Bar tape on paddle?

What about putting bicycle bar tape on the paddle to mark where your hands should be and to help with grip? Maybe some nice Cinelli cork tape. It sure gives carbon bars a nice feel. Must be a bad idea for some reason or another, I’m guessing.

May not be waterproof
Cinelli cork tape is great for bike applications but the glue may not be up to wetter uses such as paddling. If you try it and like it but the glue doesn’t hold for long, you could always use a waterproof rubber cement, I guess.

A paddle bud uses padded bar tape
on his wings on the control side, claims it eases the pain from his arthritis. I’ve tried his paddles and can’t stand the tape/padding on them. Think it just makes the shaft too thick, and frankly I think its far more comfortable paddling an untaped/unpadded shaft, control hand or not. To each his own though, my bud swears by padded tape, and did before the arthritis hit.

Too much grip can be a problem. For many strokes, you need to let the paddle shaft slide or rotate easily in one hand.

Call me a Luddite
but I like the feel of the paddle shaft unencumbered. Yeah, I have sun-blocking gloves, but I hardly ever use them.

Cork tape is wonderful on road bars. But it looks like a great way to abrade the callouses from your hands .


sex wax…
no not that one…mr zog paddle wax…or salamander sticky stuff.

have used the salamander…good stuff.

you apply it to the loom (note judicious word use) and it gives you plenty of stiction (is that even a word? you know what i mean?)

i really hated putting on sun screen because of how it made the paddle so damn slippery (even after rinsing and washing in the sand/seaweed…rubbing it on the skirt) but now between the wax and the spray on sunscreen and just daubing the zinc oxide…i’m well covered and the paddle is still plenty grippy.

the size of a small hockey puck…just toss it in the day hatch.

control hand arthritis
Your friend might get even more relief from his arthritis by forgetting the one controling hand thing. Which ever hand is closest to the water is the control hand and if paddle placement/loading is correct it shouldnt need to do much controling anyway.

Be careful with adding to the paddle shaft, unless you have large hands the increase in diameter may cause more problems.

Might also be worth buying a cheaper padle with a nice flexible shaft.

I’ve had a lot of luck with surf board wax on paddles, a little sticky so no need to grip as hard but allows just a little movement as well so no tissue tearing and it seems to moisturize hands a little reducing “prune finger”. I have often used it successfully to stop sore points becomming blisters on soft handed novice paddlers.

Electrical tape …
… for “indexing” or putting a reference mark on the paddle to help with placing your hands in the right location.

I’m a relative newbie and it helps to feel the tape so I know my hands are consistently in the “right” place. I’m not sure I’d want padding - I like the feel of the shaft without anything extra on it. The tape I use was “expensive” in comparison to the run-of-the-mill electrical tape sold at Home Depot or Lowe’s. The stuff I bought was listed as being waterproof and so far it has held up well.

The trick I was taught by an experinced paddler was to wrap the tape flat around the shaft for one turn, then twist the tape into a sort of rope - enough to go one more turn around the shaft, then go once or twice more around the shaft with the tape flat to seal the “rope.” It creates a ridge that’s easy to feel with your hand. And if you screw it up or the water eventually loosens the tape it’s easy (and cheap) to re-do.

up here
in NE that’s familiar to anyone ever wrapped the end of their hockey stick!

salamander sticky stuff
this used to be found on their label, when i first bought some years ago…

“does not contain the reproductive fluids of salamanders”

tee hee

On a small shaft paddle.
I rapped tennis racket handle tape on a small shaft paddle I picked up to increase the diameter so I would have a better grip. It’s been on there for several years.

Bar Tape
I have used bar tape over a slice of neoprene on the leading edge of the shaft provide an index for blade orientation for whitewater paddling for years. Don’t get the grip too fat.

plumbers work around water
maybe try plumbing tape?

cork tape

– Last Updated: Jul-11-08 1:13 PM EST –

I use cinelli cork tape on my control hand side of my wing paddle. I wrap the paddle area with thin double sided tape first, then wrap the cork wrap. I train quite a bit and the cork tape lasts for a long time. I also wrap the ends of the tape a couple times with electrical tape.

I don't use anything on my left hand side, just bare bar. Though I do have an O-ring on the left hand inside hand position, held in place with electrical tape. The whole setup works fine and is comfortable.

edit: I should mention that the Cinelli cork has some adhesive already on it, but I found it starts to move around after a few weeks/months unless I wrap a solid layer of double sided tape first, then it stays put forever.

I just bought some YakGrips (thin neoprene) for my Epic Carbon paddle. For some reason, I seem to grip the paddle too tight with my right hand and develop a blister on my right thumb easily.

While the left grip did slide a bit during it’s first use (adjusted it 3 times in 7 miles), they did serve the 2nd purpose of keeping my hands in the desired spacing (I am experimenting with a narrower spacing).

I may need to figure a way to get the YakGrips to stick a little better (SexWax – I love the name not sure what it does thoughA).

I will toss my gloves for summer now.


Mt. Pleasant, SC

old hands from mining, logging,etc
On my turbo paddle I use 4 strips of thin white ethafoam about 6in by one in wide. Each end of shaft has 2 strips of foam. Wrap shaft with 2 face tape then add the foam as index and to soften the grip and give illusion of paddle flex. Then loosely wrap electrical tape. Easier on shoulders becuase of less violent catch. Similar feel to golf club. I do at least 1,000 miles per year with that paddle. Including 70 miler , 90, blackburn and rochester open water challenge

well ya…
but only because they had a difficult time with that process.

can imagine it would be difficult enough to even teach a salamnder his name, let alone much else.

taping paddle for grip
Taping paddle for trip or position: so what name brand “more expensive” waterproof tape did you use? i like bike handle & tennis handle tape but they all get wet and starts to smell funky. definitely need a grip with my carpal tunnel (fingers get numb sometimes-- not due to paddling).

Bar tape on paddle
I’ve been using bicycle handlebar cork tape on my carbon wing paddle for the past couple of paddle racing seasons, for the same reason another poster mentioned: arthritic finger joints. It works great for redistributing the load on the fingers and easing the pain. It does, of course, make your bar thicker (which helps reduce joint load) and you may have to modify your technique slightly, but it works nicely.