My HullyRollers by Yakima suck. They didn’t suck. But in time, they began to suck. Personally I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the beasts. The single biggest issue with Yakima HullyRollers is how the wheels seem to be a magnet for dirt and grease that eventually turn to tar and end up putting gooey streaks on the hull of your kayak. And that, is before the get.. “Extended”.
I’ve written about this is the past, but as I take mine off the rack for the last time and send them to Hully Heaven, I thought it was worth mentioning again.
Early on we had discussions about keeping the roller wheels clean. We talked about washing them with non-corrosive agents to attempt to get the shmuts off, but not damage the apparently, sensitive wheels. That works for a while. In time however, the wheels simply begin to degrade. I don’t think you can stop it. Eventually the wheels turn to a sticky, gooified, mush. After a few years, you simply can’t clean them. The rollers become too degraded. At this point all hope is lost. You’ll see this issue pop up repeatedly by owners who post their reviews over on Pnet as well.
This brings me to the real issue with HullyRollers or any other product for that matter. It is all about “life-expectancy”. How long does Yakima feel HullyRollers should last before they turn to goo? 2 years? 5 years? 10? I would think that since they offer a lifetime warranty I should be able to return them now right? I’d be wrong of course. The warranty states that they do not cover “natural breakdown of colors and materials over extended time and use…”.
OK then.. what does Yakima consider, “extended”? How does the customer know what is a reasonable lifespan for this product? How much research should the average customer be expected to do about the breakdown of various chemicals and materials used in the manufacturing of paddling products? Why isn’t the product’s life-expectancy right there next to the rest of the specifications? Size_______ Weight______ Life-Expenctancy__________. If that were the case, I could do some simple math to work out the long-term value of the product. How cool would that be??
Frankly I think value-over-time is too often overlooked by consumers. It’s not simply about having to buy new ones every few years either. It’s also an environmental issue. All things considered, wouldn’t be better to buy some sort of small, cheap plastic saddle? The fact that most plastic takes over 500 years to break down could be a selling point for people who plan to paddle for a lifetime!
Goodbye, my friend, goodbye
My love, you are in my heart.
It was preordained we should part
– Sergei Aleksandrovich Esenin