Home paddle repair

I bought a Bending Branches adjustable ferrule paddle. The Ferrule broke out of the shaft the first time I used it, while it still works just not quite as securely I wanted to take this opportunity to repair it, make it stronger and shorter.

What should I glue the ferrule back into the shaft? I also need to cut some fiberglass shaft of the other side, should I do it to both sides evenly? Just use a hack saw and sand it down or what?

Thanks for your help!

Hard to say…
This is an interesting question, but tough to say what your best technique will be without seeing the actual paddle.

First, have you considered talking to the place where you bought the paddle, or Bending Branches, to see if they will repair or replace it? This would be much safer than most home paddle repairs. If you are not comfortable with the process, it may save you time, money, and a lot of aggravation to have someone else repair or replace the paddle.

Personally, I would not repair it myself unless 1) There is no possibility of replacement/repair by the seller/manufacturer; 2) I have all of the materials necessary for the repair at hand; 3) I am comfortable with possibly ruining the paddle beyond further repair.

A fiberglass paddle shaft will adhere to most waterproof (two-part) epoxies. I would suggest something marked with a longer working time so you have time to make adjustments before the epoxy cures. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and clean up any drips or spills before it dries. If the epoxied ferrule is still loose, you are into areas of bracing, shimming, and stuff that are difficult to explain without seeing the paddle.

Disclaimer: Yes, paddlers have (and are) lawyers, too: The following are some general thoughts and are no way intended to be a recommendation. The author accepts no liability for your techniques, tools, actions, or personal injury resulting from their application.

Cutting a hollow paddle shaft is tricky if you plan to use a hacksaw alone. Yes, the hacksaw will work on it, but making a clean, straight cut is crucial to making sure the paddle aligns correctly. If you cut at an angle, the other half of the paddle will not mate cleanly, and you still have a wobbly ferrule joint.

Do you have a friend with a table saw or band saw? A machine with a fence will make a much straighter cut than most hand-held hacksaws. If you have a Home Depot or a Lowe’s in the area, you might even test the “experts” with seeing if they would be able to cut it cleanly. A lot of them are eager to show the quality of their demo equipment and their machine skills.

No matter who cuts, make sure you dry-fit (no epoxy) the pieces together to make sure everything aligns the way you intend it to before epoxying.

If you absolutely must use just a hacksaw, first make sure you scribe a line around the shaft with a pointed tool. The line must be a perfect circle. A lot of books recommend holding down the tool, and rotating the shaft in place to make the mark. If this sounds complicated, you should probably get someone else to make the repair.

When you line is scribed, yes, it may work best if you cut from both sides to avoid tear-out. Make sure the paddle shaft is firmly fixed in place with a clamp or vise and cut slowly and gently, applying pressure only on the forward stroke. Once you get halfway through, rotate the shaft 180 degrees, clamp the paddle down again, and complete the second cut. When the cut is done, you may need to sand the joint; regular medium-grit sandpaper should work fine.

Best of luck!

Warranty issue?
I would be surprised if this is not a warranty issue. Sounds like a defective paddle to me. I would contact Bending Branches and then later on when you do a review for the Products Review section of pnet you can include information about BB’s customer service. I have been curious about these new adjustable paddles. Now I will be curious and cautious!


Take it slow & measure thrice!
Nonesense9’s post is great! I have cut paddles down with a fine tooth hacksaw with good results. You need a new blade! I used a small needle file to mark (scribe) my spot for cutting & tried to allow a little extra length in the event of error or splintering. I have used files, hand sand papper and a belt sander to true my cut ends. I just cut an Epic round shaft kit & used “Ace” marine epoxy (dries gray). The “Ace” gave me plenty of time to set & check my feather angle. I have used Devcon 5 min. or 2 ton with no problems and they both dry clear.

The worst horror story I know of was of an experienced paddler (kayak shop owner) that had intended to go down from 218 to 212 and ended up with a 202!!! Good luck.

I decided
To wait on cutting down the paddle for a bit. I suppose I’ll use my table saw to do this, I just didn’t want to have to buy a new… thingy.

I glued it in with some Aquamrine Loctite epoxy, it suppodedly can be applied underwater. I got the ferrule back in the paddle it let it dry. As far as I’m concerned it looks great, and is more stable than the way it was sold to me.

Looking at the ferrule, out of the 5cm or so that’s glued into the shaft half or less actually had glue on it stock. It really is a simple fix in my case. Just not the cutting, I didn’t consider splintering, thanks for the heads up.