February 27, 2014
When I'm out on the kayak for several hours in a day, or trying to be as quiet as possible when casting to a shallow water redfish, I try to look for ways that will either give me an advantage on getting a bite or at least making it a bit more comfortable when confined to my plastic watercraft for hours on end.
I had known about SeaDek for a while, seeing the padding they make for boats and also for coolers, to give additional comfort when skipping on the water in a boat or adding more traction on otherwise slippery wet decks, but when I saw they were coming available for kayaks, my feet started singing another tune. My kayak fishing technique is evolving into more standing and sight fishing, waiting for that shot at a trout sitting in the pothole or a spooky redfish just ahead of my kayak; even if it sacrifices more bites, the thrill of sight fishing one is bar none. I fish out of a Hobie Revo 13, which is not usually meant for a standing/sight fishing type of kayak to my knowledge, but fits my frame just right. The time I spend standing is usually on a hard plastic hatch that has protruding hinges with not a ton of surface area so I needed a type of padding that would be long lasting, durable, cost efficient, and good looking.
After getting on the SeaDek website, I read where they could send you template material so you could trace out your specific kayak and have a custom kit made for your rig! Within a few days the kit was at my door and it was time to start the measuring/template process. After this was completed, I mailed the template back in to SeaDek and waited for them to do their magic - after a few weeks my brand new kit was ready to go. Installation was a breeze: clean surface, peel the backing off the Seadek, and stick. Once on and cured, it's not coming off.
After having used it on the kayak for several weeks now, it has stood the test against blood, heat, and abuse. I now have a sound deadening layer of protection that quiets any clangy anchors on my surface, as well as tackle boxes being thrown around, camera equipment, and the like. My feet have felt much better after several hours of standing and casting, decreasing my chances of slipping on the wet surfaces.
On a most decent trip, fishing Flamingo last weekend for the first time at the 2nd Adventure Fishing World Championship, certainly tested the ninja skills of being quiet in skinny water. Most of the water we covered along the 20 mile trek was two feet or less, and getting closer to a fish meant more chances of it picking up on our vibrations and/or sounds that we might make when getting ready to make a presentation. Having an additional layer of sound deadening material really helps in situations like this, whether it be under you in your "cockpit", behind you under your gear, or around your deck to soften the blow of paddles or push-poles being moved around. Also, if you have ever paddled a kayak miles on end, you know how rough it can be on your "bottom", and getting up to stretch can be a welcoming practice to reviving your paddling/peddling efforts. Again, since most of the water was skinny, poling or paddling was the majority of the propulsion, in which the layer of SeaDek was comforting to be able to get up on vs a hot and hard plastic surface.
The material is a UV protected non-absorbent foam and has a textured micro-dot surface that is made in the USA. The price for a custom kit goes around $110-$150, depending on your kayak. Many colors are available to choose from and you can even get custom name printing in the material as well.
For more information, visit http://www.seadek.com/c-97-kayak-non-skid-pads.aspx.
See below for more photos!