Paddle float

I am looking for a paddle float that does not need inflating. I have found two possible choices.

Any advice?

I have the Northwater
I started out with this one, used it until I got my first combat roll because I wanted a foam rather than an inflatable if a paddle-float assist method ws going to be necessary for self-rescue. It has worn just great, and has been inval;uable in various uses since like to start the balance brace, things like that. A hand fits inside it quite nicely.

I don’t know of any problem with the other. The only things I see that would give me pause are that the outer material on the pocket is mesh rather than solid fabric, and it looks wider. The Northwater one can be a bit of a problem getting it fit onto a boat, and the wider one might present more of an issue with finding a good secure part of rigging to slide it under.

My main concern with a float like that would be storage. I suppose you could lash it to the deck or put it under a shock cord but it seems like it would catch a lot of wind.

Also, I recently took a class with a group of kayakers where we practiced wet exits and re-entries. The one student that had a float similar to those you linked to had the most trouble getting back into her boat as it was not as buoyant as the inflatables. Every time she got a leg up on her paddle the float started to submerge.

Find a discarded block of styrofoam or a sheet from Home Depot and make your own. You can contour it to fit your boat and provide whatever amount of flotation you need.

rescue technique
no disrespect to your friend, as I haven’t watched her do rescues, but it could be her technique and not the float.

I use foam and inflatable on two different kayaks. Feel no difference in balance. Fully supported with either. Obviously everyone is different as to weight,agility and balance. I just think those traits matter more in the success of the rescue than the style of float.

As to positioning - me personally, I do not want anything that large under the sprayskirt where it could either inhibit wet exits or get kicked out and float away.

When I paddle with the foam float it is under the stern deck bungees about a foot or so off the rear cockpit coaming. It is further secured with a quick luggage style clip, which goes to a deck line to keep it from floating away if it should get use, yet is easy to release during rescue. My inflatable dual chamber float by Mariner uses a crab claw hook to keep it in place and has a much longer line.

I sometimes practice using just one chamber inflated, or sometimes I forego any stabilizer foam or inflatable, and see how I do with just the paddle - yes, it’s harder! But it’s good to get the feel of how it works.

Mine is by Harmony
Not the most common of the lot that’s out there. During a paddlefloat re-entry, I can notice a difference between this foam and an inflatable. The inflatable gives a lot of stability, but the foam is good enough. For a paddlefloat re-enter and roll, my foam float is plenty.


Another choice
I have this foam float by Seattle Sports

It works OK, but as others point out, it has less flotation than an inflatable - I fully submerged the foam float a couple of times during practice. This model is big and has to go on the back deck. Also has a shiny silver surface which might help someday. But I use an inflatable now, tucked under my knees to keep my legs from going to sleep. The foam block goes on the loaner boat.

NRS has a foam paddle float for $20. I’ve never seen it, but all my NRS gear is excellent quality, so I"m guessing this is too. It’s good and bright too, which never hurts.

North Water Sea Kayak Rescue Float
I own it, it’s great.

Foam floats taught puddlejumper and I to roll. Other than taht, they are ginormous and very hard to stow on deck or in the boat.

I prefer inflatables.