carbon fiber paddle shaft care options?

my aquabound paddle has a carbon shaft and it has become almost impossible to take apart. what are my options for care and maintenance of a carbon shaft?

gracie mille


I never take apart my shafts
But a hacksaw worked for me


oh, you are so smart…
but remember, i drive a psuedo sports car so i have to take them apart to get them to and fro.

I recommend taking your paddle to
someone who has used carbon shaft paddles for some time. Probably the ferrule (the joint) is not carbon fiber. If the joint can still be separated, then a careful examination is needed to see why the ferrule joint has gotten so reluctant to separate. If the joint is jammed solid, then it will be necessary to know what the nature of the joint is, and what influences (force, heat, releasing agents, special wrenching techniques) can be used with minimal risk of permanent damage.

Regarding general care of carbon shafts, the more high-tech they are, the more susceptible they can be to failure from local damage. I would be more careful about using a carbon-shaft paddle for the traditional kayak entry/exit method, where one lays the shaft across behind the cockpit and (sometimes) on the rocky shore.

My carbon and carbon/Kevlar shaft slalom canoe paddles are super strong, but local damage to just one strand in the matrix can cause catastrophic snapping when one takes a hard stroke and the blade catches on an unseen rock. Carbon shaft canoe paddles can be protected from most forms of damage by having the builder put on an 18" length of shrink-down vinyl sleeve before the handle is glued on. Putting similar protective sleeve on a carbon shaft kayak paddle might cause an undesirable increase in weight. I have not seen slalom kayak paddlers using such sleeves. They just try to be careful, and they inspect the shaft often to watch for local damage, which can be repaired with a small carbon cloth or glass cloth patch and epoxy.

this was a cheapie…
but it seems to be all one piece.

Loosening the ferrule…
As g2d said, the ferrule is usually not the same material as the rest of the shaft. If it isn’t (I think all of the aquabound paddles use the same standard material for their ferrules regardless of the rest of the shaft) then I would first recommend taking it apart, getting any gunk out of the inside of the shaft and off of the ferrule itself.

Then I would take a fine-grain sandpaper and sand down the ferrule (carefully, so you don’t mar the coating on the shaft) until it fits better. Just make sure to wipe off the dust when you’re done (and push in the button that locks the paddle, it’s not much fun trying to sand aroudn that). You’ll probably have to make a few passes at it before it’s comfortable again, just be careful not to sand too much or you’ll have a loose fit.

Hope that helps

other posts…

On our older cheaper paddles
after using them in salt water, they used to get stuck a lot.

I would clean it with fresh water, let it dry and then spray it with silicon lubricant.

I had to do it several times a year.



Lubricants are hit and miss…
I live in a hot and humid area, and usually when the ferrule swells the ONLY way to get it back down (for more than a few days, anyway) is through sanding. On another hand, we store all of our equipment outside, so the constant exposure probably just amplifies the effect of the humidity.

I’m glad the silicon works for you, typically whenever I’ve tried any sort of lubricant it just attracts so many dirt particles that it becomes even harder to seperate the paddle.

Paddle shaft won’t come apart
Ok…What I discovered (after using teflon spray -made things worse-and lite sanding-there’s now a wobble in the shafts on cold day paddles)thru a long time paddler was: IF I immersed the paddle in cold (or cool)water for a few moments the shafts came apart easily.

Apparently the cf (as do the cf/aluminum)expands with the heat…that can be the heat of being out in the sun or the heat from transporting in the back of the vehicle or whatever…

and what were slip fit shafts now become wedgies.

My appologies for going with an e-mail but far too often valid questions wind up being side tracked by semantics.

Take the paddle to whatever lake or river or pond you normally paddle and simply immerse the entire shaft under the water (or you could try simply running cold water from a hose)

Once apart (and I use a shotgun cleaning kit for this)make sure the shafts are clean and dry before reassembling.

Rich Mc.

