CHOOSING THE RIGHT KAYAK ANCHOR
Kayaking offers an excellent way to relax and unwind while being in awe of the natural beauty surrounding you. If you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time on the water, why not look into getting a kayak anchor to ensure your safety while you’re taking a break from paddling?
Why you should use a kayak anchor while out on the water in a kayak or on a SUP is quite straightforward – they keep you in place!
The quickest way to get caught while in a kayak or as a standup paddle boarder is to not have an anchor set up on your back seat. You could possibly be casting for food and are relying on the current which will throw you off and may make it so you won’t catch as much if any fish at all. The reason why I say you may be planning a zenful SUP yoga session, is because that is one of the more spiritual things to do with your stand up paddle board especially if you do morning yoga before work vice after. Just remember that no matter what activity you are doing, having an anchor will come in handy and save you the stress of drifting further out into open waters where there might be some ugly creatures swimming around looking for something to eat including humans in general! However, having an anchor is only useful if it’s attached to something so it stays stuck on your back seat rather than letting loose and also maybe hurting someone as well when getting thrown off even more by waves.
A kayak anchor allows you to quietly set off from your home or launch point, allowing you to stay in one place for a while without needing to paddle. This is ideal for a peaceful float if you want to take some time away from the stress of everyday life and enjoy yourself on top of the water with your loved ones. A kayak anchor will free up your hands which is particularly helpful if you want to fish during a peaceful float, because then you’ll be able to both hold onto your fishing rod and have one hand free for maneuvering around in case there are any rocks or weeds in the way. If it should start raining or get too windy out, a kayak anchor can keep your kayak or SUP from going anywhere – so it’s a lot better than not having an anchor!
If you want to moor your friends’ kayaks or your own at the middle of an uninhabited lake, you can use a kayak anchor. This will prevent all the kayaks from floating away and allow everyone to relax without worrying about drifting away to deep waters or crashing into the shore unexpectedly.
- Keep your position on the water, perfect for fishing days.
- Relax hands-free with friends.
- Enjoy SUP yoga and completely zen out.
To choose the best anchor, you need to know what the various types of anchors are. You also need to determine where you’re planning to paddle.
Kayakers or stand up paddle boarders must decide before setting to the water which type of kayak anchor will work best for them. Some anchors work better in sandy areas, while others are ideal for rock bottoms. Waters where waves and wind are a constant presence may require an anchor that holds securely onto a variety of surfaces including holding onto sand as well as rocks.
To choose the best anchor for you, you have to know what the various types of anchors are. You also need to determine where you will be paddling.
Shallow Waters – You’ll need a long pole or stake to stick into the sand, or you could use an anchor if there’s one nearby to secure your kayak as it meanders along a peaceful riverbank.
Deep Waters – You’ll need to tie your kayak where you can utilize a longer line, and possibly purchase a heavier anchor than you may have been able to use in shallow waters.
TYPES OF ANCHORS
There are several types of anchors for you to choose from. Understanding what each type does is important so you can make sure you choose the best kayak anchor for your upcoming adventures.
|Anchor Type||Best for||How it Works||Why Choose it?|
|Folding Grapnel Anchor||Water: Any water type Bottoms: Rocks, sand, weeds||Four folding flukes open up to grasp the water bottom with a reliable anchor line to attach to your kayak or SUP.||Choose a grapnel anchor if you want a useful all-rounder with great holding power. Grapnel anchors are also great if you want a compact anchor that’s easy to store.|
|Stake Out Pole||Water: Shallow, calm, and slow-moving water. Bottoms: Sand or soft mud||A long stiff pole that you drive through a kayak mount or scupper hole, into the sand or mud below||Stake out poles are a good option if you’re on a budget or if you only want to anchor down in shallow water for fishing or other activities.|
|Mushroom Anchor||Water: Shallow, calm Bottoms: Sand or soft||Mushroom-shaped rounded anchor sits on the bottom and can grasp soft material||Mushroom anchors are a great option for anyone who wants a simple anchor who plans to explore waters with a soft bottom.|
|Drift Chute||Water:Deep Bottoms:Any||Also known as a drift anchor, the chute is a parachute thrown out behind the boat/kayak to catch water and slow the drag. Important note: this anchor does not stop the boat, only slows the movement in flowing water||Choose a drift anchor if you’re into drift fishing! The drift chute helps you reduce paddling time, but prolongs your fishing time, slowing you down on the moving water|
|Sand Anchor||Water: Shallow
Bottoms: Sand or soft mud
|A sand anchor is a metal stake that corkscrews into the sand or beach and tethers to the boat/SUP with a nylon anchor rope||Sand anchors are a good option if you want something that’s easy to use, and you plan on paddling in shallow waters where the riverbeds are soft and sandy|
|Brush Gripper||Water: Shallow
|Brush grippers are pliers that grab onto weeds, trees, or brush on the shoreline with a strong and reliable line to the boat||This option is great for SUP/kayak anglers who like to fish near the shoreline and on waters with plenty of brush|
|Bruce Claw||Water:Any depth Bottoms:Soft or muddy||Another folding anchor, the Bruce claw is made of three flukes shaped into a shovel that scoops the soft bottom to hold you in place with an anchor line||Bruce claes are great for lakes or streams with a soft bottom but will not work on rocky terrain.Only choose this if you’re kayaking the right waters|
|Downrigger Weight||Water:Any depth, no wind Bottoms:Soft||Downrigger weight anchors are a large heavy ball weight that sits on the bottom to weigh down the boat/kayak/SUP. Note: you shouldn’t use this if the winds are strong||This is a great anchor on calm waters, with little wind, and a soft bottom. Choose a downrigger weight if you want something simple and have the space to accommodate|
|Drag Chain||Water:Any water Bottoms:Any surface||A drag chain works by dragging across the bottom to slow your kayak/SUP down. Note: it will not stop you from moving completely||If you want to gently float along the water, pick a drag chain!|
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING A KAYAK ANCHOR
Now that you know what type of anchor is suited to your needs, you can start to consider the possibilities.
