Help making my own paddle rock guard


I want to try to add my own rock guard to a paddle of mine. Ive seen semi hard latex that you can dip thngs in. Its similar to what the handles of commercially available hand tools are dipped in.

I want something a little harder I think. Like a flexible semi hard clear epoxy would be perfect. Has anyone done this already? Tips? Thoughts?

What would you use?

I have 2 junk paddles to try stuff out on too.


paddle protection with epoxy
Try West Systems G-Flex epoxy with some silica mixed in.


…that’s what I’d use if I cared about bashing up my paddles, which I should, but I don’t.


– Last Updated: Apr-07-12 7:09 PM EST –

Awesome, Thanks.

Think one 8oz kit is enough to do 2 paddles?

Also if its like most epoxy its probably very viscous. Does anyone know of a demo/tutorial/photo log or have tips of how to dip the tip?

My only concern is that, after dipping, how do you control the expoy so that it does not have crummy looking drips/waterfall on the downward side? or if you flipped it over it would create a fat edge facing the handle.

Any thoughts?

Edit/addition: Just looked up the sillica filler and it lists the color as off white.
-How noticeable do you think it would be?
-will it make the epoxy appearance cloudy?
-Think you'll be able to tell its in there at 2 feet?
-Will it be worth any aesthetic damage to make it more abrasion resistant/harder?

Forged titanium is the way to go.
One can forgive the copper blade tips, since they simply did not have the technology available back then.

Rubber tubing
Used to be a common way of protecting a paddle blade, slice it open and glue it around the edges.

Old Time trick
Step one - don’t hit the rocks, avoid rocks, rocks bad.

Step two, wrap the blade edge.

Typical use by many river paddlers

Old Time trick
Step one - don’t hit the rocks, avoid rocks, rocks bad.

Step two, wrap the blade edge.

It’s cheap, quick, effective

Typical use by many river paddlers

For composite paddles
I glue on the door edge trim sold in black at almost all auto parts stores. $20 does a lot of blades. It come pre-glued but sometimes the ends need some extra gluing and I had to re-glue some blades after years of use.

Epoxy alone will chip off. G-flex is
more flexible, and won’t chip off as readily.

Buying paddles with aluminum tip inserts is the best solution. Mitchell makes them, and some others do.

Paddles I’ve made myself, I’ve tipped by creating a receiving groove along the tip and a bit up the sides, and then laying in strands of glass and Kevlar, held with epoxy. Works pretty well, but nowhere near as good as aluminum inserts.

For a big, clumsy whitewater paddler, I don’t seem to damage the end or sides of my paddles very much. Is there something I’m lacking?

protecting paddle edges

– Last Updated: Apr-08-12 9:52 AM EST –

G Flex is honey colored when mixed and cures that way. It does not cure transparent like conventional epoxies such as the 105/206 also made by West.

Yes, the silica gel will make the epoxy cloudy to tan depending on how much you mix in.

If you want to fill in chips on a paddle edge using epoxy alone you will probably need to use repeated applications with wet sanding in between. You can use clear packing tape applied to the back side of the paddle to create an epoxy dam as you add epoxy to the first side of the paddle. Repeated applications can result in a nice, faired edge if you invest the time.

G Flex is nice for this purpose because it can be mixed up in very small batches by eye eliminating wastage. 8 oz of hardener/resin would certainly be plenty to do a paddle, even double bladed. The G Flex might be visible when cured on a wood paddle, but would probably not look disagreeable.

If you want to reinforce a nice wood paddle without having a clearly visible bead of some type you are better off using some cloth than epoxy alone. I have used Dynel cloth which is also used by some paddle makers for tip reinforcement. Dynel does not dry transparent when fully wetted out with epoxy, however. The cloth will be visible as a lighter colored band along the edge. Fiberglass will be transparent when cured, especially if you use conventional epoxy.

To get cloth to lie along the curved edge of a paddle blade it is generally necessary to use multiple strips, or a long strip cut on the bias.

Sweet composites also sells Dynel cord which is specifically made for paddle tip reinforcement, but I have not used it. You can read about it on this page:

I’ve tried various
methods over the years. None worked well. My feeling now is that the best thing is to buy a good paddle and leave it as is. Make the best of its good design. If it wears out suck it up and buy a new paddle.