Dumbest Kayak Product Nominations

CC Awards
My suggestion for the award name is “The Concrete Canoe” award, which can be shortened to the snappy-sounding “CC Award”, as in: “I second the nomination of the Kayak-Kickstand as the overwhelmingly deserving frontrunner for the 1st annual ‘CC’ award.”

As for the EZ-Vee by Kayakpro, it’s my daily transporter - it works fine. If squeamish about bungees, you could add web straps or use them instead. I do this sometimes. Mostly I figure the Lasso lock will work as a backup in case a bungee lets go. I took a godawful expensive mahagony Struer from NYC to Maine and back 10 hours each way at (possibly greater than) interstate speed with no issues. It’s the only rack I could find that can carry a 17’ boat without retrofitting handles for bow and stern tie-downs (not going to happen - I can’t drill holes in a boat like this). As it fills a need that other products don’t, it’s useful and shouldn’t be dogged. I guess maybe it’s more of a flatwater boat carrier. Plus it looks cool:


Better idea - The Kickstand Award
Now that I think about it, maybe the award should be named after the product that inspired its creation - The 1st Annual Kayak Kickstand Award - the first winner is then self-evident.

After all, the Kickstand embodies all the qualities necessary:

a) it seems cool the first time you hear about it,

b) it satisfies a need that doesn’t exist,

c) doesn’t actually do anything useful,

d) in the final analysis it’s maybe even a little dangerous to use or have with you.

Now who’s going to invent a pfd-mounted ‘Kayak Taser™’ so we’ll have a clear winner next year…

The Kayakpro rack is pretty cool. I have a friend that uses one and it works really well. The bungees are strong and if you are unsure if two will do the job, put on two more… Easy to do.

Only thing is that it is really expensive system. Otherwise pretty good.



I saw this in action a few years ago. A local paddler who prided himself on owning every gimmick piece of gear imaginable had this. He didn’t know how to roll and thought this would save his hide in an emergency. He came to a rescue and roll practice session with the local club and deployed this sucker. The result…he wound up flopping about on his side and had to wet exit, because YOU STILL NEED TO KNOW HOW TO HIP SNAP TO GET UP!!!

Of course, if you can hip snap properly, why not just learn to roll?

roll aids r wierd
yeah i have seen these things to, they use a co2 cartridge and deploy like a lifejacket. i watched a guy deploy one, but not in the water and i thought what a waste of time, money, and materials

hmmmm on trackmaster by epicX
isnt that the same or close to it system that Mirage deploys on their kayaks? seems that Andrew McCauley could have chosen any kayak he wanted to to cross the Tasman but he chose Mirage-granted I’m sure he was friends with the owner and shop employees…personally I like the looks of the integrated rudder and most here have agreed in the past that the 'look’s of a kayak are important to a certain degree…maybe some real positives other than looks though, Epic clames more efficiency, any thoughts on that in reality?

I can see less wind catching the stern, not much rocket science to see that.

The added keel seems like an afterthought already addressed by Mirage with their much longer optional rudders…I’ll know soon enough.

Disagree on the Roll-Aid

– Last Updated: Mar-12-07 2:56 PM EST –

I wondered if this'd come up...
Tho' it's not on the boat much these days since I finally found that I can count on my roll in at least normal paddling conditions (hopefully I solve the current thing this season), I had one of these on my front deck for two seasons.

I spent an unusually long time in an awkward state where I had a great hip snap and when everything lined up right could roll, but had very erratic percentages due to diving paddle and general mess-ups. The one thing I knew I could rely on was the hip snap tho', got that early and well, and had no question about my ability to roll up if I had a little less fussy support than I could get off the paddle. I also was handling leans etc very conservatively, so one backup opportunity in a paddle could make the diff in wehether I ever swam.

I generally paddle with company, but I really want to be able to handle my own baggage as a first option if possible.

As to the guy who was thinking that he could avoid having a roll - he clearly paid no attention to the material that came with it. There are copious instructions with the device and on the web site, in large print, saying it is only to be used by people who already have significant progress towards or a roll. And these folks are right - without a hip snap it ain't getting you up. But with a hip snap, if you are a bit tired or not getting it right with the paddle it is a very effective aid.

As to how well it works - pretty well. The tube attaches easily to deck rigging, the handle that you pull is large and easy to find without seeing it, and the CO2 cartridge inflates promptly upon pulling the handle, in fact it inflates better under water and in colder water than in the air. It'll gradually deflate from the CO2, tho' I can't say exactly how long it takes because I never ended up using it for the real thing. I practiced doing the full exercise once then threw it in the back of the car and didn't track the deflation time.

