Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another Piece of Gear

I shouldn't be reading Facebook. It leads me to new websites -- sometimes really interesting ones about kayaking! But some of these websites showcase new pieces of gear that I never knew about, and never would have thought I needed.
Kayak Deck Slates.
Okay, paddlers, who's got a deck slate? Or a set of 'em? Hands up, anybody.
Deck Slates.
Kayak Deck Slates? Yes, slates for your kayak deck. They come in sets of two.
For those who were born after the invention of the file card, let alone the tablet smart phone, a slate is an erasable surface that you can write on. Slates are called that because they used to be made of a thin slice of stone called slate, and people wrote on them with a lead pencil.
These deck slates are a kind of laminated sticker to put on your kayak's front deck near the front end of the coaming, where you can reach them while paddling. They're sold online through Paddling Light and they actually look pretty nifty.
Let me be the first to admit that I've never heard of anyone putting slates on their kayak decks, though this website says they're popular in Britain. And now that I come to think about it, someone who needs more than one slate is doing rather more writing while kayaking than I plan to do. And though I have written while kayaking, I do it on a sheet of paper folded into a mini-notebook, with a pencil stub.
Oh, but apparently only one of these slates is for writing notes. The left-hand slate is set up for writing a tide chart. So I guess I could use the right-hand slate for noting what I saw when I pushed my SPOT OK button, or where I took a photograph, or resolutions to vote in the coming election for a candidate who when elected will lead Parliament to reduce oil tanker traffic making all these wakes in the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The listing for the deck slates is clear-spoken and informative, includes tips for installing the stickers, and points out that the slates are "Good in temperatures ranging from -65°F to 225°F." I'll keep that in mind next time anyone in my paddle group doesn't want to go on the water because the weather is too cold, or too hot.
Kayak Deck Slates. Betcha all the cool paddlers have 'em.

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