Greenland paddle tip tips?

So tonight I got out my trusty block plane and the new belt sander and went to town on my clunky old homebuilt gp. I reduced its weight by about a third, and now have something quite a bit more elegant. I also amplified the diamond cross-section and thinned the edges to hopefully get rid of the “plonk” I sometimes get when the blade enters the water. I’d like to 'glass the tips to protect them from damage, and wouldn’t mind colouring them white for visibility and to perhaps simulate bone. Does anyone have any tips on how to accomplish this? When and how should I apply the white? Finish will be marine varnish, but I’m open to suggestions…



What I like to do with mine is
to coat 4" of each tip with clear epoxy. This is important if you are going to color (on the second coat) the epoxy for the bone look. If you coat the tips with color first it will bleed into the wood and you won’t get a clean edge. Then I tape off the ends at about 3.5" and add white color to my epoxy and put on a couple of coats.

I like to use Tung Oil (4-5 coats) on the wood, myself, and I’m on the fence about fiber glassing the tips, I usually don’t.

I do one coat of clear epoxy, and then a second coat of pigmented epoxy with a good amount of silica thickener in it, to add some toughness to it when it’s dry. I get at least a full season, sometimes more out of it before I have to re-coat.


I tape off the area I want to epoxy and mix up enough epoxy for two coats and add the maximum amount of pigment. I apply the first coat that is thin and then put the extra epoxy in the freezer over night and the next day i apply the second that is thicker because the epoxy is setting up very slowly while in the freezer. The second coat goes on thicker and looks good. I haven’t tried useing fiberglass on the tips. After you apply the epoxy you will have to keep turning the paddle over to keep the epoxy from starting to drip on the bottom.

Stocking tip
First off, let me say I like a paddle that is maintenance free. Not just for a year, but for many, many years.

I have tried the coated epoxy tip to find that it will eventually crack or indent after a few rocky shore landings. For me the water then gets into the wood leading to eventual splitting.

I have also tried epoxy-fiberglassing the tip. The problem I have found with this is getting the fiberglass to conform to the shape of the tip. Usually there is a fold somewhere in the fiberglass that is the weakest link where the epoxy alone can crack and water makes it’s way into the wood.

Now, here is my solution. It’s best if you are a woman, have a wife, girl friend or if you are gay to pull this off without embarrassment. I say this because you will need a pair of white knee high stockings. I have a wife who will go to the store and pick them up for me. Maybe now you see my point.

First I tape (clear 3M packing tape) off below the tip area I want covered. Then the white stocking placing the toe area goes over the tip of the paddle blade. The toe area has a double layer of nylon ply. The heavy seam of the stocking at the end is best placed at the edge of the shore impact area at the end of the blade. After placement I coat with a mixture of epoxy and Cabosil (silica) that has a mixed consistency of yogurt. Then let dry, lightly sand and then coat again with the epoxy/cabosile. Make sure during coating that the seam of the stocking is saturated, yet not dripping. When the second coat is dry fold back the stocking over the tape till it cracks at the tape/wood seam and clean with a razor if needed.

With this method the stocking both conforms perfectly to the shape of the tip. The nylon mesh is fine and has a way of holding the epoxy/cabosil in a thick form and seems to keeps it from running. The Seam at the end gives added protection where it is needed.

I don’t add any color pigment, yet it would be a good idea if you want a real white coloring. Without any color pigment the end result is not a full white, but more like a semi-transparent matt white. This doesn’t matter to me, I’m more interested in a solid protective tip.

If your skeptical, try this method on the end of a scrap piece of wood. Give it week to dry and then torture rest it.

That stocking thing
sounds like a very good idea to me. I’m gona give it a try. BTW I use either Boiled Linseed or Minwax Teak oil on all wood parts and paddles. Varnish splits and traps water.

Water sealing
If I want a varnish finish I epoxy first, sand then varnish over the epoxy. This is a proven water sealing method with stip and S&G wood kayak construction.

Not getting it
I am not sure what you mean by “I tape off below the tip area I want covered”. Does that mean you apply tape to the paddle? Or, are you taping the nylon onto the paddle. Sorry, I am more of a visual learner and not getting it.


Hope this is clear.
The tape is placed on the wood in the area I want to keep the epoxy from adhering to. The nylon stocking then slides over the tip and the tape. Epoxy does not adhere to the gloss finish of the tape making for a designed break point.

I’m sorry for the confusion, I hope this is clear.

These are gooood tip tips!
Thanks all, I especially like the stocking/epoxy idea and will head in that direction. Early winter ice really put a pounding on my gp, so I switched back to carbon Euro 'til I get it sorted out.

I’ve use an epoxy dip before, but I like the silica and stocking ideas. Thanks!

Patience guys…

– Last Updated: Mar-16-05 4:47 AM EST –

The glass will allow a thicker AND stronger build up. Use 2-4 oz. glass X a couple plys.... take your time..... it'll do the radius.... don't want to baby sit it, learn some new skills, are phobic of using stockings, or only have some heavy glass around? Wet out the area with a small batch and let the resin go off 'till real tacky... lay glass over and press it 'into' this batch... let things kick in a bit longer then wet it out.... flip paddle..... wait 'till tacky again and repeat on other side 'till you have the build up you like.... taping before all this will allow nice neat razor blade trimming with very little sanding... Patience and sharp scissors will have each ply smoothly over lapped and co-mingled.

does that mean…
that your finished with mine yet :wink:

Thanks Chris
I see what you mean now. I am anxious to try the silica mixture in with epoxy to get a strong finish. Any recommendations on where to get good 2-part epoxy? What is setting time is best? Where do you get the Cabosil? Thanks.


Try here

The repair kits are a fair price for a small amount of epoxy.

Yaeh about 5 months ago ; )
We’ll have to hook up for some paddling so’s I can give it to ya.