Carbon Paddle repair

I have a Epic wing paddle that has some scratches on the back of it and was wondering what to do about them.

They dont effect anything but I just dont like the look of it.

How would I refinish it?

Oh no … not scratches …!!!
Best not to use it and it won’t get scratched.

So, how deep are they? If they don’t
cut into the carbon cloth, they are only an aesthetic problem. If they do cut into the cloth, then there is a small chance that the paddle blade could fail if, for example, you stick the blade in a rock crack, or put your full weight on the shaft while boarding your kayak.

In the first case, no repair is needed, but you could mix some West epoxy with some silica filler and wipe it into the cracks. Then you will have a bunch of sanding to do. Not fun. Probably not worth it.

In the second case, you might need a carbon cloth/ epoxy patch across very deep scratches. The result will be even uglier than the scratches themselves, but the paddle will be at full strength. Consult your paddle maker. Or maybe onnopaddler will see this post and respond.

kiwi shoe polish
You can rub some back kiwi shoe polish into scratches on carbon fiber gel coat and it will look better…not a permanent fix but might make you happy

All it is small scratches that are not deep, I just didn`t know what to do to make it look better. The paddle is ok it was just bugging me.

Battle scars are honorable… n/m

I can tell you what did not work

– Last Updated: Nov-10-08 6:53 AM EST –

for me on a similar repair. I got a rather old beat-up visually but in great shape otherwise WW paddle with carbon blades (AT2). I deliberately experimented on it to see what it would be if I were doing it for real on my boat or Epic paddle. The "polishing paste" sold in automotive stores that is supposed to be finer and less abrasive than the scratch removal paste and the like and that is supposed to be used last for bringing the shine back turned out to be too rough for a final finish.

First off, a little 600 grit sanding did remove some surface scratches but created a fuzzy look. The paste (applied with a drill-attachment buffing wheel) removed the fuzzyness but did not fully remove all scratches from the 600 paper plus created very fine scratches of its own. I had a minute scratch on the Epic padle's shaft that I just thought - let me try and see if I can get rid of it. Not that it bugs me, I was just curious how the process would work - it's barely visible anyway... While the scratch began to disappear and I'm sure it would have been removed fully with a little more time rubbing it (I did not use sand paper-it was a rub mark rather than a scratch), the surface becomes duller than the original after using the paste - even that "fine" paste is too rough.

I then proceeded to polish the face of my beat-up Casio watch that I use for paddling. It had deep scratches that made it hard to see in sunlight at the wrong angle. The 600 paper and the paste worked well on it but did not polish it enough. Two applications of regular toothpaste and it is like new now -;)

So, if you go this route, you would need I think finer sand paper after 600, plus even finer compound. Read-up on ONNO's web site - there was a reference about some 3M compound named like "shine-off" or something similar. I have not tried it, but to really remove such scratches it seems a lot of work and totally not worth it, unless you want to sell the paddle and want it to look its best to the new buyer -;)

600 grit paper
Did you use that 600 grit wet or dry? It makes a very big difference. For a smoothing project on a dark, highly reflective surface (such as a carbon paddle) wet would be the only way to go; dry would just leave more “little scratches.” There are grades beyond 600, pretty much always used wet, that might be where you need to go. A high-end auto restoration shop (not a regular body shop) might have some helpful advice.

Dry - that might explain it…
I did dry on the paddle ablade. Thanks for the hint. But the scratches (or rather dullness/hasze) that on the shaft after applying the polishing paste however developed without the use of any sand paper - just the paste - just the original shine seems glossier than what the paste could do with the drill attachment. I tried with very little pressure too - not better. I think I needed a finer compound to finish it to a glossy finish (without reaching to the wax box, which is just a temporary fix on otherwise imperfect finish).

Take a look here

He is not repairing a paddle, but similar ideas apply.

Also, look at his album, it has a lot of information

I am
going to sell the paddle. With the narrow boats these days I want to go to a shorter paddle. I always want my stuff to look good. I have had this Epic wing for 4 yrs and since I had knee replacement in the spring I used it to much to brace to get in the boat and scratched it up some.

Im careful with my toys so I want to make it look good again.<br /> I will try wet sanding and see how that does.<br /> I do have a Onno wing ordered since the first of summer <br /> so maybe Ill get it soon.

If you like the paddle - shorten it.

lots of work!
I did sand down the finish on two Black Bart Troublemaker straight shaft carbon paddles because he must have had dust in his finishing room so there were tiny lumps in the finish. I also wet sanded with 600 and went up to (down to?) 1500 and then finished it with Classic car wax which contains some abrasive. Not sure if they still sell it. I eventually got a perfect glossy finish but I’m not sure I’d spend the hours to do it again!

Then there is the question how do you shorten a Epic paddle. I didn`t think that was possible??

paddle shrinking

– Last Updated: Nov-11-08 11:29 PM EST –

I have done a couple of Epic wings. I did my one piece by cutting the shaft at the middle & working down both ends (1cm on each)with a bastard file & belt sander, then re-glued it with a 7" insert from Epic. It is very difficult to tell it was ever cut. (It was a lot of work for a clean joint). I shortened my adj. by hack sawing off the joint & putting on another piece. This dropped it about 3/4 to 7/8" and was pretty easy. I used masking tape on the shaft where I didn't want glue & cleaned out the plastic joint so the insert would fit. If you want to drop more than a couple of cm, call Epic. A friend did this & dropped a bunch. The trick is you don't want to get into the oval. Good luck!