The Backup

The BackUP was developed after observing three things:

  1. most sea kayakers do not have a reliable Eskimo roll (paddle roll),

  2. re-entering a kayak after a capsize and wet-exit is difficult and risky in the kinds of conditions likely to cause a capsize, and

  3. almost anyone can right themselves by holding onto the side of a pool, or a dock, or the bow of another boat (as in the Eskimo rescue).

With a simple pull of its handle, the BackUP creates an "instant boat bow" which you can lean on to right yourself. Since it provides over 80 lbs. of buoyant support, no rolling skills (such as the hip flick) are required. And whereas you have to feel around to grab another boat bow, or a poolside, you know exactly where to find your BackUP ... where you installed it! The BackUP takes your hand to the surface as it inflates, solving any momentary disorientation problems.

The BackUP is a self-inflating bag with a large handle. The bag is housed inside a protective polycarbonate shell. Installation consists of strapping the shell to a convenient place on the deck of your kayak. When the handle is pulled away from the shell, the bag slides out of the shell and automatically inflates by means of a 68g CO2 cartridge and some standard lifejacket technology. At that point the flotation bag is completely free of the kayak and holds your hand near the surface of the water. Expect to be up again (back up! ) three seconds after pulling the handle.

Immediately after using the BackUP you may still be in dangerous conditions. The BackUP handle is D-shaped, which makes it possible to keep paddling with the BackUP still in hand, in case you capsize again. If this is too awkward, or you think that a re-capsize is not likely, then simply clip the BackUP to the deck rigging behind you by means of the flexible hook on its foot-long tail. The hook releases with a simple twist, in case you capsize and need to lean on the BackUP again. When you make it to safety, replace the CO2 cartridge, re-pack it into its shell, and it's ready for another day!

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