Throwbags – some are better than others!

Mark Hirst – IRF Instructor – recently wrote this article about throw bags and would like to share it:

“For those of you who know me personally you may be aware of my love for great kit. Especially well thought-out, well designed kit. 

Having attended an IRF instructor workshop last season I was introduced to these bags and straight away was very impressed with the way that someone had taken the time to really research a product and get the design spot on. WWTC have 3 great bags: 15m pro rescue, 18m classic & 27m boat bag.

Basically a throwbag is a length of floating rope stored in its own bag. How could anybody get this wrong? For me most whitewater companies simply produce a throwbag as an afterthought. Having traveled around quite a bit, thrown a few ropes and repacked plenty of them I can normally find a pitfall with most designs. Gaspar at WWTC  seems to have addressed most of the pitfalls and the end design is a sleek, easy to use, set of throwbags with some great design points.

Let’s address the carry system first. How many times have you gone swimming down a rapid and watched your bag go floating past you? Or struggled to rethread the bag back onto its belt after use? All WWTC bags have their own carry system which is simply a housing system for your bag. Which is easy to get to when needed quickly and just as easy to pack the bag back into after a throw.

I remember watching to great horror a bag flying through the air with a carabiner attached to the end of the bag firmly planting its self into a friend’s face one day and the result was not pretty. The 18m & 27m bags have a padded carabiner pocket which allow you to permanently keep a carabiner stored in the bag.

The overall design of the bag makes them truly easy to throw and easy to repack. The last thing I need when I am working is a bag that is a pain to repack. The bags when empty hold water really well which means they can be filled with water to aid the 2nd throw. The reflective band around the bag will surely help in any night situations.

An optional pocket can be purchased and added to the waist belt that enables you to store flip lines, pulleys or prussics. The thing I love about the pocket is that it stays closed unlike some other bags where the pocket is forever opening and your kit falls out all over the show. The 27m boat bag even comes with its own carry system which will allow you to wear it around the waist although this will make swimming harder but the beauty of the design means that it can be strapped around a cross tube so no need to worry about coming unpacked or clipped onto somewhere where it could become a hazard.

The most important thing for me a the end of the day is the quality of the rope. Gaspar has personally invested many hours researching the best combination of materials to produce a tough floating rope. Both the 15m & 18m bags have an 8mm rope with an unknotted tensile strength of 10kn (1000kgs). The 27m boat bag has a 10mm rope with a whopping tensile strength of 17.5kn ( 1750kgs)

As I mentioned earlier these bags are functional and well designed and well made: pretty much a bag for life.”

Original article on Mark’s blog spot.