Getting my Onno paddle unstuck? HELP!

Apparently the original owner wiped off the grease/lube and the fit is precise and watertight, and now I’m temporarily stuck with an almost unused, very sweet, very beautiful 2004 WW/surf Onno with an offset that would be horrible for my bracing habits and far different than my other paddles (60? vs. ZERO, not interested in using it unless I change it to 0 per his instructions after a little shortening). I’m itichin’ to try it with my new composite surf kayak :slight_smile:

Followed his website’s instructions, it moved only the tiniest amount, and I don’t want to force it to the point of breaking.

I don’t want to bug Pat … Can I get a little help, fellow Onno owners?

THANKS! ~ Shaun

Search the archives
for Onno + stuck. There were several threads over the past year regarding this problem. Pat suggested solutions in those threads.


Its a Finesse Thing
As Pat advises, just keep trying to gently twist it back and forth.

Brute force is not the answer.

Once you get it unstuck, try sanding a little off the male end with emery cloth

Search was useless …
“No matches found!” or a blank Google page of some sorts …

Tried onno + stuck, onno stuck, message, subject, all forums, all messages, author for onno … Nothing.

It’s waaay beyond finesse, trust me …

… it’s stuck almost SOLID.

Very cold water??

One person holding button down far as possible one twisting in alternate directions progressively harder??

I’m at a loss and refuse to risk damage the wonderful, well-crafted thing – my heavier Werner is a bit much and clumsy in the surf.

I rubbed the grease off
I had an Onno and found that grease worsened the hold because it created a seal that had to be broken before I could disassemble the two pieces.

Even without grease, it was still a tight connection.

What worked best for me was a technique I knew for slightly loosening tight bike chain links. With those, a really tight link needs to be loosened using a chain tool. However, a slightly tight link can safely be loosened by holding the chain with hands on either side of the tight link and gently flexing the chain laterally back and forth (the direction of movement that the chain normally does not move). Flex once, check link, flex again as needed. Go slowly.

With the Onno paddle, I took the extra step of inserting a 5mm Allen key down on the button so that it would push the button a tiny bit sideways, thereby causing the button to stay down after I removed the Allen key. While it was down like that, I would gently twist and flex the two pieces to break the seal.

Get a Grip
The instructions with my paddle state that the ferule should not have any kind of lubricant. It suggests using a section of bike innertube around the shaft to get a better grip and use even pressure. If that won’t work give Pat a call.

Search yielded this

Advice from Pat.


This is an older generation one,
Ferules were hand honed to very precise ‘slip’ fit sort of like a fishing rod. I varied the fit depending on who I was sending it to and they always worked perfect before leaving the shop … Hard to control things once they get re-sold. These ones NEED a light coating of grease on them to go together / come apart correctly. If its pretty snug still thats a good thing.

Any new adjustable ones should only get a fresh water rinse with no lubes ever.

Thanks, search was non-funtional when …

– Last Updated: Feb-22-08 2:44 AM EST –

(non functional) ... I tried it this morning.
Nothing new or helpful enough there, but it was all worth a few tries.

good reason to be careful
I broke the blade 1/3 from the end attempting to untwist mine and exerting too much down force with the blade pushing on the floor. I couldn’t controll the direction the two halves went while attempting to untwist them.

I suspect the technique Patrick mentions is a very high torque movement with a short throw. So instead of gearing up for a great effort as you would in arm wrestling you apply a high torque effort momentarily in one direction then immediately in another. Unlike looser fit ferrules where a loosening effort will continue the twist on the tighter Onno the first twist will only go a few degrees before locking up again.

My $.02 is that making the standard fit ferrules that tight requires too much strength/skill to be reliable. When I put mine together as received it had a slight lube on the ferrule. That was it, would NOT come apart. I struggled with it until my hands almost bled. Tried it again the next day and in an attempt to keep the shaft vertical while untwisting I did a maneuver I shouldn’t have and the blade folded.

More wisdom from Pat

then scroll about 1/2 way down the page.

Oh, yes, thanks … read that last week
I called Pat before yesterday’s post, too.

Today, I’m trying to see if any of the little local paddle shops have any secret magic to try :slight_smile:

Here’s what I am lucky enough to hopefully use it with someday (see Nova):

FINALLY, I got it :slight_smile:
It was in the car most of the day getting chilled and the warmed, I wonder if that helped, though it was cool when I brought it into a gear store and an employee and I pulled and pulled as hard almost as we could while twisting and tilting it randomly some – poot!

Turns out there was a bit of grease in there, along with a bit of water (I’m sure that was from my water cooling attempt).

I Have The Epic…

– Last Updated: Feb-23-08 6:09 AM EST –

'tho' I haven't surfed it in over 2 years now... Wold is known for incorporating ww influence into his designs. The Epic is slicier and probably do the ww stunts a little easier than the higher volume nova (well, that really does depend on your size). Not into ww tricks on a waveface any more. Much into the waveskis and rippin' style. Higher learning curve but higher fun factor in my personal opinion with waveskis.

Either way, ONNO signature NeWave is my surf paddle of choice, despite having several of the other more known brand name ww paddles. So much so that I had to replace one that "walked away" from my car...


Flat is boring AND ugly.

The internal lock…
used on Pat’s paddles was a bad idea before he ever got it, IMHO. I think that it’s maker must have misrepresented it to him. I have the new external screw lock on his Fast Tour which works very well. I was skeptical of the screw handle as it was described to me, but now since I have used it, I can say that it rotates out of the way & works very well. I’m very pleased with my Fast Tour paddle performance.

Removing paddles
If you have used the paddle in salt water try soaking the paddle for some time in hot water.

I don’t use grease I use candle wax nothing to create a seal

shaunotter on Feb-23 got it unstuck
It’ll get stuck again. A one piece paddle is not bad; paddlers are generally out here struggling with loose ferrules. You’re frankly lucky!

Pick a nice feather that you enjoy and let it freeze up again and you will have something to brag about.