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