Flatpick's invention

-- Last Updated: Mar-27-06 4:29 PM EST --

Spare paddle holders...In the pic they are on the foredeck i that i would prefer them on the aft deck so the bow is completely clean...
Has anyone used these on their boat????
looking like a great idea to keep from the scratching and wearing away the deck....
just have to find the Black ones-eeewwww white clashes too much with my lime green boat....

Deck Clutter
Looks like a bunch of un-needed deck clutter to me. I’d not waste my money or time on it. Looks prety hideous really.

I agree…

– Last Updated: Mar-27-06 4:37 PM EST –

...though I'm still trying to figure out just what those are, and what their purpose is. The extreme close-up shots without any explanation have left me quite confused.

Edit: Oops! Sorry, I glossed over the "spare paddle holder" explanation. Still though, I think they're definitely overkill. Perhaps Steve has lost some paddles in rough conditions when they were just secured under the usual deck bungies, and so he's trying to figure out a more secure system? I don't know, but my personal preference would be to do without them; even if I were still using take-apart Euro paddles (which it seems these things are designed for).

In any event, I tend to prefer a very clean deck, with usually only a spare paddle stowed (GP storm), or perhaps a flat little section of chart as well, if needed. Other than that, I'm certainly not looking for new ways to clutter up the deck! :-)


I believe they’re for a spare paddle.
They’d receive the ferrule ends.

PVC pipe
It’s PVC pipe with an elbow on the far end, used to hold the shafts of your spare 2-piece paddle. The intent is to have something that’s easier to use and more secure than simply wedging the shafts under the deck bugies.

Very useful
It’s probably black tubing from a plumbing supply store - we have white shorter and wider tubes that are along the same line on our rear deck. (Considering relocating them fore this season, since thing’ll be changing around to accomodate a GP and the Epics rather than two Euro paddles.)

If you are in seas these tubes are a life-saver -they allow an easy way to restow the spare if need be that still preserves a lot of security. Works a lot easier than aiming to catch a good chunk of deck rigging if things are messy.

Yes, very useful…
I’d be careful to speak against the worth or the location or the design of this system. There are quite a few paddlers that spend a great deal of time in some of the roughest of conditions that use this system.

In defense of Flatpick
1. Worthless? I doubt it. Steve has the experience on serious water to know what works and what does not.

2. My take on these is that they allow the ferrules of the spare paddle to QUICKLY be inserted, and then the blades slipped under the bungies. Did I mention QUICKLY?

3. This design appears to be the most secure I have seen for rough water. Very little chance of having the paddle stripped from the deck bungies by a wave and smacking you in the nose.


PS: Steve, I didnt make it to NJ. Maybe some other venue some other time.

Paddle holder

– Last Updated: Mar-27-06 6:54 PM EST –

I have been using them for two years and I have been bashed and trashed by waves and they have served very well; very secure, easy access, never lose a paddle...



history and development
Here is the whole story of those “ugly pipes”.

Many years ago, Steve(Flatpick) and I were taking a BCU 5* training with Andy Stamp.

One of the exercises took place in a tide race at Race Rocks (close to Victoria, BC). We had to throw our paddles as far as we could, then flip over, grab one of the paddle splits on the deck, roll up, then use the half paddle to chase down and retrieve the thrown paddle. Point was, a leader in those conditions absolutely cannot fail.

The biggest issue, to my mind, was that after retrieving my whole paddle, stowing the split was a PITA without rafting up with someone else.

Back home, I came up with 4" pvc pipe, cut in half, and stuck under the forward bungies to use as a holster. Problem (sort of) solved.

But then it was taken to another level by Jon Walpole, a BCU L4Sea coach. He came up with the improved and commonly used system of useing longer and smaller diameter tubing. It worked so well, others started using it, Steve was a major factor in spreading the word beyond our local area.


turns out there was an added benefit. To address the issue of a “cluttered” deck, first keep in mind that current practices within the BCU is that, if you use a towing system, and have anything on your back deck, you are asking for trouble (entanglement). Thus, another reason for keeping the paddles on the foredeck (in addition to making them more accessable). But in big surf, even with using half twists in the bungie, losing a spare (aka “split”) is an eventual given with paddles on the foredeck.

Unless they are holstered in the ugly pipes! Voila,no more surf yard sales involving spare paddles.

Check out the latest Werner paddles catalogue. There is a picture of Leon Somme’ surfing a sea boat on the Skook. Notice the ugly, but effective, paddle holsters…


It just amazes me
what experience in real conditions, does teach. Thanks.

I’m sold
but it’s not clear from the photo if those are attached to the deck, and if so, by what?



Appears the forward bungee
passes through them.

paddle holders
Since when is sea kayaking a beauty contest?

I thought we favored function over form.

It took me a while to find these pipes. Even with Jonathan Walpole’s help. Every time I asked for "1.5 inch ABS pipe people looked at me like I was crazy.

The pieces are "15 inch long "1.5 diameter ABS pipe (much thinner than PVC). They are the drain elbows that go underneath a double kitchen sink (does that make since).

When you go to the hardware store look in the sink repair section, you’ll recognize them when you see them. Then cost about $2.50 each.

Some people connect them on with extra bungie cord. Jonathan (and I) just hold them on with "1 rubber plumbing gaskets(Use "1 because it gives you a tight secure fit). The gaskets hold them sucurely yet allow you to remove them when they are not needed thus taking care of the ugly factor.

I actually think they look kind of cool.

One last thing
you have to cut a couple inches off of the pipe after the bend so that it sits flush on the deck.

Holes drilled for bungie

– Last Updated: Mar-27-06 6:16 PM EST –

Any basic drill, whatever is the bit appropriate for plastic will work with PVC pipe. Untie the bungies and rerun them so that they pass thru the holes in the pipe.
Just saw that Steve (aka Flatpick) uses a different kind of pipe though - maybe the same bit would work if going for the thrut he bungie option?

One modification that Jim's seen is to use fatter tubing, but glue in foam on the inside to make a tighter but still slippery fit for restowing them.

(PS - not sure that this really stops but merely relocates where the deck gets scratched. But it's about security and ease of stowing paddles more than that.)

I did a fabric take off on that idea a
while back. It works really well, and isn’t quite so fugly as the PVC. Also, it has something of a more aerodynamic profile.


It’s foam cored so that the ‘holsters’ stay open.

Nice mod Viator!
That is a slick construction. Even color coordinated.


Cool !!!
Neat !!

Having trouble visualizing how you use the gaskets. Can you shed some light or perhaps post a picture? Thanks.