Kayak Kickstand

How about kayak wheelie bars ?

So no one has actually tried one??

Why would we???

– Last Updated: Dec-19-06 8:52 PM EST –

It's a solution in search of a problem... a completely unnecessary gadget...a waste o' money. It's not hard to learn how to get in and out of a kayak. More importantly, it's unusable for anyone that uses a spray skirt. Duh! What were they thinking???

"What were they thinking???"
Well, they do sell paddles… :wink:

I could see it if…
the video had someone in it who actually needed extra help. Like someone with a knee that wouldn’t bend fully, or a severely compromised ability to balance or maybe, I don’t know, coming from a wheelchair.

But there is no visible excuse whatsoever for the woman pictured in the video to have any problem just plopping butt-first into that barge of a boat and getting on her way.

what really frosts me
is that Bucky is has internet access in the slammer.

How’s that “Guilty as hell” plea working out? Cooking up any viable escape schemes yet?

Good point!
Though bright guys like you see right through the conspiracy…

hmmm, maybe a little more info will help
So, I don’t know if any of you guys have actually seen one of these in real life, but I have, and gulp…, I have even tried one.

It is easily attached and removed, does not prohibit use of a sprayskirt, and does make entry possible for those who don’t have many other options. It uses a pair of modified c clamps to hold it in place, no drilling, no bolting.

Many of these potential boaters would never ever use a skirt anyhow even though they prefer a decked boat. If and when they fall out, they are swimming to shore or standing up, they have no interest in rolling rescues or anything beyond hanging out in their local spot. They will never choose to go anywhere remotely challenging or exposed. I know many many paddlers like this, and they have great fun doing what they do.

I am glad to hear that all of you who use a paddle for entry and exit have the flexibility and coordination to use it behind the cockpit. I am sure that you also realize that not all would be paddlers are so fortunate, at least not when they are starting out. I have seen many potential boat buyers who have a very hard time getting in boats even when shown how to correctly with a paddle or other assisted entry methods due to flexibility, size, age, funky joints etc etc.

I do some work with paddlers with disabilities, and this device seems to be to be another type of adaptation routinely done to boats and paddles to make the sport accessible to ALL who want to try it.

I am not sure why there is so much negative reaction to this item, but it seems a bit out of proportion to me.

OK - here’s how I really feel
"does make entry possible for those who don’t have many other options."

Here’s an other option: Don’t kayak!

If you can’t get in and out of a kayak - maybe you shouldn’t be going out in that kayak! There are other ways to enjoy a day on the water.

Entry serves as a small reality check. A sort of early warning system. A reminder that a kayak is not a La-Z-Boy recliner parked on a Berber rug.

I also think “entry”, from both shore and from deep water, should be considered the most basic skills for every kayaker (assisted if they are impaired in some way beyond laziness/ignorance - otherwise solo too). Those who can’t should be helped/taught until they can - not coddled and given a pass.

Kayaking is a sport - and most sports require some baseline fitness/skill for them to be practiced safely. With paddling that may not be much for casual recreational stuff - but it’s also not zero. It’s a water sport which greatly increases the risks. The easier we make it, and the more people are relying on such gadgets, the greater the risks become - and the less aware of them people become.

Sure - the handicapped may have need of assistive devices. This device might help them be more independent, but is that a good thing? Really? Should handicapped kayakers be going out on the water alone? Is BB donating any of these to assistive paddling programs? Offering any discounts? Being and assistive device, will people’s insurance cover it?!!! L

“Many of these potential boaters would never ever use a skirt anyhow even though they prefer a decked boat. If and when they fall out, they are swimming to shore or standing up, they have no interest in rolling rescues or anything beyond hanging out in their local spot.”

So the answer to this is to slap on a gizmo that lets them get on the water with no more ability than it takes to sit in a chair? One that discourages learning anything more? To essentially keep them ALL handicapped?

I think we all understand the target customer base for this device. Some of us just feel it is bad idea to cater to this mentality or to promote paddling as being for “everyone”. Enough people already die in open rec type gear at “their local spot”. Anything that allows people to do more with less skill/fitness is not helping this.

Yes, this will be seen as an overreaction by most. Honestly, it is more saddening than maddening to me. Same if it were a set of motorized outrigger/sponsons (which has to exist or be in the works somewhere).

BB knows the customer base and have a good marketing hook with this. Potentially makes it a successful product (points for that!), but that doesn’t make it a good idea. I suspect they’re just reacting to market demand like everyone else - with the potential customers pushing them to make it more than they’re pushing to sell it.

I should be so luck as to have a device that warranted such discussion. Even bad press is press, and exposure is valuable.

I get it, really I do. On several levels. That’s why I don’t like it. But I’m also not in their target market for it - so what I think is of little consequence. Same people who putter about in rec boats that they have trouble getting in and out of, and that have no interest in any skill development, will also take no stock in my opinions. Might even drive some orders…

I guess you’re not going to like…
…my idea about a small “Hulivator” type device that hooks on the cockpit and lowers into the water so all you have to do is swim/float over it, pull a lever and it lifts you back into the boat.

