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Why Carry A Kayak Knife



Arguably the most important piece of gear you’ll ever take on the river is a good kayak knife. It will do more than just spread your peanut butter at lunchtime. An essential tool for safe boating, a river knife should be carried by anyone working or playing in whitewater or other water-based activity in which ropes or swift-moving water may be involved. If you or one of your kayaking partners becomes entangled in a strainer or if things go south during a river rescue, a sharp rescue kayak knife needs to be immediately accessible to prevent a bad situation from getting much worse.


Paddling knives tend to be small, with a short blade and low-profile design to eliminate the chance for it to get caught on anything during deployment and to provide immediate access in the event of a river rescue. Most paddling knives clip securely into a sheath that attaches to one of your kayak PFD’s lash tabs and almost all allow for one-handed operation.


For coming in such a small package, the combination of options on kayak knives is nearly endless. Choose the one that is right for you and your activity of choice! Especially when used as a rescue knife, a blunt or rounded tip protects against accidental puncture of your gear or your body. Some knives are sharpened on both edges, though these become more risky to use in a rescue scenario. While many paddlers will use their knife solely in freshwater, titanium knives won’t corrode in salt water. There are tons of folding options available as well! The choices really are endless!


A sharp knife is an invaluable tool for anyone who spends much time outside. It can handle all sorts of camp tasks from first aid to meal prep. Some even come with a built-in bottle opener for enjoying a beverage at the end of a long day of paddling.


It’s hard to be unprepared when you have a good knife. Keep your ropes contained and hopefully you’ll never need it! Get yours today. Check out our selection of top-quality paddling knives from NRS, Gerber, and more!