BerleyPro BumperBro Kayak Keel Guards are one of our best selling products, so it makes sense that the BerleyPro head honcho and lead engineer Marty Gittens has feverishly been adding new Bumper Bros to the range since inception. As a Hobie kayak specialist we only carry the models suited to Hobies. There’s a Bumper Bro for nearly every model in the range (more on that below) so if you like the idea of adding protection for the bow of your yak there’s probably a Bumper Bro to suit.
As the name implies Bumper Bros add strength and scratch & scuff resistance for the bow and or keel, which makes them a worthy addition to any kayak. Aussie made out of tough ABS plastic, Bumper Bros do a good job of preserving that precious hull plastic underneath. However we’d really like to point out that although Bumper Bros are nice to have they are far from being a necessary addition… for Hobie kayaks at least. We say this because between the staff at SLH we have over 40 years combined experience with Hobie kayaks, and none of us can ever recall seeing a hull wear through (not including accidents).
To put it another way, hull breaches at the bow or stern of a Hobie kayak are exceptionally rare (read on for a small caveat to that statement), so unless your kayak is pretty old and has seen a heck of a lot of use you’re probably not going to get a whole lot of practical benefit from having a Bumper Bro, other than the peace of mind it’ll provide. A side note to this point is that if you’re thinking of selling your kayak, installing a Bumper Bro is a really good way of tidying up the bow and hiding the most obvious point of wear and tear.
Having just said that Hobie kayaks are built tough, the new Hobie Lynx is built with less materials and is a lot lighter than all the other models so it follows that it’s not as durable either. For this reason we really do encourage any of our Lynx customers to install a Bumper Bro for good measure. Otherwise, if you live by the philosophy that it’s better to have extra protection and not need it than to need extra protection and not have it, then regardless of which model you’re rocking, having a Bumper Bro installed certainly won’t go astray. Prevention is better than cure after all.
They’re easy enough to install (demonstration video below) and our resident Bumper Bro whisperer (Nate) just loves installing them for customers. We recommend Marine Goop for the job. See the BerleyPro BumperBro installation guide video below.
- Martin recommends using Amazing Marine Goop to glue the Bumper Bros to the hull, which adds to the myriad of uses we’ve found for Marine Goop on Hobie kayaks.
- It is not uncommon to unpack a BumperBro and find am imperfect match with the shape of the bow. In these cases heating up the BumperBro with a heat gun, hair drier or hot water to flex it into a better fit. Its pretty easy to do
As previously mentioned, at the time of writing there are models available for most Hobie pedal kayaks. We have BerleyPro Bumper Bros listed by model, links shown below