Carbon Fibre Paddle Repair?

I just managed to take a good chunk out of my carbon fiber canoe paddle blade. Not only is the end chipped, but I can see that a larger portion is slightly bent- could be easily broken off. Besides sanding the rough edge… any suggestions for repair? I was thinking about putting a dab of “fiberglass” epoxy on the end to strengthen it.


same here
Did the same here with mine, but dropped it on some rocks, chipping one end of it pretty bad.

Glass And Epoxy Work

– Last Updated: May-14-05 5:53 AM EST –

Sounds like not only a chip but also a crack. It's repairable. I did the same with by carbon paddle when I rolled over it.

Get some fiberglass from a hardware store (they sell for car repairs) and two hour epoxy (you need time to work it). Sand around the chipped area and around the crack. Open up the crack a bit too to be able to get epoxy in. The sanding creates a bonding surface. Cut out a piece(s) that will overlap the chip and cracked area by at least .5 inches. Layer a coat of epoxy over the area, position the glass over it, and then work some more epoxy over the glass to soak it through. (When the glass is soaked through, it turns clear.) Turn the paddle over and fill in the missing area with 2 small pieces of glass that take the place of the missing chip. When the epoxy has harden just beyond tacky, apply another layer of glass over the two small pieces of glass and overlapping by at least .5 inches over the edges onto the carbon blade (yeah, this requires sand prep too). Basically, you're filling the chipped area and then sandwiching it and the crack between layers of glass. When the the the epoxy has cured, you'll lightly sand over the glassed area (the weave of the glass will be showing) and apply another light coat of epoxy to give a smooth finish. Be careful to not overly use epoxy because it may drip and create hardened droopy areas that will need more sanding to smooth.

The repaired area will likely be as strong or stronger than the rest of the blade because of the additional glassed section. It add a bit more weight but not noticeable unless you're really slapping on a lot epoxy. Again, if you over do the epoxy, you can sand down and do a light coat just to smooth out.


If you use automotive fiberglass…
…check the package to make sure that it’s compatible with epoxy. Some brands come with a coating on the glass that’s not epoxy-compatible.

Thanks for the laugh Bnystrom…

– Last Updated: May-14-05 2:15 PM EST –

I was picturing someone asking the autoparts store clerks if the glass was compatible with epoxy or not...........
For the stuff ( non-mat) typically found at AP stores for this type of repair really not gonna matter.

Dozens of different finishes basically comes down to Volan and Silane ...... Silane being favored for Epoxy , Volan for Everything else and also fine for Epoxy..... Tighter weave cloths will have a noticeable stiffness to them in Silane as opposed to Volan which has a softer hand.... Hard to tell regular 'basket weaves' until they get wetted out.... Silanes will have an almost brownish tint and Volans will go towards green as the laminate gets thicker.... A nice way to appreciate the skill of Surfboard glassers ( who traditionally use Volan) is to take a look at the older longboards or retro boards.... check out how the overlaps are perfectly cut and executed.

Mats are a differnet story. ..... styrene breaks down the binder in them ..... no reason to use epoxy here anyway.....

Make sure the paddle has a while to dry out.... especially if the core got some moisture in it. Open the delam up a tiny but and let a fan blow over it to speed things up.....
If the paddle is also delaminated but not damaged it would be o.k. to sort of peel it back a bit and let some neat or ever so slightly thickened epoxy run down.... even helped in there with a slender knife ( but make sure you do not force any chunks of something in there either) make sure this gets some pressure on it so it lays back down as before. Let this cure before working on edges.

Some info in building up the tips of blades.... gotta scroll down pretty far.

paddle repair
Thanks for the tips. Though I loath to spend the day repairing rather than paddling I will be good and take care of paddle before it gets worse. Maybe I should take this as a sign to justify a second paddle :slight_smile:

Just an added note
I have never used Epoxy to repair as paddle, but have use it a lot in building Radio Controlled Model Airplanes (7 foot wing span with Chain saw engine).

As you are finishing up your project, you can heat the epoxy on the paddle with the high temperature hair dryer. The heat thins it a lot, and it will help it soak into the cracks and openings. The heat will also make it cure faster, so make sure you are about ready to have it “set” into place when you start heating it.

I also used it to smooth out the finish some too. Heating it will make it thin like water,and smooth the finish. It will also run too if the paddle isn’t level.

Just do it outside or in a well ventilated area. The fumes are a real “killer”.

Good Luck!