Buy another Bending Branches?

eMail to Bending Branches:

My year-old BB Expedition Plus got bit by the paddle-snake yesterday. It cracked across the grain, about an inch from the tip, and about three inches from the edge toward the center of the paddle. It is still all in one piece, and I finished my trip with it. The fiberglass is cracked slightly and I believe the underlying wood is damaged. Is this something I can self repair (I have experience working with glass & resin) or do you recommend sending it in for BB to repair?

Response from BB:

If the underlying wood is damaged, we cannot repair your paddle. Perhaps, with your experience, you may be able to keep your paddle “use-able”. We recommend buying another BB paddle.

Good luck,

Bending Branches

I’m not inclined to run out and buy another paddle that gets killed so easily. Advice?

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

killed so easily?
Since the damage didn’t occur spontaneously, it sounds like you had the paddling equivalent of a fender bender. Realistically, the labor cost to you for them (or of a paddling shop) to repair your paddle would come close to the cost of a new stick (that paddle sells for $90 or so - an hour of repair time could be $65-70).

Perhaps they didn’t phrase it as well as they should have, but the message was one of cost efficiency. If it’s a minor repair in terms of the damaged wood, go ahead and fix it the best you can yourself. Your hour or so of time will be free.

Change the name to
Broken Branches?


– Last Updated: Jul-10-07 2:40 PM EST –

I will be taking my BB Ex Plus on it's first excursion on the Yough this weekend. I hope it does not meet a similar fate!

Did your blade become trapped between two rocks and then levered against them? I have seen many breaks due to that scenario. When I was in retail, we didn't warrant broken paddles, unless there was an obvious defect in manufacturing (don't get me started on Kober C-1 sticks).

I hope you can affect a suitable repair.


(edited for spelng)

Thanks guys! Agree with all points!
Yep, this particular paddle snake was either a crack in a ledge or two parellel rocks. It’s a feeling I know well from polling. With the pole, I’ve taught myself to let go, and I should have let the paddle go, too. But instead, when I felt the bind, I just yanked–crunch.

I thought I paid upwards of $100, but I bought it through a local dealer to whom I used to try to steer as many of my paddling dollars as I could, because it was a good shop that had treated me well over the years and I wanted them to stay in business. Probably could have got it cheaper if I shopped a bit. The shop, Springriver, has now been sold. So much for good will. Regardless, economically, buying another paddle makes as much sense as paying to fix the cracked blade.

I got a laugh out of Tsunamichuck’s “broken branches” suggestion. After I fix as Stavemaker suggested, I will be relabeling the paddle!