I was first introduced to the Silent Traction System (STS) a little over a year ago. I cannot extoll its virtues enough – It has made my kayak very quiet, as I’ve put it everywhere stuff tends to drop or bang. It has also made it even easier to stand in my kayak, as it really lives up to its name. Here, I’ll offer a few ways to apply it to your kayak.
Begin by deciding where you need things quiet or need to add traction. The following photos show the two most common ways to make a template for covering larger areas –
In this example, I used paper as a template.
For the stern, I decided to try something different and used blue painters’ tape.
Once you’ve made your template, transfer it to the STS material.
NOTE – Ensure that you place the template, either paper or blue tape, on the BLACK surface of the STS material before you cut it. Otherwise, you will end up with a mirror image (backwards) piece.
The STS material can be cut easily with scissors or a hobby knife. I use scissors for the big areas and trim as needed with the hobby knife.
NOTE – Surface preparation is vital to a successful install. I recommend that you wipe the area down with isopropyl alcohol, allow that to evaporate, and then follow with fresh, hot water. Dry well and then proceed.
I like to put the piece in place, with the protective paper still covering the adhesive. Once happy with the placement, I start pulling the paper from one side, applying pressure to the STS as I go.
A word of advice – Don’t try to cover sharp angles. While STS will adhere well to flat or gently curved surfaces, it will not stick at right angles. It is better, in this case, to use two pieces and have them butt up against each other.
The finished product – Some of these pieces are recently installed and others were installed over a year ago. The STS is still adheared well and fading is minimal. More importantly, I have a nice, quiet, non-slip surface everywhere it’s needed!