— Brinestorm


How do you signal the Coast Guard when you need help? You use your VHF radio, of course, and you broadcast on either channel 9 or 16 (in the US, anyway). Then, when they’re dispatched, what is the very best single way to help guide them to you? Pocket flares? Marker dye in the water? Flashlights? Shoulder strobes? GPS-equipped personal locator beacons?

No, no, no, and no. The answer, once again, is your VHF radio.

Read More

I categorize carabiners in two über buckets: rescue carabiners you need to trust lives with, and accessory carabiners that simply help small items stay put. ITW, a military equipment manufacturer, has created possibly the most perfect accessory ‘biner for sea kayaking: The GrimLoc. Swords to paddleshares, I say!

In a world where sea spray, salt, and sand could spell death to normal ‘biners, these things are ingenious, invaluable, small, light, and oh-so-convenient. What makes them so cool…and unique?

Read More

When it comes to gear, I’m of the “Buy Once, Cry Once” or “Buy Nice or Buy Twice” school of thought. Every time I’ve ever tried to cheap out, I wind up either buying a replacement, a backup, or something better. Carabiners happen to be a great example, and so after years of struggling with cheap carabiners, I’ve opted to standardize on massive, chunky, stainless steel rescue carabiners from CMC Rescue. [And, of course, how can I resist when they come in a luscious anodized color that matches the Brinestorm Corporate Color And Branding Guidelines?]

Read More

The whole Point-of-View Camera phenomenon has allowed for some unique perspectives for filmmaking and action sports. While such cameras, such as my own GoPro HD Hero2, live in waterproof housings, the things that make ’em work – memory cards and batteries – are decidedly salt-water averse.

Here’s a handy-dandy hack you can do with an X-Acto knife that will unify your cards and batteries, in small numbers, into one watertight package.

Get a Pelican 0915 case, meant to hold 12 MicroSD cards. You’ll notice that a GoPro battery will almost exactly fit in a two-card row. Cut out the connecting channel and some extra foam around the top to get the battery to fit.

Voila! You now have a waterproof case for three batteries, two batteries and four MicroSD cards, or one battery and six MicroSD cards, depending on how many card recesses you decide to sacrifice.

And, most importantly, GoPro batteries are thin enough that the case will still close with proper pressure on the o-ring to maintain waterproofness.

Read More

Many paddlers put beads on their deck lines in order to better shove things underneath them. I’ve seen little foam marshmallow-shaped thingamajigs (which I use, myself, on deck rigging that’s too far to reach), bone, ceramic beads, wine corks, you name it. After I realized that I couldn’t get my fingers under my bungees while wearing 3mm neoprene gloves on winter paddles, I wanted something that would give positive grip while not scrimping on style. But I didn’t want anything big and bulbous on my deck lines. Basically, I wanted tiny little handles for my bungee cords.

Enter the prusik knot, titanium beads, and stainless steel skulls.

Read More