Glass vs Carbon paddle blades

I mentioned in an earlier post that i had an all carbon bending branches slice paddle, and was interested in getting one of their glide models, but since they bought aquabound they seem to have focused BB on the canoe and wooden paddles with aquabound being the kayak brand. While aquabound makes a decent paddle i love my BB.

So my question is that BB still makes the glide, but at best carbon shaft and glass blades. They list the hybrid paddle as only 1 oz heavier than the all carbon, is there really much of a difference in swing weight between glass blades and carbon? or any other differences like stiffness etc?

Even if you don’t use the same brand paddle, would like to hear peoples experiences with glass vs carbon for paddles.


– Last Updated: Apr-23-10 10:49 AM EST –

Carbon and Glass are both used in synthetic paddleblades because both materials can be edge sanded. Kev fuzzes when sanded so is not practical in production.

Carbon is stiff and expensive. Glass is less stiff and cheap, so it takes more glass than carbon to achieve a given level of stiffness, which makes glass blades heavy.

The worse possible place to place that heaviness is at the ends of a kayak paddle, in the blades. The longer the shaft the worse the mechanical disadvantage.

This is done because carbon fibre tube is readily available and they're trying to save money on the blades. Carbon blades and a glass shaft would make more sense. The current concept of cast plastic blades on a carbon shaft is an even worse, [or worser], idea because it increases weight at the ends of the paddle.

Solution: AT, Epic, Pat Onno and Werner, among others, make fine carbon shafted and bladed, paddles; time to switch builders.

Thanks for saying that CEW !
The one that drives me nuts is the injection molded blade with the “carbon” sticker on it.

The fiberglass blades will be a little ‘tougher’ than the carbon, but the build process on either is pretty much the same it appears … So depends if you want to spend the extra money for that 1/2 ounce lighter-per-blade difference.

Hey Patrick -
Now that you mention it, I’ve wondered about that. How do the manufacturers of those plastic shovels that they pass off as carbon blades get away with that crap? Put a few strands of carbon in the center? Color them black with graphite powder? What a crock.

Well, the carbon IS in there in the form
of short, chopped strands in the matrix. Makes the blades a little stiffer ( and lets them put that sticker on them : )

Just not the same as continuous material.

If Salty read this, I bet he could shed some light on the weight differences vs. thickness of the various injected materials. Nylon 6 vs. 12 for example.