that there is flotation on both sides (for SCUBA/skin diving mostly) and the boat will not capsize when I’m away from it.

I do this from a narrow kayak and put lots of flotation inside the hull as well. I haven’t had a problem with that setup, though in rough conditions, I don’t fish/dive very often.


Leash only
And the one to my wrist. The telephone cord thing to the deck that a lot of places carry is annoying noisy.

That’s what my deck bungies are for. That, and holding my wine glass. OK, a few other things too…

GPs are easier
Since I use a Greenland paddle 95% of the time these are very easy to simply slip under the bow deck bungees. I also always have a spare breakdown paddle under the rear bungees.

A paddle leash came with my first touring kayak 15 years ago and I have never used it. The first instructor I had and every one since frowned on them as a potential entanglement hazard.

I can totally understand that concern – back in the days when I went on whitewater trips with my outdoor club I did the Class IV+ Cheat Canyon in a 2-man raft with tethered paddles. I was bounced out of the boat at Big Nasty and my paddle’s line got wrapped around my leg and I was dragged through the rapid trapped underneath the boat. It wasn’t until the other paddler dumped the raft just before the eddy that I was able to scrabble to the surface. I untied that tether immediately after regaining the raft – by then the experience had reinforced my death grip on the paddle anyway. I was so determined to survive the trip at that point that I was the only rafter in the group who managed to stay in their boat over VI+ Coliseum at mile 7 though my partner was ejected and the raft and I rolled several times through the Cyclotron before we popped out, right side up. The floor of the raft had ripped loose halfway through the trip so we were basically paddling a large oval inner tube by then, straddling the side tubes – when I washed into the hole I was able to lock my legs and arms around it and hang on for dear life. Yes, I dropped the paddle that time, but I was able to recover it in the eddy (and the group had spares anyway.)

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I have a few paddle leashes but
don’t use them for the very reasons noted by others. We have a couple of Old Town Loon 111’s with paddle keepers connected to the right sides and only use one if I’m stopped and out of the boat. I do have a nifty NRS “paddle keeper” for the same situation that I really like. Got it one year at the Michigan Quiet Water Symposium. I connect it to a deck bungy while parked, the paddle pops right in, and it’s easy to remove. After removal, I just clip it to one of the shoulders of my PFD or onto a seat strap, depending on the type of water being paddled.