As winter approaches and my early morning paddles grow darker, I thought it best to throw out my rusted old light rig and invest in some night-paddling kit that many of my paddler colleagues have been talking about of late. The gear in question is the Kayalu Kayalite, a pole-mounted lighting system which I’d heard many excellent reviews of.
Firstly, this is a serious light for serious conditions. The “Tektite Mark III” light is industrial grade and can be seen for over 3kms from its 45cm pole mount. The construction of the light is hardcore – sturdy, corrosion resistant, and just generally tough. It’s waterproof to a fairly staggering distance, at a depth you would hope your kayak never gets to! In all its a dependable piece of kit that is designed to last. But there’s something else that makes this kit so popular – it secures to your kayak in a way that’s very different from other suction-type mounts on the market. In fact, there’s no suction used at all.
The light unit basically has a bungee cable running through its core that clips onto any secure mount on your boat. Then you draw the bungee up through the stem, and using tension, secure it on the cleat attached to the mount. And that’s it! No need to drill holes in the boat, no need to worry about separate security ties, just clip it on, tighten, and you’re away.
To test the Kayalite, I decided to take it with me on a little mission out to sea to watch the sunrise, and as it happens, watch passing sharks. Without so much as testing it, I removed it from the packet, found somewhere to attach it, clicked it on and secured the bungee, and was done. I reckon it took me approx 45 seconds from start to finish, including thinking time. It was ridiculously easy to secure! Then we were away, paddling out through the night and out to sea in some fairly hefty waves. The Kayalite stayed perfectly secure despite a fair bit of rough treatment, and according to my paddle-mates could be seen incredibly well from anywhere. And that was it! Easy to use, functional, and a great safety item. I couldn’t be happier with it.
It seems the reviews are right – this is a great light for paddlers – strong, effective, secure, and easy to use. Get one from your local stockist, or order one direct from the Kayalu website like I did! Cheers – FP