What diameter bungee is best

for adding tiedowns to thwarts? I was thinking quarter inch then got to thinking that might be too big. It would mean drilling a 5/16 in hole in the thwart. Way too big in my mind. What’s a better size. Sorry for the newbie question but I want to do it this weekend.

smaller the better
as bungee is usually only for tucking a hat, jacket, etc. under. If you really need to keep something secure, use rope and tie it in. If you don’t want to drill try tying it tightly around one end of the thwart then wrapping it around the thwart a couple of times as you move to the other end and tie it again…sort of like the stripes on a candy cane. That’s useful for day trip stuff…try that first if you don’t want to drill

gotta ask yourself
What is bungie cord of any less diameter going to hold? What might it have to hold for your use? Why bungie as a tiedown in the first place? If it’s to hold a spare paddle, that’s one thing. If if it’s to hold your essentials in a moving water situation, why risk using bungie? What does it buy you?

Pretty common modification
amongst flatwater paddlers. OK for sponges etc in WW too.

I would not be too worried about drilling a 5/16" hole for 1/4" bungie. That is the preferred size for sea kayak decks - where you need to securely hold items that might wash off in surf. If 5/16" worries you too much, you can use a 9/32" bit. If you are patient, you could force 1/4 bungie through a 1/4 hole.

Don’t forget to seal the wood with exterior oil or varnish.


I use a different method

– Last Updated: Feb-23-08 1:14 PM EST –

I once found some foam-coated copper wire in a home-supply store. It's made to be used like a gigantic twist-tie, and it works really well if one end is twist-anchored to the thwart and the free end is just wrapped around a couple times to hold something in place. For holding a spare paddle, I can unhook one paddle and anchor the other one down, all in about two seconds. On every group trip I go on, at least one person will ask me where I got the things. Of course, you could use insulated copper wire instead, but the thick foam coating on these things makes them very grippy even when they aren't wrapped very tightly. Unfortunately, I haven't seen them in the stores since, but I think they are still made. For anchoring a spare paddle in a boat with float bags, I attach one of these twist-ties to each end of the front thwart, creating a free-standing loop just big enough to cram the blade of a paddle into. Then the handle of the paddle is tied down to the thwart right in front of me by a few wraps with another tie. I wish everything showed up better in this photo, but again, it's very secure and very easy to switch paddles in the blink of an eye (hit the "full-size" button, ignore the striped bow rope in the photo, and look for something blue holding the paddle blade down just behind the front of the boat). There are other ways to create a place to cram a paddle under, but this is so easy. I don't like to cram a paddle under the tie-downs for my float bags because of the wear and tear on the bags.


Look for them in the rope/bungie department. They are about half an inch thick and about two feet long.

.250" ideal …
There is a difference between types too.

The ‘better’ quality bunji has quite a few strands vs. the cheaper stuff that has about 10 + a less abrasion resistant sheath.

Drill the same size hole as bunji and pull it through.

email me if you want to know how i make my low profile bunji fittings.