Reflective Tape - Stick It Where?

Here’s a nice summary of Reflective Tape. Virtues, and shortcomings.

Where do you stick it? PFD? Kayak-which part? Paddle? Vehicle? Hat?

Kayak stern. Headlights hit it from
behind when I’m transporting. The guy I bought the kayak from put it there. He used a bed extender so the yak stuck out from the bed of his truck. Had the stuff all over the bed extender and a swatch on the stern of the kayak.

where the sun don’t shine!

– Last Updated: Sep-24-06 9:51 AM EST –

What’s your goal?
To be seen while paddling? To help rescuers find you in the water? To make your boat more visible on your car? To make your gear easier to find at night? All are good ideas, but no single tape location covers all of them.

Paddle blades and PFD are good places to start.

For all situations:
For daytime paddling I use paddle reflectors (thanks for the eBay link you posted).

For nighttime paddling (which I haven’t done), use Scotty Sea Light.

For day-time cartop transport, a red flag (free from HomeDepot) will do.

For night-time cartop transport, refective tape plus the red flag on the stern would be helpful.

For night-time “man overboard”, use the reflective tape on PFD as advertised.

Have I missed anything?

nice, s-fish!

– Last Updated: Sep-24-06 9:27 AM EST –

Do you have a link for the Scotty Sea Light?

Is this it?
Does it really stick to your plastic deck with that suction?

Sea Light

– Last Updated: Sep-24-06 9:58 AM EST –

I think they are the same. Suction cup does not work on Prijon plastic (I have tried). I would strap it or take the light apart and attach it to the PFD as suggested.

Having said that, I have not tried the suction cup with a film of petroleum jelly on both surfaces. That just might work. I will let you know.

Paddle Shaft
Near each end just before the blade, which really shows up well because others see the flash of it moving. Also each end of the boat on the upper sides.

For the Great Hudson River Paddle they also want reflection on the PFD, I’vce seen participants with strips on their vest.

I am a big believer . . .
in 3M Solas. I have patches on the front and back of everyone’s PFD’s and small patches on the paddle faces.

I paddle a CD Sirocco and have replaced the black tape the factory installed at the interface of the deck and hull with a small strip of Solas running completely around the boat. It was somewhat expensive and required a purchase of a tape trimmer (I got a bit of a deal from Identi-tape:, but it looks better than the factory installed tape which was peeling off. The strip of Solas has been helpful in some of my night ventures to keep our group close together. Finding my kayak at night is quite easy.

Solas is very reflective and has tough adhesive such that it’s difficult to remove once applied. However, it is somewhat susceptible to wear and needs to placed where it won’t get rubbed. I have strips on my deck right where tie down straps come across the boat and the tape is wearing there. Removing the strips is not easy. The tape around the circumference of my boat is protected in a recess and shows little wear.

Like all reflective tape, it works only when a light is shining on it, so more active illumination is needed if the goal is to be seen by others when paddling at night.