After reading about some arguments that spare paddles on a sea kayak should be accessible to the paddler while seated in the cockpit I reconsidered my current location of having my paddles strapped to the deck towards the stern of my kayaks.
The paddles were rather secure and have never come off even in the surf but they are not as easily accessible as being in front of me.
The standard configuration of the bungee cords on my kayaks would allow the paddles to be secured on the foredeck however assistance would be needed to reposition them in the event they would be removed while under way, paddling.
The bungee cords don't allow a shaft of a split paddle to be reinserted from the cockpit position.
I have come across some images of custom "paddle parks" of kayaks in the UK but I have never seen such accessories for sale.
Having a closer look at the images I realized that really does not take a rocket scientist to fabricate one of those "exhaust pipes".
A few simple supplies from the local hardware store and an hour later I had my paddle parks ready to install on the deck of my kayak.
I used: 40 mm Ø PVC plumbing tube with 90° elbows glued and cut to lenght. A can of spray flat black paint to make them look good.
Some holes drilled at the base of the tubes are needed for attaching the tubes to the deck bungees. The exact location will depend on the kayak's bungee configuration.
spare split paddle on the foredeck of a SeaBird Designs NorthSea
While looking at images of spare paddle locations I also came across a design where the paddles were kept secure via "tubes" made of fabric.
That idea appealed to me even more than the hard PVC tubes and after a brief design session I came up with this.
The fabric was sourced from a sail making shop (but any heavy duty nylon would probably be OK). The entrance to the tubes is oversized so it's easy to insert the shaft of the paddle while seated in the cockpit. The tubes taper so eventually pinch the paddle shaft and keep the paddle secure.
The soft paddle park has webbing tabs on the edges for securing it to the perimeter lines of the kayak.
I even used some retroreflective fabric for enhanced visibility at night.
Only a long term test on the water will show the pros and cons of the two systems.
Since every kayak deck has different bungees configuration and a different width an exact drawing with dimension is not useful.
Version 3.0 (APR09) allows adjustment for different deck types.
A similar commercially available product appears to be much larger and possibly not as streamlined. Obviously a commercial product has to accommodate for so many different kayak deck styles and some compromise had to be reached.
PS 21JUN: On Douglas Wilcox's blog, Seakayakphoto, I came across a simpler solution than the "exhaust pipes". Doug has used tubes that are attached directly to the perimeter lines
photo: Douglas Wilcox_used with permission
(full rez image here)
He assured me that the paddle shafts don't catch in the waves and that they stay put on deck.
alternative tubes: fishing rod holders (from NSWSKC member)