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Keep Your Paddle Inside The Vehicle

Paddle in Water

My truck has a ladder rack with two blue funoodles wrapped on the cross-braces. It comes in handy for transporting my 17′ canoe. Or when I can’t use the truck bed. My friends and I had planned a weekend fishing trip at the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. I had already loaded my Bonafide SS127 on top of the ladder rack the night before. It wouldn’t fit in my truck bed with the camper hitched up. While I was loading it I kept the paddle attached to the yak. I assumed it would be secure with just the bungee tie down and a leash.

Before the trek south I had to drop my daughter at day care and finish a few other preparations. My two year old girl and I were singing Baby Shark and driving down the parkway when all of a sudden I heard a “Whooosh” followed by a “Snap”. I quickly glanced in the rear view mirror and saw my paddle doing somersaults behind me. Luckily, it was early enough in the morning that there wasn’t any traffic and I had the road to myself. I quickly pulled over and hoofed it back 50 yards to scoop up my formerly airborne implement. Some might say that leaving your child to grab a paddle is bad parenting; and those people would be correct.

Once I got a chance I found that the bungee had un-clipped, or maybe was never clipped to begin with? The paddle leash had snapped apart at a weak point. My best guess is that once I started going above 60 the paddle head acted as a wing of sorts and started to vibrate. The vibrations in turn led to the bungee snapping and it flew free, breaking the leash. Other than a few small scratches there was no serious damage to the paddle – so props to Bending Branches Paddles for roadside durability.

Lesson Learned

Take the 30 seconds to disassemble your paddle and put it in the cab or bed. Don’t let it fly away.