Rockawayjb

Tether from Kayaker to Kayak

17 posts in this topic

My friend and fellow kayaker is convinced that having a tether connected from himself to the kayak is a prudent safety measure. We kayak mostly on Jamaica Bay and on rare occasion in the ocean. On the surface, it would seem that being tethered would keep the kayak from drifting away from you if you fell in, a good thing. It may also be that getting tangled up in a tether could mean drowning. He's using one of those retractable dog leashes zipped into his life vest and feels that a quick unzip would get him out of any trouble.

 

Please share any thoughts about tethering oneself to their kayak in these kinds of kayaking environments. I realize that a river kayaker might not want/need a tether as much.

 

Thanks for any input.

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16 mins ago, z-man said:

The last thing I want is to be attached to a heavy kayak filled with fishing poles if it flips. 

And maybe get tangled in the tethered rope. 

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17 mins ago, cheech said:

A throw rope is another option.

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This is interesting and unfamiliar.  Would you throw the rope to try to snag the kayak as it drifts away?

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If you kayak solo and you are in the ocean you better have a handle on your kayak if you flip.Even a three knot current can pull that kayak away from you faster than you can swim and depending on the day the tides could run much faster,The best thing to do is kayak with a friend when in open water.

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27 mins ago, Riche33 said:

If you kayak solo and you are in the ocean you better have a handle on your kayak if you flip.Even a three knot current can pull that kayak away from you faster than you can swim and depending on the day the tides could run much faster,The best thing to do is kayak with a friend when in open water.

Wouldn’t your body be drifting at about the same speed as the kayak? I would imagine you could catch up to it by swimming. Either way I’d rather be in the water floating in a pfd without a kayak than tangled up and drowned attached to it. 

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4 mins ago, z-man said:

Wouldn’t your body be drifting at about the same speed as the kayak? I would imagine you could catch up to it by swimming. Either way I’d rather be in the water floating in a pfd without a kayak than tangled up and drowned attached to it. 

surface water moves faster than where your legs are dangling,not to mention wind

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8 mins ago, z-man said:

Wouldn’t your body be drifting at about the same speed as the kayak? I would imagine you could catch up to it by swimming. Either way I’d rather be in the water floating in a pfd without a kayak than tangled up and drowned attached to it. 

No the Kayak will drift way faster than a submergerd person.

Out alone probably not a bad idea to be tethered as long as you have a quick release you should be okay. With a group not as needed.

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2 hours ago, Rockawayjb said:

This is interesting and unfamiliar.  Would you throw the rope to try to snag the kayak as it drifts away?

It could be used as a tether, but it’s for tossing to someone in need, towing or tieing off.

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As a paddler, the paddle is leashed, and if I went over I'd have it in my hand or very close. I would not want to be leashed directly to the boat. FWIW, its the wind that will take the boat away, not the current.  One October I went with an old buddy on his Hobie Cat in S Oyster Bay. It flipped and he didn't grab the boat immediately. I, being far more experienced small boat sailor as well as kayaker, stayed with the boat. That thing drifted way too fast for him to swim, and there was no throwrope. He was out of sight in the middle of the bay in minutes! Long story, but he was borderline hypothermic by the time someone pulled him out, despite us both wearing thin wetsuits.

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I use a paddle leash on my surf boats, if I can get worked in 10' waves off OBX and not get tangled and drown you're probably fine. I did at one time try an ankle leash, I can't recommend it. In surf the boat is pulling at your knee, you do get dragged some too, and once you stead I didn't find it that easy to then grab the leash and pull the boat back to me. The caveat on the paddle leash is that it can get in the way of fishing, but it's not that bad. And if you're fighting a good fish you don't have to worry about dropping your paddle overboard..

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8 mins ago, stormy monday said:

The caveat on the paddle leash is that it can get in the way of fishing, but it's not that bad. And if you're fighting a good fish you don't have to worry about dropping your paddle overboard..

I've found the trick to leashes is have just one. I have my pliers on a leash and they get so tangled in the paddle leash I just gave up and put them on the same biner and keep it that way. This season the pliers get a buoy like my rods and gripper.

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I think most folks comment on this subject with good intentions & what seems logical... you can get hit by a car crossing the road too, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything...

Just to be clear, I'm talking about sot's, not sik's

Imo, If open water kayaking alone, not near shore kayaking around white water & breakers, the real risk of getting separated from your kayak far outweighs the perceived risk of getting tangled, lose your kayak out there & your in a heap of trouble.

I'm not even going to entertain someone's fabricated fear of being tangled...... plenty of good articles on the subject, plenty of internet fears as well....

Again, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything...... Can't say I've heard of someone actually getting tangled and drowning from using a tether, i have heard of guys drowning from their kayak floating away though....

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There’s also the statistical fact that most deceased kayakers are found separated from their kayaks, not tangled up around them. 

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