Carbon Fiber Paddle Ferrule Grit

I have a 20 yr old carbon fiber kayak paddle, Over the last year, I’ve noticed that the inner and outer part of each respective piece (the parts that come together) are feeling rougher. Consequently, it is more difficult to piece together and take apart. It’s not unusual to occasionally get a bit of sand up there, but I don’t see how it would create problematic friction when putting it together.

Has anyone else found this to happen with carbon fiber paddles? Does the carbon fiber simply wear out over time? Should I get out the sandpaper? Try to wash it with some “Dawn?” Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Try warm water and Dawn soap. Wash out both ends a few times and rinse well. Good luck!


And maybe some 4000 steel wool.

Imagine a grain of sand or two being wedged into a precisely manufactured fitting = yes, a grain of sand or two can make joints difficult to fit or ruin the joints over time.

As above, use warm water and Dawn to wash out those joint fittings after every paddle. Even double wash it if you paddled in a sandy environment or salt water.


Try a white vinegar dip first 30 minutes.

Still not good try some fine wetordry from 3M maybe 2000 grit or higher. Do male shaft first and try it very lightly to polish it. Then inside if it’s still hard to get in. Very lightly.

Our carbon fiber paddles slowly got harder to operate. So slowly I didn’t notice it at first. Paddling in brackish water. All the advice was to wash with clean fresh water. Knowing that ropes get stiff over time in salt water, and soaking them in freshwater solves that problem, I tried soaking the ferrules overnight in fresh water. Problem solved. So now, after every paddle, I soak them in fresh water, using a 5 gall bucket. They work like new.

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I’d be wary of using any abrasives. Inevitably some of the good material can come off with the bad and it may never be tight again. Werner instructs to clean with fresh water after every use and use a soft bristle brush if necessary.


Last resort would be abrasives.

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I only had one problem with a Werner Kalliste that was about one or two years old. Water probably seeped into thwater in the joint while applying pressure on sweeps is tight corners up tight curving The shop where I bought it handled everything; they sent it back back to Werner, and it was repaired under warranty. I haven’t had any problems since.

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The more common problem with grit in the ferrule is that it will eventually abrade the joint causing the paddle halves to become loose at the ferrule. I’ve lost a Bending Branches paddle to this after many years of paddling in salt water.

If the ferrule is thoroughly cleaned I don’t understand why it would become tighter, although it does seem to happen. Maybe scratches cause raised areas at the ferrule. As @Paddledog52 has said be careful with abrasives. Once the paddle halves start to wobble at the ferrule there is often no easy fix.

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Maybe out of round from pressure? Got squashed a bit?

Dawn to the rescue. Must have just been accumulated dirt or whatever, but I washed it real good and it fits like a glove now. Thanks everybody.


someone said they used teflon tape to tighten a joint.