On one of my first canoe trips with my new canoe, I got out of the canoe and asked my son to paddle over to the waterfalls so I could take a picture. Somehow, my son ended up dropping his paddle overboard and had to back paddle with his hands to retrieve his paddle. I found a Paddle Leash on the Harmony website and thought this would be the answer to make sure this doesn't happen again (especially in fast moving water). You can buy the Paddle Leash at Harmony's site for 19.99 plus S&H. The Harmony site has this to say about their Paddle Leash.
- During high winds, rough seas, and fast currents, a paddle dropped is a paddle gone. A Velcro paddle wrap and Nylon hook allow you to secure your paddle to a deck loop or bungee and ensure your paddle remains within reach.
- Great for securing a spare paddle while paddling
- Allows you to drop the paddle and use both hands
- Ideal for anglers and photographers
- Not designed to secure a paddle on a car top
The Paddle Leash is basically a piece of nylon tube webbing with a length of bungee cord inside and connectors on each end. The unstreatched length is about 45 inches. The final streched length is about 65 inches.
The end that attaches to your canoe or kayak has a clip and the end that attaches to your paddle has a velcro strap that will wrap around the paddle handle. The knots tied in each end fo the tube hold the bunge in place within the tube.
As with all things I review, I wanted to get a weight of the Paddle Leash. It weighed in at 4.1 ounces.
This is one of those items that puts me in a quandry. If you consider everything that goes into making one of these (webbing, bungee, velcro, clips, labor), I think the price is about right. The thing I struggle with is the fundamental principle of the intended task and I have to ask myself if a piece of cord would be just as good. As I went through the thought process of why this product has some of its features, I realized that I would end up modifying that short piece of cord until it eventually looks like the Harmony Paddle Leash.
The Harmony Paddle Leash can clearly do what it is made to do and the features (clips, velcro end, bungee) make it an easy to use product. I think a product like this is a good thing to have on a river trip. If there is any question in your mind about the value of this product, try using a simple piece of cord and then I think you will see the benefit of the Harmony Paddle Leash features.