How to Upgrade Your Kayak Handles for a Smooth Adventure

Have you ever had the misfortune of dealing with a broken kayak handle? Imagine this scenario: it’s a beautiful day at the beach, and you’re excited to embark on a thrilling water adventure. But as you reach down to grab your kayak’s handle, disaster strikes! The worn-out rope gives way, causing your beloved kayak to crash onto the hard asphalt. Not only does it ruin your day, but it can also strain your relationships (yes, really!).

But fret not! Replacing your kayak handles is a quick and painless repair that you can accomplish at home. Whether you use the handle to navigate rough waters or simply as a convenient grip, it’s crucial to replace the rope when you notice signs of wear and fraying. And guess what? I’ll even show you how to add a touch of flair to your handles with reflective rope, ensuring added visibility during nighttime adventures.

Step One: Measuring and Preparing the Rope

Measuring the rope

To start, cut off the old rope, using it as a guide to measure the approximate size of your replacement. It’s always a smart move to leave the rope slightly longer than necessary to ensure easy knot tying. You can always trim it down later. If you want to elevate the style and visibility of your handles, consider using reflective rope. This type of rope glows brightly when illuminated by a light source at night.

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Step Two: Securing the Rope to the End Toggle

Securing the rope

Thread the rope through one of the holes in the center of your end toggle, ensuring it emerges from the corresponding side. Tie a secure overhand knot at the end—no need for fancy knots here since the tight space inside the toggle will hold the knot in place. Once tied, trim the excess rope, leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch beyond the knot. Use a lighter to gently melt the end of the rope to prevent fraying.

Step Three: Choosing the Best Configuration for Your Kayak

Choosing the configuration

Now it’s time to navigate the rope through your kayak’s hole. Depending on your preferences and needs, you have a choice to make. If you plan on using the toggle as a grip during a swim, avoiding the risk of getting your finger caught in a loop is crucial. In that case, tie the finishing knot against the kayak itself, eliminating any potential hazards. Do keep in mind that this option might not be suitable for cartop kayak transportation, as it removes an easy attachment point for your bow and stern tie-downs. For added swimming protection, tie a knot against the kayak, cut the excess rope, and use a lighter to melt the end to prevent fraying.

Step Four: Creating a Loop for Added Convenience

Creating a loop

If a loop configuration suits your needs or preferences, run the rope through the boat and into the open hole on the toggle. Pull the line out from the corresponding side and tie a secure overhand knot. Trim any excess rope and melt the end to prevent fraying.

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Step Five: Ensuring a Secure Fit

After completing the previous steps, pull the rope tight to compress the knots, reducing the chances of them slipping. It’s essential to check the knots inside the toggle after a week of use to ensure they remain secure.

Now you’re primed for another fantastic kayaking adventure, equipped with sturdy and reliable handles that can withstand any challenge. Make sure to keep spare parts on hand, such as end toggles and BlueWater Niteline Accessory Cord – 4 mm, to prepare for any unforeseen mishaps.

So, grab your paddle and head out onto the water with confidence, knowing that your kayak handles are in perfect shape.