Back to the drawing board…

Check out the
paddle park that comes standard on Northwest Kayaks, it is simply two plastic boat cleats mounted ahead of the cockpit and uses a already attached bungee. You should be able to make one yourself for about $10.

great points

– Last Updated: Dec-22-06 11:12 AM EST –

Besides the obvious "if you can't get into a kayak maybe you shouldn't be kayaking" - directed to the able bodied - the point about disabilities is a great one. Disabled people like to be challenged to improve their agility as much as able bodied people. There's a relevant philosophy in recreation for the disabled. Now in certain cases it might make sense but if someone is this impaired they should have assistance, not a piece of equipment that if broken could leave them stranded.

One of the balance tests I start with (at a minimum) when taking out novice friends is to have them get in the kayak, lean side-to-side to get a feel for the balance, and then do the same thing in the water.

Infringes on my “rotoroller”…
automatic rolling device! Maybe we could join forces…

Actually I do have an idea for a competitive device to the “Kayak Kickstand” that doesn’t interfere with the coaming, doesn’t risk damaging the paddle, and is better for outrigger/paddlefloat use. Downside is in it’s current iteration it would need to be installed and would cost a bit more. Since it still has the same basic user/use issues otherwise - and potentially violates my thinking on clean decks - I’m not to interested in pursuing it.

Here’s a different sort of stabilizer idea that’s kind of cool (in a convertible hardtop sort of way):


I’d be a bit concerned about reliability/durability, but for mildwater use, and maybe for adaptive paddling, it might have potential. On a side note: The ergonomics of the seating position on that kayak is terrible. Heels are higher than butt. Forces slouch - Ouch! Must be designed by and engineer! (Engineers are free to make similar comments regarding items engineered by designers).

a not unexpected response
I am unsurprised that your reaction is that those who need assistance like this shouldn’t be paddling. I don’t feel the same, but that’s fine. I think that something like this can help someone develop better skills over time. To say that someone may need a device like this at first isn’t to say they always will.

I know I wasn’t born knowing rolling or efficient paddling skills, and I needed ASSISTANCE to learn them. Perhaps you did not, lucky you.

As for paddlers with diabilities wanting to challenge themselves, you bet they do, more than most. They routinely kick my butt in motivation and drive. Using a device to help stabilize the boat does not equate in my mind with lack of desire to challenge oneself or learn skills, nor is it disempowering to the paddler when explained and placed in an appropriate context.

Like I said not surprised by the reaction, just a bit saddened.


– Last Updated: Dec-22-06 3:34 PM EST –

He makes good points.

Hopefully you're not really equating rolling with Getting Into a Kayak.

Life is full of little gadgets to make the mildly challenging effortless to us. Next we'll talk about paving all hiking trails with asphalt and avoiding slopes greater than 2% so we can all enjoy them effortlessly.

no one is saying to ban the kickstand, just commenting on whether it's really a need. My 65 year old mother got into her yack weekly without one. So did my overweight 6'2" 230# friend. Into a 21" wide boat. It wasn't easy for him but by the end of the day he had it down. YMMV.

finally saw the video
didn’t know what all the fuss was about. I agree it sure is a useless product for most kayakers. Those with physical limitations may find a use for it.

Although I could see it used mainly for certain recreational activities like using it to support the paddle outrigger style as in the video for easy in and out of the kayak while snorkeling or swimming. Also as the video shows it could be used for fishing and standing in the kayak. However, the majority of fishing folks don’t use sit in boats.

Anyway, I am sure it will sell especially to newbies.

then there is this idea from Finland

from kajaksport…you velcro the paddle in place…

less intrusive…big honking horn shaped things behind the cockpit…


"better skills over time"
Well, I would certainly like to be able to see it that way - I just don’t see how it is a transitional thing.

Training wheels on a bike are transitional as the understanding from the beginning is they are going to be temporary. They are also designed so they can be raised incrementally increasing the balance needed and decreasing the dependence.

The Inuit attach small outriggers to kid’s kayaks, and can decrease the spread or float size in very similar manner.

Kayak Kickstand is not like that. What is there to indicate or encourage progression? Will people outgrow it just get better balance and stop using it? Forget to use it a couple times and realize they don’t need it anymore? It sure doesn’t encourage that, and isn’t marketed as a training tool/stepping stone/temporary thing.

Kayak Kickstand
Hey there, from one old timer to another it MAY work for you. The big BUT is what type of paddle you are using as it’s not compatable with all maufactures. It was designed for Bending Branches straight shaft paddles. The standard diameter Werner paddles WILL NOT fit in the Kayak Kickstand, they are too large around. The Werner Small Diameter shafts WILL work, however. If your paddle is much larger than 1 3/8" in diameter it won’t fit. Works well as a fishing rod holder, but kind of expensive just for that. My wife likes her’s but it does cut off about 3" of the entry room at the front of your cockpit (depending on design) so take that into consideration. Something else to think about is that it is entry specific to one side of the boat, not both; you can set it up to either side, but it won’t work for the opposite unless you take it completely off of the boat and move the brackets. Best suggestion is to buy it from some place you can return it if it doesn’t work for you. Hope I have been of some help. Happy paddling, Uncle Jack