Commonly Asked Questions

Q. Isn't this just a technological fix? A way to avoid learning to roll?
A. The BackUP is intended as a wet-exit avoider, not as a roll substitute. The common paddle-float is also a tool to use after a failed roll. But see BackUP versus Paddle-float.

Q. Does the (un-inflated) BackUP float?
A. Yes! Very well. It even floats with the handle slightly upward, so it's easy to grab if you drop it off the dock.

Q. How quickly can it be deflated?
A. About 90 seconds. If you can't afford this time, clip the BackUP cushion to your deck rigging (using its hook) and wait until you do have the time. When we find a reliable and compact dump valve with a higher flow rate, we'll use it!

Q. Why is the BackUP not shipped armed and ready-to-go?
A. People browsing in stores are naturally curious, and often handle products. If a BackUP were ever accidentally inflated, and then repacked, it would be very dangerous for a buyer who expected it to work the first time they really needed it. By forcing an inspection before installation, we avoid this worst-case scenario.

Q. When I pull the BackUP out of its shell, is it still attached to the boat somehow?
A. No. When you grab the BackUP it comes totally free in your hand.

Q. What if I let go?
A. Unfortunately, if you let go of your BackUP after you've pulled it from its shell ... it floats away! If you let go of your perfectly good righting tool, it's back to the procedures you would follow without your BackUP tool. BE SURE that you can self-rescue in several different ways! You are risking your life if you do not know several ways to rescue yourself after a capsize. Do not trust your life to any single piece of equipment.

Q. Why not put a tether on the BackUP handle?
A. Do NOT rig a tether to your BackUP . A tether long enough to let you use the BackUP for righting would be long enough to entangle you. Besides, it's unlikely that you'll let go of something that floats so well!

Q. What is the purpose of that awkward cartridge shroud?
A. The Velcro-closed shroud (cover) over the CO2 cartridge is there to protect your hand from the extreme cold of the cartridge for the first few seconds after inflation.

Q. When I test-fired my BackUP out of the water it inflated soft, and took many seconds to reach full volume. Is that normal?
A. Yes. The BackUP inflates better in the water because the expanding CO2 gas can draw heat from water (even cold water) better than it can from air. The BackUP was designed for inflation while in water. Note also that the BackUP has more volume than necessary, so you can right yourself even in the few seconds before it reaches full volume!

Q. Why do you say not to suck out the CO2?
A. Because it tastes incredibly bad! Have you ever had CO2 go up you nose while drinking a softdrink out of a glass? Sucking some CO2 into your mouth from the BackUP or a lifevest is many many times worse. For those of you without the softdrink experience ... just don't do it!

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