Carbon paddle QC

Last week I received my new Bending Branches carbon fiber paddle that I had ordered at Canoecopia. While showing it to a friend we noticed that the surface along the center of both blades was pitted with tiny, pinprick-sized holes, as if the finish had not completely covered the underlying material. This was noticable only on close examination, but was enough to leave me concerned about the long term durability of the paddle. Long story short, I called Rutabaga, and they arranged to have a new paddle sent from Bending Branches with a return shipping label. So kudos to them for being so helpful. But I’m wondering, how common are quality control issues like this in carbon paddles. Has anyone else seen this problem? Just what level of “perfection” can I expect? With something like this, I wonder if my concern is justified or if I’m just being picky.

you might be picky
Any ultra light layup will attempt to have the least amount of resin in the glass. Some manufacturers go for the extra gloss all over, on one side or don’t bother. I don’t think it would have made a difference.

ran into the problem recently
and while I am not going to mention the manufacturer, I found many paddles with 50-100 pin hole size voids in the gel coat in the same general area. However, I noticed that Epic paddles did not have this problem (at least the ones I have looked at).

My feeling is most people do not notice them (if they are there), but I think a high end paddel should have high end quality control.

Would have soemone at the company check it for you BEFORE they send out a replacement.