How can I protect my paddle blade tips?

I noticed some fraying edges of my Werner Player Carbon paddle blades where it gets repeatedly beat on rocks etc.

E-mailed Werner and they suggest nothing, as it may change the “feel in the water”

I’m thinking of some kind of urethane or epoxy? coating but don’t want to damage it further


Jtravers, I have some Werner paddles and I know what you mean. I don’t bash mine on rocks since where I paddle is manly sandy but occasionally I get a little chip on the tip of mine.

I have done some “spot” fixing with epoxy but if the area you are after is larger I would suggest West System 105 resin with Hardner 207. The 207 is UV stabilized and for the sun exposure that the paddle will see is more then sufficient.

Epoxy is very hard wearing. A light flash coat (thin like paint) should protect your paddle.

Make sure you sand the area you are coating with some fine sandpaper so the Epoxy will stick to it.

Clean with acetone before coating. Use a high quality brush in a dustless environment. Any little imperfections can be buffed out later with automotive cut&polish. If done properly the job will look like factory. Good luck.


Don’t use that paddle
for rock beating. If you are doing this a lot, consider a paddle with plastic/ABS blades. The paddles are cheap and will save your nice paddle from excessive abuse.

You can take both if you are only around the rocks occasionally. Use the Carbon paddle most of the time and smack rocks with the cheapo paddle.


door guard
I’ve heard of paddles with the stuff they sell in auto parts stores used to protect the edges of thin paddles

That’s not a bad idea
Just not sure how well they will stay on the edge and in the water… I suspect these will fall-off easy, unles they are glued in place. And I would think I would want to remove them when not needed, so the adhesive needs to be semi-permanent. Too much trouble IMO compared to just getting a stronger “beater” paddle.

On my recently aquired used carbon paddle, I decided to fill some edge chipped areas on the edge, and I did it with 2,500lb 30 minute epoxy that my local hardware store sells.

Seems to have worked quite well, though I did not really take my time to sand it down to shape so it is visible and not too smooth. But at least it covers the gaps and if I hit the same area again (as I did already once), chances are that if anything, only the filler epoxy piece will get damaged (may be partially at that) instead of the already existing chipped area growing even bigger…

Some people swear by door edging
materials they get at auto parts stores. It might change paddle handling a bit, and will add a bit of weight.

My kayak paddles have worn down rather slowly, but on one I did put a bit of West Epoxy on the edge of the paddle tip. My canoe paddles have aluminum or phenolic inserts. I have just let them wear down, and because I try to avoid unnecessary poling with the paddles, the wear has been of no functional consequence.

If you should ever want a kayak paddle with an aluminum insert, Mitchell will make you one, and it will be as light, and work as well, as a Werner.

Auto Door Trim/Guard
I’ve got a thin bladed surf paddle that I’ve been using this stuff on for a couple of years. You can get it at any auto-parts store. It comes with a bed of adhesive already in the groove, so it’s very easy to apply. If your paddle is clean and dry when you install, and you give it time to set, it will stay on quite well. Since you are radius-ing it around a blade, you might want to clamp it in place overnight while it sets-up. I don’t think it would be very difficult or messy to remove if you changed your mind later. Comes in clear, if you don’t want the chrome/bling.

I can’t tell any difference at all in the weight or handling of the paddle. More than protecting my blade edges, it has protected my boats deck from getting scratched up from blade hits during violent wave close-outs.

Thumbs-up from me. You’ve got nothing to lose, it’s cheap and you can always pull it off if you hate it.

File the tips
of the paddle. You have 2 layers of material that meet at the tip. When they start to chip or split, they’ll try to separate next time they hit something. Try filing one side of the blades only and try to keep that side as your “forward” side. Canoe races do this all the time with no damage to the paddle as you are only filing a very little bit of material.

Plastic Tape
Use it on my Carbon Kinetic Tour blades. Wears very well. Doesn’t come off. Cheap. Many colors at any hardware store. Get creative!

“Doctor, it hurts when I do this”
“Then don’t do that”

stays on just fine
I use clear door edge trim guard on my Werner Bandit, a paddle notorious for wearing down rapidly. It works really well and lasts about 20 or so trips before needing to be replaced.

One exception - I paddled the Charlotte man-made course once, and the concrete there wore through the trim in two hours. But on real rocks, it holds up nicely.

I like to keep mine sharp …
The natural cutting edge is a sure cure for those Agro Drop-in “Kayaks Belong on the River” types.


