Cracked AT padddle

I must have a bad week! Just got a used AT Xception paddle delivered and it has a nasty looking crack in the back. May be from shipping, may be not.

What do you think? The crack seems to ever so slightly widen if I apply some pressure as if to “bend” the blade, so it is structural. Not sure how deep it goes but I do not like it.

I’ll see what the seller says and if he got it in the mail insured. There is a small bend in the packaging material that might indicate the thing got crushed in the truck…


– Last Updated: May-24-08 7:21 PM EST –

Looks like the shipping carton was bent - see the second photo - and that might have caused the crack!

Is this repairable with a little epoxy?

Any hints for insurance claims with USPS -;( ???

Call AT and ask them

– Last Updated: May-26-08 7:24 AM EST –


(removed the paragraph regarding contacting AT for a replacement)

I misunderstood the nature of the transaction and shipment.

The two AT Paddles I ordered online were made by AT at the time of order and then shipped directly to me by AT. They weren't special orders - it just worked out that way. I assumed it was the same of kocho's situation.

Having said that, AT might be able to offer a repair job - for a fee. Since you indicated a DIY fix, and you have Pat offering to help, you should be able to fix it up quickly.

If you have a question or problem about a NEW (***edit*** I didn't catch on this was a used paddle) product you bought from a retailer you should contact the retailer and/or the company. If one won't resolve the problem the other probably will.

Back up and retake photos please.
Self professed, probably worlds best expert witness here …

Need to experience the ‘whole package’ to help diagnose. Right up front i will say this has NOTHING to do with AT’s construction. This is between you, the seller and the USPS. Any claims of ‘faulty’ construction by AT is cheesy and unethical IMHO.

This one could go either way. How I would look at it.

Need to see the whole blade to check for damage, including the backside of the paddle and the tipS. Yep, the tipS of BOTH BLADES … this helps judge the overall condition of the paddle and it’s previous life. Not enough time to explain here but if the orignal seller broke it, those that know will know how it happened. right now, the slight crease in the box proves nothing. IMHO.

Can you post original ad ?

Hard to tell from the pics can you post a picture of the box overall + include the measured height and width of the shipping box ?

I will give you an honest opinion based on knowing above data.

All of above stated USPS will probably pay for it. But you would have to ‘battle’ with UPS and I do not think they would pay base on photos and guesstimated box height based on photo.

Thanks for the thoughts
It was not packaged well enough IMO. The two blades were together with a very thin layer of cushioning around them and the box was thinnest there. The handlebar section of the box was much thicker and the handles had a lot of bubble wrap, which should have been on the paddles IMO.

Anyway, I’ll see if I can patch it up. I have no idea. Any advice appreciated. I’m very unwilling to take a screeming battle at the USPS as I do not think it was their fault. Plus the seller did not insure, nor did he offer a partial refund… I could get my money badk of course thru PayPal without his consent, but I want to see if the thing is repairable first. I’d rather fix it over the weekend and use it…

go the paypal route
From what you describe, sounds pretty negligent on the seller’s part to me. To mail a carbon fiber paddle but not even insure it! I once received a paddle like that–minus the bubble wrap. Arrived okay, but for the grace of God.

Never assume anything!
Always spell out every detail, I suppose when dealing remotely, even if you pay more than enough in S&H to expect insurance on a fragile item…

MORE Photos

– Last Updated: May-26-08 8:57 AM EST –

Please, look in this gallery for all photos and let me know your thoughts. I appreciate the insight.

One side question - do you think this is an AT Xception "SL" model or is it some other, non SL model? Here is the link to the current SL model on AT's site:

The AT web site's photos are not good enough and they seem to show a black shaft as opposed to the black and yellow I got. Are there older versions with a different shaft, is this not an SL paddle, or is it just that the photos on the AT web site are poor?

EDIT: When I clicked on the "Printable Version" on the page, a large photo of the paddle appeared and it looks a little different than mine. Different pattern on the shaft, also the back side of the blade (the power side towards the paddler in forward stroke) seems shaped differently - theirs looks like a spoon, where mine seems flat - but that's hard to tell from the photos:

Warning - some files are on the large side (as much as 300K, but most are around 100K) to show detail. Once the first loads, you can click on "Large" or "Medium" size to view them fast, and only click "Original" if you want the full-size.

