Dripping paddle


I just brough my first kayak and went out at the weekend. Really enjoyable and great exercise.

The only problem was that I got a very wet lap with water running off my paddle.

The paddle is one piece construction and does not have drip rings. I looked on ebay and the drip rings on there can only be installed on a 2 piece paddle.

Any anyone give some advice about what I can add to the paddle to stop the water??

Many thanks,


Split drip rings

– Last Updated: Apr-25-13 8:48 AM EST –

You can do a web search of that phrase or fashion your own. In either case, don't expect a 100% solution to the wet.

I remove the rings from my paddles, eliminating unnecessary weight. Water is part of the sport.

Drip rings can be cut
You can get drip rings from virtually any outfitter. They won’t break the bank. As long as the ring internal diameter is about the same as your shaft diameter, just slit the rings and slip them on. They’ll stay where you put them and still do their job keeping water out of your lap!

spray skirt?..

you need a half skirt

– Last Updated: Apr-25-13 9:33 AM EST –

Drip rings reduce some of the runoff from the paddle but not all of it and you will still get just as wet but will have less water in the hull. If you are just doing easy flatwater warm weather day paddles you probably don't need a full sprayskirt. What I use on such outings is a half skirt, which is kind of like a "bib" that pulls over the front half of your cockpit and ends at your lap with bungee cord that wraps around the cockpit coaming (lip). The one I have from Seattle Sports has a flexible stay inside that keeps it elevated so the drip runs off. They have sizes to fit most cockpits. It also keeps sun off your upper legs and gives you some handy pockets to carry stuff. I think you'll like it. Here's a link to listings for ordering one on line it but a lot of kayak gear shops stock them:


Second spray skirt
Personally I never found drip rings to assure dryness, just reduce wetness. Paddles and water tend to result in some splash. And as pointed out above it is a wet sport.

Spray skirt - named because it handles your problem - is the usual solution. But some huge cockpit rec boats are too big for one to be effective, and frankly in the really big ones like Pungos all you are changing is where the water lands. Once the cockpit is too big some water will find its way in regardless.

What boat do you have? Someone here may be able to help you with an economical spray skirt suggestion.

Wet lap
Thanks for the help guys.

The kayak is a Feelfree Oscar 10.

I would like to try to aviod using anything that stops me getting in and out quickly because I will be using the kayak in the canal. The canal has locks every few hundred yards, requiring me to get out frequently

At some point.
I don’t think you mentioned what kind of paddling you are into. If it’s white water, then yes it’s probably going to be kind of wet anyway. However, if you’re more into the more genteel type of paddling, it doesn’t have to be wet. Also, if that is the case, you also are likely going to discover that a two piece paddle with the ability to feather will come in handy at times. If that happens, most likely you’ll have your drip rings.

Meanwhile, you could try wrapping some string round and round the paddle shaft to simulate drip rings. The location will need to be a little bit above where the shaft stays out of the water when you are paddling in your normal forward stroke. The string of course will need to be painted with something to water proof it and stick it to the shaft. You could also put a couple of beads of silicone adhesive at the proper locations on your paddle shaft.

There might be two piece rings available, but I’ve never seen them.

Are you sure…
It’s from the lack of drip rings? My first kayak was a Pelican 100 and came with a cheap Pelican paddle. It turned out that the water was leaking into where the blade of the paddle meets the shaft and getting inside the shaft. Then as I went along my merry way the water was leaking out of where the paddle connects in the middle. Some silicone helped that… just my .02

Wet lap

My paddle is 1 piece so the water isn’t running through the paddle.

It seems to be coming off the blade and running down the shaft, them falling straight into my lap as I change the angle of the paddle for the next stroke.

Perhaps is my amateurish paddling.

My mistake
I didn’t see you wrote one piece paddle.

won’t inhibit exit
The half skirt I suggested should not be a nuisance at all when entering or exiting. The bungie stretches and you can easily pop it loose or even just climb out with it in place. These are a lot easier to attach than a full skirt that wraps completely around your torso.

The product manufacturer’s page for FeelFree is confusing. The illustration on the page for the Oscar 10 shows a sit-on-top open boat but other searches show the boat as an enclosed deck rec boat. I presume that’s what you have (the sit inside.)

Wet lap

Yes, my kayak is a sit inside model.

I’ll try a combo of the drip rings and the half-skirt and expect to get a bit soggy.

Just need to wait for some half decent weather in the UK.

It’s a water sport

Subtleties of paddling style affect how
much water comes racing down the shaft.

I found that when I had a good reach, a firm catch, and when I extracted the blade as soon as it passed the hip, that somehow most of the water snapped off the upper blade.

I use a high angle paddling style. I have no idea how this affects low angle noodlers.