How many of you carry a Spare kayak paddle with you? If you do carry - where do you carry it and how do you secure it to the boat?
I almost always carry a spare
If I paddle alone I want one in case I lose or break the primary. When I paddle with a group I feel a sense of duty to have a spare because not everyone else carries one. I broke a paddle once on a day trip and had to use my spare - it was a several mile trip on Lake Champlain.
I may not carry a spare if I’m just playing in waves or trying to surf waves at a playspot. Just more stuff to come loose or get lost in conditions.
I always carry my spare on the front deck. I prefer to have a clean rear deck and I can keep an eye on the spare should it try to come loose. It is also easier for me to reach it on the front deck. Others I paddle with will carry a spare on the rear deck, but I think the majority of my fellow paddlers also carry on the front deck.
Currently I secure the spare with deck bungies, but I have been impressed with Northwater’s Paddle Britches product. I may try that or make something similar.
I carry my Ikelos on the front deck as a spare and as a different gear. I can easily change paddles on the water or access the “spare” if the one I am using breaks or gets away from me.
Same as wetzool
Unless in surf, even then a three or four part WW paddle can be stashed inside as a spare. It's just easier to have one in case something happens than have your outing be ruined because there isn't a spare. Unforeseen things happen, even to new paddles.
Stored on the front deck, under the bungies, though I've done things like add pieces of plumbing into the bungies to help hold things a little better. There's not much use in a spare that you'd have to struggle to get out, and usually it's harder to get the spare off the rear deck than the front.
There is another reason if you switch between Euro and Greenland paddle - then it's kinda nice to have one of each to change the paddling. But even then, that second paddle is real backup.
My primary spare is
a 4-piece breakdown paddle, snugly maintained in an REI mesh bag and generally kept on the back deck (in a hatch on flatwater when not alone). It’s compact and out-of-the-way.
for ideas on how to stow it on deck
for ideas on how to stow it on deck, specifically in the front where you can access it without twisting/bending around (something a bit precarious when the water is textured I use paddle parks.
There are several styles available but I prefer to make my own one that fit really well on my kayaks.
For details: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/03/shop-sea-kayak-paddle-park.html
I use a short one piece Greenland Paddle stored on the front deck under the bungees when I’m paddling alone at sea (crossings etc.).
It’s Not Really a Spare
I always take 2 GPs. One has significantly more bite than the other. I can change cadences based on how I feel and how the wind and current are behaving. I stow the paddle I’m not using on the front deck under the bungies / perimeter line.
Its on the back deck under bungees when I am in the kayak, and when I am in the canoe I always have a spare clipped to paddle clips
It’s basic kit for me. I always have 2 paddles. Usually I carry a greenland and a euro. On my ocean-cockpit boat a full-length GP fits on the front deck under the bungies. I stow the euro in PVC conduit on the front deck, but I don’t like the clunkiness of that solution, so I plan to sew something like Gnarlydog showed pictures of.
front deck under the bungies
under the bungies with a half twist if I’m going out through the surf
For temporary purposes I bought a 3' long and 2" wide velcro strap from home depot and strapped mine to the bottom of my seat. Works good other then on muddy days you can get your spare pretty muddy as well. I plan to do some reorganizing and attach mine to my deck but has worked for temp.
Guess I should also add I mainly run the local lazy rivers so no real need to be able to get to mine in a hurry.
Will only spare-carrying people answer?
I’m bad…I always carry a spare paddle on camping trips but rarely on day paddles.
The spare goes on the front deck under the bungies, but having seen the Little Britches last year, I’ll be buying one of those.
there’s some really good ideas there, gnarlydog, thanks for that.
Front deck on open water…
Stowed in the hatch for easy day paddles at known locations. If I’m going somewhere I haven’t been yet with a group, I basically “do as the romans do”. Bottom line, its always nearby when I’m on the water.
I use a setup just like gnarlydog’s
on one of my kayaks. On my other boat I use Northwater’s Paddle Britches, which my lovely wife gave me as a gift.
I obviously mount the spare on my fore deck for all the reasons Celia states above. In the event of a capsize and loss of your primary paddle it also allows one to pull a blade and perform a half paddle roll.
Day-Paddling & Spare Paddles
"I’m bad…I always carry a spare paddle on camping trips but rarely on day paddles."
I usually take a spare paddle with me on all day trips that involve some distance.
But for some reason I have not been taking any spares when I go to WW, because that mostly involves very short distance paddling and mainly playboating (or at least trying to learn it).
But, lst week the current was very strong and bumpy, I tripped over unexpectedly smack in the middle of a fast rapid, my roll failed repeatedly, and I had to swim (I got that on video too, smirk). The swim was easy and safe, I got out, and happily noticed I still had all that I carried with me, including my paddle that as usual was not leashed (I guess I managed to keep one hand on it, one on the boat and swim with the other -;). But it also a little less quickly dawned on my that I had not taken a spare with me that day, since my GP was still in the garage waiting to be repaired! That meant that, had I lost my only paddle, I would have been forced to hand-paddle for about 1 mile downriver. That in itself (aside from the $100 or so lost for the used paddle) would not have been too bad since the river is relatively easy and I can glide down without a paddle and get washed out near the putin eventually. There are a couple of class II short sections that without a paddle may trip me over and I may need to do upside down, but with the paddle float on deck I think I can roll-back without the need to swim there.
Still, I did not like the idea. I think from now on I will always pack a spare no matter what. With my WW boat I may need to settle for hand-paddles, a half-paddle with a short shaft, or may be for luxury on long trips - the 4-piece Lendal stashed in the rear (there is no room for anything else there)…
I carry a spare GP sized to fit on my back deck under bungees.
The need for a spare is not always catastrophic. One time I was adjusting something on my deck and reaching behind my seat too. My paddle floated away perpendicular to the kayak. Wind was blowing around 15 mph. and no spare. Words cannot describe the hassle to turn the boat and retrieve that paddle with my hands. I actually owned a spare but just didn’t put in on the boat that day.
spare paddle on front deck
I carry a Greenland storm paddle as my spare and keep it handy and secure on the front deck.