Just before xmas I was fortunate enough to be given a demo of a new surf key lock that looked really interesting. I’ve been using surf locks for a while now to keep the old van keys safe whilst out on the water (or anywhere else I happen to be) and I’ve had numerous failings and mishaps with it. My previous lock was a standard lock on a hook type affair and the failings I’ve had have fallen into the following categories:
- Forgetting the code (not an issue of the lock more me) but this resulted in me driving about with it hanging from the back of my car for a week with the key in it until i either cut it off or remembered the code – thankfully i remembered it after calling the manufacturer and was ready with the angle grinder!
- Putting my key in it and leaving it in the van BEFORE closing the boot. (Thankfully all kite gear was on the outside!)
- Having it seize up with the key inside and using rocks to bash it open.
- This lock now sits in the back of the van with an ‘unknown’ combination after i accidentally flipped the toggle and set a random code. I’ve tried about 4000+ codes through it before thumb cramp set in completely and I got bored.
So, I get this lovely new one that looks the goods! It hides covertly in the larger style tow hitch of the van and is aways ready to be used, I can’t lock it in the back, it won’t dangle, I don’t have to dig about for it and take it on and off so it’s one less thing to muck about with and that means MORE time in the water
Installation was pretty straight forward, it seems there are 2 slightly different types of hitch here in Aus and the fit was a little too snug for my liking so I hit the corners with a file to give it a little more room to slide in, once adjusted it was easy fit and shouldn’t get stuck. The locking mechanism is really clever, there is no way to remove the 2 locking pins that hold it in the hitch without opening it. It literally takes 30 seconds to get in and out if you need to. Construction seems solid and premium, this is good as there is a chance it’ll get backed into a wall at some stage. The cover that ‘hides & protects’ it hasn’t fallen off yet and clips on very securely. There is even a bunch of differing thickness foam things that you can use to stop the lock rattling about in your hitch so it looks pretty slick when fitted.
For a decent review of this product I decided to use my xmas surf trip of randomness up the coast to really test it out. We had sun, rain, wind, dust & dirt with both sea and inland conditions and this lock was brilliant with a van full of gear! First thing I noticed is I wasn’t digging about in a bucket of old wet wetsuits to look for the lock, it’s always there, no kneeling under the car to hook it onto something. Simply pop the cover off, dial in the combo, hit the catch and the drawer slides out.
It’s easily big enough for my VW zapper key, you can even get a credit card in it or 2! Pop the cover back on and its done.. you are ready to head out. I mentioned to the surf buddy whilst out in the water that it was probably a good idea they know the combo and they managed to suss it out without ever showing them how to use it so it gets the thumbs up there!
The drawer never once had water in it (my old lock would leak) and there is no dust in it despite doing about 40kms on dusty dirt roads over the trip, it hasn’t stuck, jammed, fallen out or failed in any way. You can see how dirty the tow hitch is.
All in all this thing is staying on my van! It’s brilliant and if you are in the market for a GOOD surf lock, have a big square hitch on the back of the car / van / truck / boat / combine harvester then I can’t recommend this more.
If however you don’t have a hitch to fit this into I also have a demo unit of their sister key lock product that is an upgrade of the standard combination lock with a push button code which means you can use it in the dark. I’ll be testing this puppy out over the next few weeks also and be writing a review of it also.
For details on where to get this product head over to http://www.dragonkeysafe.com.au. I’ve managed to negotiate a special kitesurfing.com.au deal that means if you contact firstname.lastname@example.org and say that you’ve read our review and got the details from here they will throw in a FREE MobiSafe lock with it. That’s pretty good of them!!
Here are some promo shots from the website and a picture of the free MobiSafe lock you can use to lock a phone and cards away in a bag whilst out and about or travelling.
Thanks to Jen from Dragonkeysafe up on the Goldy, can I keep it please please please…