– Last Updated: Jun-06-08 12:37 AM EST –

I hate to admit this, but when I purchased my first composite touring boat, I placed several layers of clear duct tape along the keel at the front and rear wear areas. The clear duct tape took all the wear and tear. It was cheap and was easy to redo. It conformed to the hull very well and was invisible from a distance. When I pulled it all off to sell the boat after two years, the keel still looked like new.
I also used it on a few deck areas where paddle strikes and 'T' rescues caused wear.

Buy a stunt paddle! NM

Electrical tape
works great on my carbon paddles. Center the tape on the blade edge and stretch it slightly as you follow the circumference. Once you do it a couple of times you can do a wrinkle-free job in about 2 minutes. Cheap, color blends in, and what’s the added weight - 2 grams?

without sounding flippant
this is a common problem for white water river paddlers.

Your paddle is not designed to withstand the rocks in the river forever. The only way to protect the paddle is not to go down a bony river, but what fun is that.

It’s very hard to think of a $400 carbon paddle as a disposable item, but it will wear out eventually. Nothing you can put on the end, short of more kevlar will really protect it entirely.

I’ve know guys who go through a werner player per season. They used the fiberglass ones luckily.

Thanks everybody
I have heard of the door trim trick but thought that might get bulky.

Bought the paddle used at a great price but I didn’t expect higher-end to mean less durable.

Kwikle- you sound like the Werner rep, glad I didn’t pay $400.

Epoxy sounds most pleasing to me, maybe tape.

Thanks for all the input

…Aside from my agreeing with Gnarlydog, I’d move to a wood or plastic blade.

cause wood is especially known
for it’s abrasion resistance…

Related info from ‘old’ website …
We build paddles custom for intended use and expectaions one @ a time over here.

If I had to build up the perimeter of a THIN LAMINATE blade

and have it come out nice: (A thicker wood blade would be slightly different)

Do one side at a time…

Mask area to be built up 1/4" inch back from edge.

Sand to tape for prep. Do both sides of paddle at this time.

Pull masking tape and retape w/ fresh again at 1/4" line. Also place another layer of tape over this one at 1/8" or half the distance of first one to edge… do above 1/4" & 1/8" on one side only…

Mask ‘backside’ of repair to over hang 1/4"+ out away from edge… creating a dam so to speak.

Important!> Make sure the dam comes STRAIGHT OUT from edge and does not curve towards or away from area being built up. This is one reason to not have tape come out more than 1/4" or so from edge… no worries on straight runs but doing the curved tips will cause tape to want to curl…Use more (pieces) tape if you want to do more than 1/4" or so… Really press the tape down around any chips or chunks you are trying to fill in too. If chunk is ragged , sand edges smooth and even bevel it a bit on both sides for more mechanical grip.

A smart thing to do with tape in hand here is to mask w/ paper the rest of paddle now. Shaft too.

Use Uni carbon or glass, forget kevlar, not worth the trouble… note; to ‘make’ your own uni, buy some cloth which is more useful for other projects and just pull a few long bundles out of it, viola ! Uni.

Wet out with Epoxy and lay onto sanded-taped-masked-horizontally sitting blade. If you have to, place shaft LIGHTLY in a vice to achieve best compromise of levelness. Do not use too much resin. Experiment on table first to see how much is needed…place wet out long strands ( wet out on table first) into position & poke it into position just along the 1/8" tape line and hanging off the edge.

Gently work out as much resin as poss and still keep strands in place with the 1/8" tape line just showing. (This is the best reason to play with some on the table first… told you so already.)

Once it is not so juicy , pull 1/8" tape.

Smooth out biasing strands and excess resin towards edge by laying some wrinkle free 4 mil plastic down over strands starting at 1/4" tape line and moving outward. Should have a tiny bit of resin ‘backfill’ to tape 1/4" tape line but strands stay in place at 1/8".

Let cure before pulling plastic.

Pull all tape including backside and repeat above on other side… lightly sanding for prep again if excess resin migrated under tape on what was the ‘backside’ initially.

If done right the only sanding ness on blade is a tiny bit from the thickness of the 1/4" tape line… a good reason to use the best 3M Pinstripe tape + it will do the curves of the blades in a single piece.

Even this little line will probably be better than the jagged edge like before. Would be cool to add some pigment to resin for a colored edge look.

Sand ‘new land’ on outside edge of paddle to taste… should be plenty there to file first followed up with 320/600 wet or dry.

Use in best of health and happiness.