Drip Rings

Just bought a used Eclipse, came with a nice graphite touring paddle but with no drip ring. Took it out for a “spin” on a small lake and did not notice undo water coming down off the paddle. Anyone else ever use a paddle w/o rings? I’m assuming it should be easy to fit a couple on, maybe just trimming and then a spot of glue?

worry about it. Generally the rings are getting dipped anyhow and the water will undoubtedly reach your hands, arms, neck, head…etc.

I remove 'em.

– Last Updated: Aug-29-06 4:19 AM EST –

They just interfere with stowing the paddle under a deck line and, more importantly, retrieving it.

Hey, it's a water sport. If you're in a wide, uncapsizable rec boat in your civies, water running down the paddle might be annoying.


Drip Ring Aficionado

– Last Updated: Aug-29-06 12:55 AM EST –

Drip rings are cool, and I guess you could say that—contrary to other posters here—I am an advocate of drip rings. Why? The reasons are too numerous to mention, but I will try to pick out a few. First, they come standard on paddles, so there must be something too them. Second, they are very rubbery, at least the good ones, and they feel good. They're kind of round and pretty, like my wife's... well, you know the score. They can guide the hands to placement on the paddle, in the dark especially (like my wife's--forget it, okay. Just forget it). Do they keep water off the hands? Who the hell knows.

They sure are a source of continued fascination for kayakers, though. Think about it, canoeists don’t frig with them. At all. So there must be something to it. Inuits did not have them. Have you ever seem a drip ring made out of a walrus pelt? Me neither, that’s why I think, Mr. Junior Anthropologist here, that Eskimos spurned drip rings. They didn’t know how to make them for Greenland twigs. It’s that simple. So, all in all, I find drip rings to be a boon to kayaking. Certainly there is a manufacturer out there somewhere pressing out drip rings to beat the band. And probably selling them faster than cupie dolls at the county fair. Only a matter of time before Ratzie does an on-site Made in America episode at a drip ring shop in Poukeepsie, NY or something. You know, where there is video of some lackie stirring a vat full of black goop on one end, and bammo, a bunch of tiny round drip rings come tumbling out the other end. Some secret ingredient gets mentioned on the show, and then you google it and find that there are about 1 million articles on drip ring recipes, each with a touch of KY for suppleness. Ah, the secret!

I just hope, and this is my only real criticism of drip rings, that they keep using real gum rubber for the good ones. Loads of cheap plastic coming across the borders these days, and those stiff drip rings just ain’t cutting it, man. They suck. They look bad, they taste bad, and they don’t make your hand stink like rubber. The reason is that there is very little rubber in them. So please, when buying a paddle, for the love of God and all things natural, please all you tree-huggers out there, get real gum drip rings. Okay? Some brown skinned kid is shinnying up gum trees in Brazil just to machete off enough gum for your drip rings, the least you can do is appreciate the effort.

And another thing, if they’d just change the name, I think there would be more drip ring fanatics out there. You ever eat Chilean Sea Bass? Me neither. But it was formerly known as the Patagonian Toothfish until chefs across the USA started adding it to their menus and found that customers were turned off by the silly name that reminded them of a trip to Dr. Drillmaster DMD. Anyhow, the point is, change a name, sell a product (To some people anyhow. I wouldn't eat a Chilean Sea Bass if it were fondued whole in melted chocolate and had a fresh Twinkie stuffed in his mouth). Maybe they should be called dry rings. Or just kayak rings. Or rings of death. Something like that, anyhow. Something fun. Not something drippy like an old newspaper in the rain--you know, the one the paperboy leaves on the end of your driveway and forgot the clear plastic bag, and then along comes a terrible rainshower and you're left reading about the Knicks game with inky fingers over a toaster oven. You know the score.

Please keep plenty of drip rings in your dry bags and on your paddles, okay? Just do me that much.

This was a great thread. Both of us that replied really enjoyed it.

wow, man that was awesome
have another hit from the bong and giver.

Some Inuit did have them
Some East Arctic paddles did have drip rings made from seal hide. See the picture in David Zimmerly’s 1984 article on arctic paddles http://www.arctickayaks.com/Site%20Map.htm

First thing I do
when I get a new paddle is take off the rings. It’s like unwrapping a present.

Kayaking is a wet sport and they only get in the way.

I vote for drip rings
Waterlogged hands hurt after 6 hours of paddling and I like my hands dry. Everything else can get and stay wet.

JT in Central Florida

Of all the things in life I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.

The only things that i ever found
that actually kept the water from dripping down on you is NOT a drip ring…Boreal makes paddles that have a extra little tooth where the blade meets the shaft…water DOES drip off that point…i have never found any drip ring that works…

Like it without them
I’ve used Werner paddles for years with drip rings. This year I’d been thinking about a nice Mitchell one-piece paddle, but they don’t have drip rings. I didn’t think I’d like that, but as a test removed them from the Camano just to see. I was pretty surprised to find I liked it fine. Some water feels good, actually, more connected to the river or something like that.

Sometimes the drip rings are actually worse, if they get occasionally submerged they bring more water onto your hand than if they weren’t there at all. This would usually just happen on one side or the other, depending on the conditions and direction you were paddling, and I didn’t like the assymetry of that behavior.

Of course, there is also the added visual appeal of a non-drip-ring-encumbered paddle.


no glue
if you decide to get them, they just slip on to the separated paddle halves - no glue needed. get good ones, of course. or skip them, like I do. water makes your hands nice and soft…


Keeps hands warm in winter
I find them necessary in winter. No sense in having ice cold water running over your gloves or mitts. For warm water it’s a personal call.

For a Greenland paddle I just use tight loops of bungee cord with the knot on the bottom of the paddle. Works great.