Noise Nullifier: Ocean Grip Deck Pad First Impressions
Words and Photos by Jose Chavez
Any product that can make kayak fishing quieter and more comfortable grabs my attention. Let me explain.
Since I started fishing a Hobie Pro Angler 14, the majority of my time on the flats is spent standing. Standing in my kayak has taught me a few things, among them, the huge benefit of a higher vantage point to locate fish.
This extra awareness also taught me just how much fish are affected by every little bump or scrape. That hard plastic kayak acts as a speaker box, transmitting noise directly into the water. I have become obsessed with silence, and have developed systematic procedures to follow for just about everything, from putting down the pushpole, to picking up or putting down a rod. Everything is done with the intention of making no noise.
I also looked into adding a noise-reducing deck treatment to my Pro Angler.
After a little research, I decided to go with Ocean Grip because they offer substantially more value than other competitive products on the market. Adding Ocean Grip to the bow and stern of my kayak cost less than it would have to add Sea Deck to just do the front. The two companies use an identical deck material.
Because Ocean Grip did not have a Pro-Angler 14 kit available at the time, my options were to cut out a template, or go into their facility to get my kayak digitized. I opted for the second option since their facility was only an hour away from my Tampa home. To my surprise, my kayak was digitized, kit cut, and the product installed in a matter of a few hours and I left with it the same day.
Installation was very simple. It just required peeling the old foam material off of my kayak, peeling the back of the adhesive tape off of the Ocean Grip and ‘rolling’ the material on, starting from one end and working to the other. After it was applied, a paint roller was used to evenly press down on the material and viola! I was ready to head home.
I also had a custom ruler made for the port side of my PA for an additional $20, which has turned out to be one of the best investments I have made in my kayak because I no longer have to carry a ruler around. It is especially helpful during tournaments, because I can lay the fish on my deck and instantly know if I need to pull out my tournament board to photograph my upgrade, or release the fish and not waste any time measuring.
Even though my main reason to outfit my Pro Angler with Ocean Grip was to dampen sound, extra comfort has been an added benefit. Before Ocean Grip, I would spend so much time on my feet, I could feel the fatigue setting in. Now I feel ready to go even after long days on the water.
In the month that I have had Ocean Grip on my Pro Angler, I have experienced no problems with the product at all.