Tomorrow, I’m paddling in a 7 mile “fun paddle challenge” to benefit the Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary in Merritt Island. It’s a good cause on the shore- that is, until the horn sounds, then it’s on, and it gets real like a roller derby. I’m going to be in Camp Fun Race tommorrow, though, enjoying the run.
Most people will be on their SUP’s, but I’ll be on Seadragon, my 14′ prone paddleboard, my most beloved of my quiver.
Several years back, I was doing a lot of paddleboard races, but there were not a lot of requirements for things to have on board, even for races that were offshore 7 or 8 miles. It hasn’t been until recently that a lot of races have started requiring paddlers to carry things like water and safety whistles, which is good practice.
I have a mount on my board for a water bottle and GPS, but if I wanted to carry anything else, I’d have to strap it to myself somehow, which would be annoying paddling prone (or even if I was standing up).
|My water bottle and GPS mount|
So, I wanted to make my own simple DIY bungee for my paddleboard that could hold a small pack of “just in case” items for a short or medium distance race.
First, I went up to the local hardware store and picked up a pack of 4 small suction cup hooks, like what you’d find for hanging decor. In fact, my pack of 4 came packaged in green and red Christmas packaging!
The first thing you’re going to do is slip the metal hook off of the suction cup, and save the hooks for some other project. Take a look at the suction cup knobs on top after you take the hook off- they have a little place under the knob that will allow some elastic to fit under perfectly, which will be forthcoming:
Next, clean off the area on your board where you are going to place your 4 suction cup mounts. I’m going to place mine right in front of my water bottle so I can get to it easily. I took a pencil and marked four dots on either side of the center line where I wanted the plugs:
To glue the suction cups down, I used E6000 epoxy cement.
I placed plenty of glue around the inside of the bottom of each cup and smashed the cup in place over each mark, using the suction to help hold and secure each plug. I let the plugs dry in place for a full 24 hours without touching them.
The next day, I came back with some 1/8″ flat braid elastic and a cord stop, both of which can be found at a craft or fabric store.
I used about a yard of the elastic to make a taut criss cross pattern, finished off by running the ends through a cord stop (for loosening and tightening), then making a knot to prevent the ends from slipping back out. Then, I trimmed off the excess:
I was lucky to find a small dry bag at Goodwill for .40 cents, so I packed that with sunscreen, an energy bar, my car key, and I wanted to attach a safety whistle to the outside:
So I used the ties on the bag to lash it to the elastic (in case it slips out if I capsize), and I used a Lark’s Head knot to tie the whistle to the elastic, so I can easily get to it if I need it with plenty of cord, but I can also keep it tucked away too:
I just realized that my water bottle holder can double as a raw cookie dough holder in case the requirements ever change. Well, you never know….depends on the FUN level.