The only part of this that I found to be less than stellar was its performance as a paddle-float. The theory is good - if you blow the roll with it too you are automatically set up with a paddle-float - but it is pretty awkward for that purpose and I'd argue that using it to assist in a re-enter and roll would be a better idea.

I am fairly sure I will get lambasted on this one - near as I can tell most paddlers either give up on getting an effective roll or have theirs a whole lot sooner than I did. Because of a pretty significant issue with claustrophobia, my roll took about two years to make it from the pond and the pool to a real capsize. And my deck reflected some very conservative measures that I took in the interim to leave myself some very easily accessible alternatives. The big red foam float on top was replaced with an inflatable one behind the seat about the same time the Roll-Aid went back into the gear bag. But if I were on a multi-day paddle, over long and tiring distances, the Roll-Aid is the one device that might come out of the gear bag again.

BY the way, this is another one of those small companies of kayak stuff run by really nice people. About six weeks after having received ours, we had a message on our answering machine from the owner letting us know that he had just located our check in his desk drawer and had put it thru.

Kayak Kickstand Award - I Like It!
I like your suggestion of “Kayak Kickstand Award” as the name for the dumbest paddling product.

It was dumbness of the Kayak Kickstand that inspired me to start this subject for all of the reasons you listed. Furthermore, the name “Kayak Kickstand” just sounds dumb on its own. A kickstand isn’t even cool on a bike anymore, never mind a kayak.

I could also see mounting a gold plated Kayak Kickstand on a little base to serve as an award statuette. Hey, we may have finally found a good use for this device!!

Aren’t RollAids supposed to cure heartburn and indigestion?

Sounds like you’re about the ideal target customer. Likely all these things have some happy users/proponents.

I agree they are very clear about it’s use.

Now all they need are miniature versions that are embedded in the ends of the paddle shaft (plenty of room for CO2 cartridges) or strapped on - that actuate bags/donuts along/around the blades…

I do have to wonder if having your RollAid there on deck for two season didn’t actually slow your progress though - trusting to it while paddling more vs. spending more on-water time focused on the roll. Did you ever need to use it other than practice? If not, I’d say it cost you time and $ better spent elsewhere.

Didn’t slow me
In fact with it being there I was able to relax a bit more, which was basically what I needed to do anyway. I paddle and roll decently when I am haven’t tied myself up in knots. The relaxation process just took a long long time because I couldn’t “just do it”. I had to gradually increase the challenge level and get acclimated at each increment.

In trainings it can take me the entire first half of the day to loosen up, and I always end better than I started. It’s just me.

But the thing that most accelerated my roll was getting the Explorer LV and the foam core paddle. Went to a pond with the new equipment, nailed three in a row the first time ever and the sun didst break thru the clouds…

University of Sea Kayaking

– Last Updated: Mar-12-07 6:08 PM EST –

The "University of Sea Kayaking" sells the roll-aid/Backup device and they are not slouches. (If it was no good, USK would not be selling it.)


Based on seeing WW kayakers get rolls, I am not sure if the device is really necessary.

Greenland stick?
Celia: have you tried rolling with a Greenland stick?

Relaxing is almost 100% of being able to getting a roll!

epic rudder
the mirage kayaks out of australia have a simular rudder. You can get one that is flush to the keel line or you can get one that extends past the keel line.

Doesn’t matter what kind of rudder you have if the back end of the boat is out of the water on top of a wave.

Kayak Underwater Breathing Appartus supposed to give extra air when capsized.

James Bond’s “Rebreather” substitute
seen in Thunderball could hold a few minutes air.


(scroll down a bit for a picture, and scroll further down to see Brosnan wearing one in a later movie)

I thought the idea was cool when I was 15 and still think so now. Where does this guy Q live? Does he have a website?

Don’t need "Q"

Definitely way up there.
I’ll second that the boatslider has to be way up on the list. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. I love how the video shows the yaks already sitting on the rocks while someone sets up the rack. What are you supposed to do, get out in waist deep water to get out and put the trax down? What idiot would buy those things?!

why dumb?
In WW pinned kayak ( say upside down ) is a rather bad situation. Having extra air gives more time for potential rescuers to get their wits and ropes together.

Yes - which roll?
I can’t do the forward finishing rolls right with a GP (yet) because I lose it in the chest scull spot, but can do a few of the others. My issue with rolling was not about the tool, or the fundamental technique, but having to get by claustrophobia. This is an irrational response - it doesn’t lend itself to a solution other than lots of time and lots of acclimitization.