Trolling through the US patent office for kayaking related inventions is a bit like wandering around the Island of Misfit Toys. While some patents have been issued for products that have been introduced to the market, a huge number of patents have been issued for inventions that...well...most likely will name make it to your local paddling shop.
Here are a couple highlights that I found:
In 2004 a patent was issued for this Emergency Air System for Kayaks. In theory it seems like a good idea for whitewater paddlers but according to the filing, it was going to be intended for paddlers who fail their roll the first time and need another breath before trying again.
Here is somebody who invented what could be called the worlds most complicated hydration system for kayaking. It involves a bladder that held water behind your seat followed by a series of tubes through the deck of your kayak and up to your mouth. This was unique because of a squeezable bulb (mounted between your legs) which would be used to pressurize the bladder. No sucking for you!
I don’t know a single person who hasn’t said that they wished their kayak deck came with a set of luggage racks so I have no idea why manufactures didn’t jump all over this invention. Just think of the junk luggage I could have taken on trips if this patent from 1993 had come to market.
Speaking of people who like to bring lots of stuff, here is the perfect accessory for your next camping trip. This Buoyant Storage Vessel comes with its own cooler, gas powered stove and yes, a kitchen sink.
Looking at the filing, I couldn’t figure out how it would work in real life. Picture this, you get to your campsite at the end of a long day and then you are expected to drag it up on the beach to use it as a portable kitchen. Let’s hope that you have the 13-14 feet treeless, flat ground available at your campsite or else the whole thing is pointless. Even if you did have the space, the whole thing seems a touch unnecessary.
And finally the weirdest (so far) that I could find is described as, “an apparatus for use in evaluating paddled watercraft.”
From what I can tell, it’s a device designed to sit on the paddleshop floor that would allow a customer to get a feel for how a kayak would handle on the water without actually needing to be on the water. Not sure exactly how it works but it seems to have a series of rollers enabling you to test its stability side to side. How is this not in all shops!?
Did any of these items ever actually make it to market in a slighty different form? Let me know in the comments.