For a long time I've always been into gadgets and a fan of using the right tool for the job be it in paddling or ever day life. Recently something popped up that caught my eye that I really liked the look of. Say hello to the Whetman Equipment Krab Stick.
The Krab Stick wedges in the gate of a karabiner and converts it to a hook.
Once hooked the contact force releases the Krab Stick & the gate will close.
It enables extended reach contact with pinned boats, casualties, anchors, wall bolts, lines.
It's one of those designs that's so simple and functional that you never knew you needed until you see it. If you have been whitewater paddling for any length of time you most likely will have come across a situation where a boat is pinned or broached and you need to get a line attached to it.
If like in the situation above it's possible to get to the boat this is a fairy straight forward task but more often that not it's not always practical or safe. For as long as I can remember when ever I run a Whitewater skills or River Safety Rescue course I've been showing people how to make the classic improvised paddle hook.
In fairness to the improvised paddle hook it's never let me down when I've needed it, however when your under pressure and getting cold I've seen people struggle to get the right amount of tape to hold open the gate long enough but snap close easily when required.
Whetman Equipment Products
Whetman Equipment innovations evolve through identifying that something could be better, playing with ideas & materials and trying different gadgets in various scenarios, ever mutating the form until it spits out the top of the volcano of creativity.
In the most basic sense it's an injection molded plastic wedge that attaches to a karabiner and keep the gate open until snapped shut. Check out the video below, it's ingenious how simple and effective it is.
Whetman supply these direct from their own website but I'd be surprised if they don't pop up in your local kayak equipment store soon. Whetman charge 5.95 (GBP) for the Krab Stick on its own or 15.90 (GBP) when supplied with a HMS Paddle Krab. I'd say for something so small but useful it's a great thing to add to your rescue kit.
Steve Whetman the man behind Whetman Equipment has a serious pedigree in whitewater paddling that many mightn't know about, the folks over at Unsponsored did an interesting piece on him HERE.