Introduction: Creating a Kayak Paddle Leash, Never Loose Your Paddle Again!
So there I was minding my own business driving home from the store sipping on my Polar Pop and jamming to Conway Twitty on the FM Radio when I saw it! A plain and boring yellow kayak sitting on a box in someone's front yard with a sign on it. At first I though nothing of it, I live in a waterfront community everybody has kayaks and this one was nothing special. Then I read the sign "$50"! So I turned around and drive by the house slowly this time looking it over. One more u-turn and I am creeping by and someone comes out of the house and waves at me, drat I have been caught! So I stop and talk to "previous" owner for a few minutes, she just has one too many kayaks and even offers to throw in a paddle with it for $50. We load the yak into the back of my 4runner and I head home the proud new owner of a rather plain yellow kayak!
So on to the Instructable! In the theme of keeping this kayak cheap I have decided to make some accessories for it. The first one being a paddle leash. The kayak already had a bow line with a brass clip on it so I figures I just needed a way to attach the clip to the paddle, that is what I am making here.
So let's talk about what you need to make one of these, here is a list of what I used:
Sewing Machine and Thread
Adhesive backed velcro
Grommet and installation tools
Note in the pictures I am using a walking foot sewing machine, I call it PacMan because of the loud munching noise it makes as it gobbles up material. I am using a Blue V92 Dabond Polyester thread because it is what I had. This project can easily be done with a medium to heavy duty home machine and a spool of heavy poly thread.
The straps, velcro, and grommet set are items I have bought at garage sales over the years so they were very cheap. If you have to buy them Home Depot sells a grommet kit that is not too expensive.
So now let's go to the next step and see how to make this.
Step 1: Getting Started, Installing the Grommet
The first thing we are going to do is install the grommet.
Take about a 12" piece of nylon webbing and fold it in half. Mark about 1" back from the fold and sew a line there. This will create a tab in the middle of the strap to install your grommet. See the pictures about how to install the grommet, basically you punch a hole and then "set" the grommet with the die and set.
At this point you will have a strap with a grommet installed on a tab in the middle, now we are ready to start sewing!
Step 2: Sewing the Velcro, This Is Going to Be the Finest Kayak Paddle Leash Ever!
So it's time to sew!
Start by wrapping your straps around the paddle to get a rough size for both legs of the strap. Cut the strap at this point, you want just enough strap to ALMOST wrap all the way around the paddle, make it about 1/8" short of a full wrap.
I used adhesive backed velcro because it makes sewing real easy because it holds in place, also it just so happened to be what I had one hand. Stick down the first strip, remember one leg will have velcro on the inside and the other leg will have it on the outside, this is because on leg wraps around the other. Sew the first piece down, I sew around the entire piece of velcro and then sew an X in the middle to make sure it is held down good. Install and sew the second piece of velcro and now you have a good strap to fit to your paddle.
I really thought I was done at this point, but when I looked at the strap installed on the paddle I did not like that stiff tag sticking out so something had to be done about it. I needed another piece of strap and velcro to go over that tag. So on to the next step to wrap this thing up!
Step 3: Product Improvement, Install a Locking Strap
So in step 2 we saw that the outer velcro strap was not seating flush so I decided I needed another outer strap to lock it down, I am calling it a locking strap as I have no idea what it is really called.
So what you need is another short piece of nylon webbing and another two pieces of velcro. At this point I think I should point out that you should lightly burn the nylon ends where you cut them to keep it from unraveling.
Sew a piece of velcro to your new short piece of webbing. Then sew the other piece of velcro to the outside of the leg of the leash. At this point you need to sew the locking strap to the leash, it is hard to describe where so take a close look at the pictures on how this works.
Once it is all locked down it looks really good and that velcro is going to stay put through anything. I hope you enjoyed the instructable, as always stay tuned for more!