As some of you know, I moonlight as a working man. My work entails the manufacturing and distribution of sail boat components. One of the products I work with is yachting rope. Through various projects over my time with rope, I’ve learned certain splicing and tapering techniques. I’ve been building my own wrist straps for a while now and have fielded quite a few inquiries from readers who’ve seen them adorn my cameras here on the blog, so I decided to see if I couldn’t support the blog itself by selling these guys. C’mon in to see more about what goes into the hand building of these things and find out how to buy one for yourself or a loved one 🙂
In the video below, I show how I go about building these things, as well as show how to get one on a camera, and do my best to test their strength. Turns out we might be able to use these in some sort of self safety application as well if ever we find ourselves needing to hang off of things. Who knew? I’ve never though of my camera as a life saving device, but I’m also a fairly boring person. Have a look:
I have a few other prototypes bouncing about, so depending on the interest and ultimately the success of these guys, I may look to diversify the offerings in the future. For now, this wrist strap will be referred to as the “Garda” strap. I’m calling it this because my friend Tommaso, visiting this last Summer from Lake Garda in Italy helped me refine some of my splicing techniques, and will be my European affiliate offering these straps to those of us on that side of the pond.
- The straps are built from of a high quality blended single braid consisting of Dyneema (you may know it as spectra) and Cordura.
- Dyneema is a remarkably strong fiber which also has wonderful abrasion properties.
- The inclusion of the Cordura provides a soft, almost spongy and grippy quality which feels very nice.
- The thin 2mm white Dyneema core which attaches to the camera itself, is manually fed through the Dyneema/Cordura braid, and spliced so that it produces a continuous loop, allowing us to attach the strap to the camera.
- When I say that Dyneema is a remarkably strong fiber, I mean that Dyneema is 22 times stronger than steel by weight. This 2mm core that attaches to your camera has a linear break rating of 370Kg or 814lbs, and my unscientific “me hanging from the strap” spliced break rating of well over 200lbs… It’s very strong stuff, and is difficult to cut with a standard steel blade (I have a special ceramic blade to cut this stuff).
I’ve been using my straps for over a year now and aside from them softening up a little bit (which I feel is a nice thing) they are still rock solid. As mentioned in the giveaway post, velcro will stick to the straps and can cause some fraying. Know that this doesn’t negatively affect the strength of the strap, and can actually soften the overall feel. If the look bothers you, you can snip off the frayed flyways if you end up with any. I’ve had mine in and out of my bags, encountering velcro many, many times, and they look, well they look like this (all the images throughout this article show straps I’ve been using for between 6 months and a year):
The Garda strap is currently available in two sizes (Large or Regular), in two different diameters (8mm-5/16″ in Green and 10mm-3/8″ in Black). Depending on the popularity, I may look to add different colors in the future.
- Regular – fitting small through average sized hands/wrists.
- Large – fitting average to large sized hands/wrists.
I have larger than normal hands, but fairly thin wrists comparatively. I can fit into and use either, although getting my larger hands through the “Regular” is tighter which may or may not be better in your eyes as it will be more snug when hanging off your wrist. Personally, I use the “Large” and feel very comfortable with the extra roominess.
My guideline would be to measure your palm from your thumb across as seen in the picture above (look at and measure the widest point). If this measurement is more than about 4.5″ (11.5cm), I’d suggest the Large, if less than 4.5″ I’d suggest the Regular. If you’re right around that 4.5″ mark, either will work and comes down to fit and comfort. If you have thinner hands and/or wrists, or prefer a more snug, secure fit the Regular will be best, or if you have more meaty hands and wrists, or would like the strap to more easily slip on or off, the Large will be more comfortable.
- 8mm Green (5/16″) The 8mm is lighter and lower profile, and also green.
- 10mm Black (between 3/8″ and 7/16″ which would be 2/5″?, see, this is why we use mm) The 10mm is softer and more spongy to the touch. In my opinion, it is more comfortable, but its also a little bulkier. I tend to favor the 10mm personally.
- The core, which attaches to the camera itself is a 2mm Dyneema. With a linear break rating of over 800lbs, this might be the strongest wrist strap around (you did see me hanging from it in the video didn’t you 🙂 ).
I hand build each strap and have built a small inventory. I will try to keep up with the demand, but it may take me a couple days to finish and ship your strap. I will confirm every sale inquiry and let you know when I’ll be able to get them out, but remember to include your email address in the inquiry.
HOW TO BUY A GARDA STRAP:
Garda straps are no longer available. Go to Nautistraps.com to see all the new offerings.
These straps can now be ordered via the T&T Camera Straps tab at the top of this page, so feel free to order away! I’m ready for you guys now 🙂 Feedback is always welcome too, so please let us know how they’re working for you.
If you missed the first Wrist Strap Giveaway Post for these wrist straps, feel free to sign up to receive new articles as they’re posted via Email (enter at the top right of the page), Facebook or Twitter. I have plans to continue the giveaway tradition, so stay tuned. Also, come find us here on Flickr! The larger the family, the more fun!
Thank you and as always, happy shooting.
Super! I’ll be ordering one myself. They look great – I live in Englandshire so I guess it’ll go through your friend.
Thanks Amro, yes, get in touch with Tommaso!
Cool explanation of the building process. Looks incredibly strong, it makes me want to do a video review of all the things other than carry a camera I could do with it!
Great looking product you have there.
As long as nobody’s life nor wellbeing were threatened, I say do it!
BTW, your strap is now officially on its way. Let me know what you think when you get it 🙂
That’s awesome news, i eagerly await its arrival.
My strap came yesterday. I put it in my Panasonic G3 and had to poke it through the hole with a small screwdriver. I would not have had to do that on my G5 as the hole is larger, which I never noticed (or needed to) before. Anyway, took it out in the yard with the cats and had no trouble scooping them up to bring them in again with the camera dangling, and I think they appreciated not getting bonked by the camera hanging from my neck as happened before when I leaned over.
I usually have the 100-300mm lens on the G5 so probably won’t get one for that camera although I will test that lens on the G3 and see.
Anyway, thanks for inventing this and the prompt service.
Thanks for the comment. If you get a chance, send me a shot of the wrist strap on camera. I’m going to start posting user images with links back to your website, flickr page, or whatever you might want to use.
Let me know how it works for you as well, once you’ve had some milage on it 🙂
Here is a link to two pictures on Flickr. I would have copied the code but did not know if WordPress wants HTML or BBCode.
Thank you Steve!
Greatly appreciated, and hope you continue to enjoy the strap.
I was going to comment on your wrist strap in later post (I’m working through reverse chronologically) , but I see you make them yourself 🙂
Nice work! I have been using a single wrist strap on my GF and GH for a while as the Daze of folk music guitar straps on my cameras ended 😉 Even in my now 50’s I’m not about to don the sandals and socks and camera around the neck tourist image …
Thanks Pellicle. It came about largely because I too dislike hanging gear around my neck for various reasons (weight, smacking against things when I bend over like tables, counter tops or my kids heads). I think I will now try to build myself a custom guitar strap from this rope, so thank you for the idea! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