Paddle Care: Repairs & Restoration

Day to Day Care

  • Always wash paddles after use on salt water including tidal estuaries.
  • Inspect the tip regularly for ware.
  • Avoid storing the paddle in the sun for extended periods of time.
  • Extended travel: the grip tends to rub on other objects and over time will expose the wood.
  • Check for dents and puncture wounds to the paddle that expose the wood.
  • Reseal any and all exposed wood.
  • Generally, take care of your paddle when it is out of the water so it will treat you well when your on the water.

The Seal

Each paddle is encapsulated with 3 to 5 coats of West Systems epoxy, which creates a durable barrier to water in each of it states, vapor, liquid and ice. Sealing the wood prevents rot, a fungus, which will accelerate the wood’s decay thus the paddle’s strength, weight and life. Maintaining a water tight seal is paramount.

Re-sealing the wood

If access to West System is limited then a spar varnish is a good alternative choice. Give the paddle ample time to dry, sand the surface lightly with 80 or 120 grit sandpaper. Then apply several coats. Sweet Composites is a resource for West Systems: note I use the 207 hardener. Lastly, 5 minute epoxy will address dents and puncture wounds to the padde. Remember to properly prepare for a repair. Feel free to contact for assistance.

Repair, Restoration and Dynel Tip Replacement

Fritz offers repair, restoration, and dynel replacement for wooden paddles. If you have a paddle crafted by one of the old masters, Silver Creek, Dagger, Kober, etc… in need of repair or restoration feel free to call. The awesome thing about wooden paddles and canoes, restoration gives them a new life.

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