Carabiners

Carabiners are not only an essential rescue tool on the water, but one of a boater’s most versatile pieces of equipment. From unwrapping boats to attaching equipment to hanging a hammock boaters keep several of these at had at all times. In this article, we are going to break down why carabiners are important as well as some tips on how and what to select. If you are trying to understand what is out on the market we have a helpful buyer’s guide at the bottom of the page otherwise you can find more info about carabiners below.

Carabiners are such an ubiquitous and important fundamental of boating life, unfortunately in the boating world we spend far too little time discussing their use and implementation. Many boaters climb as well and it is important to note that although rope work, anchors, fundamentals of force, and implementation of equipment has many parallels; applying every principal of climbing to boating paints an inaccurate picture of what the focus is on the water.

Parts of a Carabiner

Parts of a Carabiner
Satan's Carabiner

Satan’s Carabiner

Carabiner Gate

This makes the whole system work. There are 2 major styles of carabiner gates locking and non-locking. There are a couple major styles of non-locking carabiners; wire gate and solid gate.

Unlike carabiners for climbing where non locking gates are often used, in boating a non-locking carabiner is the devil.

Given the number of impacts that occur on the river, the constantly shifting gear, and sometimes flying people; there is no place on a boat for a non-locking demon carabiner. The potential to fly into a carabiner during a surf or a flip, then getting your PFD caught in it, only to hold you underwater, or against a rock is just too much of a risk.

Having a non-locking carabiner is worrisome enough, however most boaters tend to store carabiners within easy reach or on the lapel of their PFD during use. Both scenarios at all violate the clean principal and can put people at risk as well as turn a rescuer into a victim.

Locking carabiners are more safe, effective, and common among boaters. There are 2 major styles of locking carabiner that are available (they go by many names): manual locking and auto locking. Continue reading A Boater’s Guide to Carabiners …

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints or official policies of the IRF.