I show as you asked both sides of each paddle as well as the entire package (as if the paddle was inside), plus the white thin white packaging used on the blades (bubble wrap for the handles is still in the fat end of the box).

If you think this is repairable with a little eppoxy, then I will consider keeping it. If not, I'll need to figure out how to return it to the seller for a refund or otherwise cover my expense for it...

Just for fun …
I would take the broken blade outside and spin it around as fast as I could to see if any water or moisture wells up from deep inside. Stick a Q-Tip down in there to see.

If there was water, it would be telling
… but there is none. It is dry, I think damaged in shippment. Plus the weigth is perfectly centered at the joint b/w the two halfs of the paddle.

I have to apply quite a bit of bending force with my hand to make the gap begin to widen, so the thing is still pretty strong.

If I could glue it back together, I’d be happy - would some epoxy work? Do I need to make a file out a groove first or just try to work the epoxy in the crack as it is?

you got
an older model withg some kevlar in the weave. no biggie…a little heavier and alot stronger shaft. I have one of the last ones they built. it’s my rock and cave paddle!

now for the blades…

I would try and get some shipping damages covered. epoxy is just going to be a band-aid.


Original Seller Photo

– Last Updated: May-26-08 10:38 AM EST –

This is the original photo the seller e-mailed me before I bought.

Do you see the crack? Hard to tell but now that I know it is there, it seems to be visible even on this photo...

There is a barely visible brighter line going across the yellow reflective tape at the far end of the paddle and it goes from lef to right with a slight turn up on the right side. Compare to the photo in the second link, which is my photo close-up.

Slow connnections be aware - the photo is a large size 1.7 MB (yet poor quality, especially where it counts, at the "yellow" end).

Seller's photo:

My photo - close-up:

My photo - from a distance (poor quality, still visible):

One more Photo

– Last Updated: May-26-08 11:24 AM EST –

Thanks for the info. I thought I read something about these older ones on WW models. I got no problem with it. The crack though appears to have been there before it got in the mail.

Lots of missing pieces on the carbon and epoxy, ragged edges and carbon fibers, and some apparent water damage at the crack over the reflecting tape.

Am I right about it being used with the crack? Thoughts?


The conclusion (almost)

– Last Updated: May-28-08 5:50 PM EST –

Thought I'd share how it went. And thanks for the avice, all!

The seller (quite reluctantly I might add) agreed to split the cost in half. The 50% or so refund does not quite cover the $125 AT Paddles quoted me to replace the blade, but goes about 3/4 of the way there.

So I decided to first patch it with clear epoxy till it really breaks and send it off to AT paddles for repair only then. Last night I did just that and also filled-in the larger areas of chipped or ragged edges of the blades.

Today it was ready to try. It actually looks strong again, though only time will tell if the repair worked. Before applying the epoxy, the crack would open or close if I stressed (bent) the blade, so it was definitely a weak area and likely to snap at some point in the future when I least expect it... With the epoxy - it may hold for a while - I managed to open the crack by bending the blade a bit so that I got epoxy inside the crack and not only on top of it. Looks a little ugly, but the new seam seems strong and being raised a little above the surface does not matter as this is on the front side of the blade.

I was very suspicious about how I'll find it in the water though. The blades were quite small and with odd shape that looked inefficient to me. The handle felt great in the hand at home. But how does the whole thing feel in the water? Surprisingly well I must say. I've briefly demoed on water only a few other decent paddles so far and this one is by far the best. It has enough power, is very buoyant (pops-out of the water on exit pretty much by itself), does not flutter much when properly inserted in the water, and has very clean exit from the water (I could never get a clean exit with my other paddle). After my usual 2-3 hour paddle, it feels a lot less tiring than my larger and much-much heavier paddle plus I went a lot farther than I usually do in the same time. Also, the bends are just in the right place it seems - I was aftraid them may be too close, but no - they are just right and with lots of width to actually reposition my hands in or out. It has a spring feel to it and also slices the water effortlessly and quietly for bracing strokes or when used as a rudder. Did I say it is light? Great paddle - hope the epoxy holds it in one piece for a while -;)

Now, over the weekend I'll compare it to the Lendal Kinetic S and Nordkapp if USPS and REI have mercy and deliver my shaft...