To help make an informed decision, we suggest following this checklist:
- The size and weight of the anchor
- The scope of the anchor (the ratio of water depth corresponding to the anchor line/chain)
- Anchoring points from bow to stern, or nose to tail on a SUP
- Do you need anchor trolleys? (A trolley system helps change your direction easily)
- Storage of the anchor
SIZE OF THE ANCHOR
The size of your anchor is usually what matters more than the material it’s made out of. For example, if you’re on a windy day, the anchor should be larger and heavier in order to cause enough resistance against the wind.
Most kayak anchors weigh in at around 1.5 lb, 3.0 lb, or 3.5 lbs. The weight should correspond to the conditions of the water where you plan to anchor your kayak or SUP.
- 1.5 lb anchors are perfect for calm waters while you’re in a lightweight kayak or SUP, and when there’s minimal wind
- 3.0 lb / 3.5 lbs anchors are necessary if you are using a heavier kayak or when the winds are strong creating choppy water. Make sure you consider the overall weight of yourself and your gear when determining the appropriate size anchor.
SCOPE OF THE ANCHOR
The scope of the anchor refers to the ratio of water depth corresponding to the anchor line/chain/rope. The recommended length of line is 7:1, which means you should use 70 feet of rope for every 10 ft of water. So if you’re in 20ft of water, you need 700 feet of rope.
Scope is very important to consider so you don’t run out of rope when trying to anchor down in deep waters. Equally, when you’re in shallow waters, you don’t want loads of nylon rope tangling around your feet.
Never anchor your kayak from the side! The wind’s direction and increased drag force will increase your risk of capsizing when anchored from the side.
Anchoring your kayak is bound to help you out in many situations. In general, it comes down to choosing the correct location when doing so, or deciding which device or apparatus you will use to do so depending on different circumstances. Certain anchors are meant for specific anchor points and conditions such and they can only be secured in specific ways. If another condition presents itself, then one had better be able to change things up accordingly on account of how important it is to stay safe. For example, if you’re going in a good distance off-shore and you want to get as close as possible to where the fish are without any trouble whatsoever, then an anchor might not cut it for that particular situation -especially considering just how hard it may be to get your fishing equipment onto shore once all of the fun’s over .
An anchor trolley is not a mandatory attachment for a kayak, but it is a good addition when you’re adjusting to changes in wind or waves while out on the water. An anchor trolley can easily transfer your anchor from the bow to the stern of your boat without completely pulling the anchor out of the water.
The anchor trolley system of ropes is rigged alongside your kayak and secured to your anchor line. The trolley changes the position of your anchor quickly from the bow to the stern so you can quickly adjust to changes in wind direction.
When you’re paddling for a long day, you’ll likely have a cooler, dry bag, and possibly a tackle box to load onto your kayak or SUP. Make sure there is enough storage space within your kayak’s cockpit or a storage well on the hull to pack your anchor.
Many anchors will come with a convenient storage bag, to prevent scratching your kayak’s hull during transport, and also keep your anchor parts together when on land.
RECOMMENDED KAYAK ANCHOR KIT
The Arya Life Kayak And Paddle Board Anchor Kit is a folding grapnel anchor that is ideal for an all-around performing anchor. You can use this in soft sand, on rocky riverbeds, and even vegetated lake floors. The kit includes a 30 foot rope, snap hook/D-ring, floating buoy, and a 5L anchor dry bag for storage.
The grapnel is made out of strong and reliable galvanized steel and the rope is high marine grade quality. It’s compact, easy to store, and perfect for traveling.