Gearlab GP arrived with defect

If you aren’t familiar, Gearlab is a Taiwan based company that produces carbon fibre GPs. The paddle arrived today looking great. I am impressed. However, there is one (seemingly small, yet very annoying) defect.

The paddle is hollow, made of a carbon fibre and fiberglass. Inside one half on my paddle, there are some flakes which fall about inside, much like a rainmaker. I have already emailed their customer service. However I am hesitant to return it, based on the wait time for and item from Taiwan. What is my best course of action?

The paddle in question:

The T-joint appears to have an orange cap attached with a allen head cap screw. If you can open up that side of the paddle, maybe you can shake the particles out if they’re the result of drilling, for example. I assume the noise-making particles are in that end of the paddle - the other half looks open, yes?

Smoke a joint and ignore it.

It’s easy enough to ignore. On the water I wouldn’t be able to hear it. But when you pay $400 for a paddle you expect everything to perfect.

The other half (the one with the crumbs inside) is sealed by a similar cap, but with glue and about 6" down the inside of the shaft.

Fix it yourself

– Last Updated: Jul-19-14 7:10 PM EST –

Based on your description of the cap inside the joint, it's my opinion that the most expedient thing to do is fix it yourself. Shop around for some snap-in plastic caps of a slightly smaller diameter than the one that's glued in near the end of the paddle shaft. Drill a hole in the in-place cap, and make the hole the right size that your new plastic cap will fit. Shake out the debris, glue the new cap into the drilled hole, and you are done. It should take about 10 minutes.

By the way, you may need to be inventive. Drill bits of a diameter you'd normally use to drill a pilot hole will be too short to reach in to where the existing cap is. Maybe take a long nail or a steel rod with the end sharpened to look like an arrowhead, and push it against the cap while twisting to cut an indentation that will keep your larger, longer drill bit centered when starting to drill. You could even use a sharpened steel rod as a drill bit. I've done that for long-reach situations (where there's not any great thickness to drill through, as is the case here) and it works just fine.

And here's another idea. Drill a small hole in the cap, inject about a half-teaspoon of glue having a watery consistency in through the hole, cap the hole, and turn the shaft on end, shake it around a bit, then leave in sitting in that up-ended position until the glue sets. The rattling pieces should end up being stuck in the glue.

that was good
Last solution was easy and simple.

Issue resolved.
Contacted Gearlab about the matter. They offered to replace the paddle or refund 20% of its price ($70). I went with the $70. What customer service!