An independent Playak review of the ‘Original Lasso Kayak Lock’.
Kayak life was careless in the past, in the Lowlands. I didn’t worry about leaving my sea kayak unattended. I couldn’t imagine anyone would ever steal such a long (over 5 meter) unmanageable object . I believed there wouldn’t be criminal interest for such a specialized piece of equipment like a sea kayak. That was what I thought first when I received the Lasso Kayak Lock for this review.
On second thought: naivety is an expensive hobby. As kayaking is increasing in popularity in the Netherlands and kayaks are getting more expensive, I’d better pay more attention where I leave my stuff. Locking the kayak might not be too bad an idea!
The Lasso Kayak Lock by Lasso Security Cables is a vinyl coated steel cable in the shape of 2 loops connected by an integrated lock in the middle. The overall length of the cable is about 5 meters, the size of the loops is about 1 meter. The cable diameter of the plastic coated cable is 9,5 mm. The diameter of the steel inner core of the cable is about 7 mm (this is a guess because I didn’t want to damage the lock). The cable nicely coils away in a compact stuff sack. The weight of the complete Lasso kayak Lock system is 1360 grams. The integrated lock itself is a combination lock that works with a re-settable 4 digit code.
The concept of the Lasso Kayak Lock is that you first strap your boat to the roof rack on top of the car, put one loop over the bow of the kayak, the other loop over the stern, make sure that one part of the cable is running under the roof rack and then finish by connecting both ends together with the combination lock. This sounds more complicated than it is: the whole operation is simple and done within a wink. It works with any single touring kayak and probably also with most double kayaks (Lasso provides variations of the lock with wider loops for tandem kayaks, sit-on-tops, fishing kayaks). When you use the Lasso lock on a shorter or a narrower kayak, you just wrap the cable an extra time around the roof rack or around the hull of the kayak to get the slack out of the system. Because the Lasso Lock secures the entire hull of the kayak to the rack, the kayak itself doesn’t need to be equipped with any special attachment points. The plastic coating of the lock prevents car and kayak from being scratched. I don’t advise however to drive you car at high speeds when the kayak lock is installed: a bit of slack is always in the system and the lock is quit heavy. I don’t want to have the lock bouncing on the hull of the kayak (or on the roof of the car). And of course: when you lock the boat to the roof rack, the roof rack needs to be locked to your car. Otherwise it would be to simple to unscrew the roof rack and slide the cable off your boat…
The Lasso Kayak Lock is primarily designed to lock a kayak to a car’s roof rack, but you can lock the kayak to any other fixed immovable object (like a tree, fence, lamppost, …) as well of course. The length of the cable makes it a very versatile piece of equipment: during this review the Lasso was used to lock up multiple bicycles, motorcycles and camping chairs.
The Lasso Kayak Lock proved to be a well thought out, handy locking system for touring kayaks. It works with any kayak, without the need of any adaptation of the boat. The system is fast and easy to use and there are no pieces to get lost. With the combination lock you don’t have to worry about keys getting lost (just remember a 4 digit number – you can choose yourself).
Finally a note about the security (any) lock offers. We didn’t do a destructive test and we didn’t try to cut/break or demolish the lock. A well-equipped professional thief breaks a 7 mm steel cable within minutes. Anyway: when a thief wants to steal your kayak, he will find a way. But most thieves go for the easiest way. The chances are good that the simple fact that your kayak is solidly locked, will make them choose an easier target. Common sense is essential for preventing theft: preferably leave the kayak in a visible and well lit area, lock it to a solid object, don’t lock it in the same location all the time (a thief may notice the pattern and target your kayak), etc., etc. Having said this: buying a solid lock is a good investment: the cost of the lock is close to nothing compared to the value of your kayak!