And I will add …
that dry graphite powder will help to lubricate the ferrule after it is apart. Be very careful with the sanding because they can become too loose in cold weather.


Not typical

– Last Updated: May-31-06 10:52 AM EST –

It is not a specific characteristic of carbon paddles to become hard to separate. I don't think your problem is typical. Usually, the connection gets looser over time.

My carbon Werner is all carbon.

Are you using it in salt water? Do you store the paddle assembled or a part?

As far as I understand, you can take it a part but it's difficult. Is that understanding correct?

You should rinse the connection with fresh, clean water after every use and store the paddle in two pieces.

You might try cleaning the joint inside and out with rubbing alcohol.

If you go the sanding route (shudders), use fine grain paper and sand just enough.

An alternative to sandpaper
Assuming that you can get the ferrule apart, of course.

Clean the halves well, remove the button, and apply a thin layer of polishing toothpaste (Pearl Drops) or polishing compound to the surfaces. Engage the help of a cooperative friend, push the halves together, and rotate the shafts - opposite directions of course - for a period of time. When you tire, wash the halves and check for fit. Repeat as many times as it takes to develop the necessary clearance. Then apply a thin coat of parrafin wax and buff it out. Don’t forget to replace the button!


Separating # 3
Paddle speaking… Vices, vise grips, channel locks , big pliers, PIPE WRENCHES, 2’X6’s Car Tires are all the kiss of death for my composite tubes… Tube only needs a bit of crushing / notching to occur to introduce where it will fail when you least do not want it to. Heat will not work because :

Save the heat for rusty backband hardware…chances are the ferule and shaft are exact same material and thermal expansion will be the same… in the case of the AB paddles, the newer ones use a sort of plastic ferule ( one of the reasons it is now welded together BTW) and this less dense plastic will only swell up more and faster than the shaft itself… EXTREME HEAT might allow it to come apart but will probably exceed the HDT of the shaft resin … still no good.

Micro movement will break it loose. If poss. soak overnight, when you have time. Push button all the way in and off to the side to get it out of the way. Place it between your legs/feet/calves w / one blade on the floor… use one hand to hold it right at ( lower section) the joint and the other a pretty high up the shaft as you are looking at it Keeping the one blade on the ground between your feet grasping it (shaft) @ the joint with one hand and the other way above… take a deep breath, close your eyes and focus everything on that joint as you hurl yourself into micro moving it like a madman… that tiny bit of movement will fuel you to keep going.

Rock it back and forth 90 % with 10 % sort of pulling it apart… be patient and keep it moving… even re- immerse it and repeat… it WILL come loose… no need to try and twist it 'till you get some movement from rocking… Once you get it to move you have it on the ropes. Having two giants at either end will only damage blades long before full force reaches the joint… most of THAT twisting force is lost winding up the blades and shaft… ferule sees very little of the force… For a bit more twisting/gription as you are working it loose. wrap a couple inner tubes or rubberbands around shaft for more twising leverage.

Try cleaning it before sanding it … because it worked the first time right ?

This works for me!
I have a 4 piece Lendal Paddle, I leave the paddles attached to the shaft, and take the shaft apart in the middle to transport them.

I use the same thing on the inside and outside of my paddle shaft, as I do on my Composite kayak.

I use “Star Brite Marine Polish with Teflon”. I do the outside of the inner piece, and the inside of the outer piece.

Between the polish, and the teflon, I never have any trouble in fresh or salt water. Teflon does not attract dirt.

“Works for me”!

keep it simple.
I own 2 Aquabound paddles, one,All carbon fiber Tsunami, and an older Expedition AMT that has a black composite shaft though i think its fiberglass.

The “male” end of the ferrule is fiber reinforced plastic with ridges to prevent build up of crap.Female end is just the shaft tube.

My advice, if you can take it apart, clean it out real good with fresh water and a rag,clean both male and female end good. and call it a day.

Sanding usually results in a floppy ferrule, and lubricants result in even more crap sticking to the ferrule. just keep it clean.