How to cure sticky carbon paddle connection?

I’ve got an old carbon paddle and it’s started to get a bit sticky at the connection. I have to wet it down to get it to go together. Could I gently sand it or should I do something else? Thanks.

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I’d bet there is a build up of salts and minerals in the socket side.
If you can get a soft brass or stainless steel brush inside the socket wet it down with vinegar and scrub it out. I’d bet that will fix it for you.

My Werner Kalliste locked up and couldn’t be separated. I took ot to the the outfitterwhere I bought, and he returned it to Werner. In the meantime, i reverted back to my Camano. The difference was so noticeable, I ordered a new Kalliste, but stepped up tp a 250 cm rather than get another 240 cm. The new model came in around two weeks later, and I used it for about 2 months until the 240 cm returned, good as new, no charge. I still use the 250.

Never figured out what caused it, but I believe overpowering the paddke and salt spray helped to cause the issue. I now try to be careful to avoid overpowering the paddle. However, i think keep it dry jss solve the problem. 10 years later and no problems

I would not sand it for several reasons, and any thpe of lube would collect dirt. Dry lube might work, but as isaid, my problem never recurred. I agree with washing and a final rinse with clean water.

I’ve always wet my Werner Cyprus before connecting it.

I’d try soaking both ends in a mix of warm water and Dawn for a while, then thoroughly rinsing. Do it a couple times if needed.


SS brush may abrade the shaft causing more problems. White vinegar and a old toothbrush. Let it soak in it, even hours. Less than 2 bucks a gallon 1.20?

Thanks, I’ll try those things. Don’t think there should be mineral buildup though since I always rinse it well after paddling. Hopefully vinegar or Dawn soak will work.


We have 3 Werner Kallistes. After a few years using them in tidal streams, with low salinity, they gradually became harder and harder to separate at the end of the day. Since I couldn’t see anything on them, but understood the tolerances were quite precise, I decided to try soaking them, as you would for rope or something with salt deposits. I simply took a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with water, then put them in, ferrules submerged. After a few hours, they were operating like new again. It worked so well that I now make that part of my routine at the end of a trip, usually soaking overnight. While at it, I also soak my contact tow and the buckles of my fanny pack tow.


Interesting, thanks!

Rinsing with fresh water is usually sufficient after use. With a stuck paddle, in extreme cases I’ve used WD40 and let it sit overnight. If still stuck, a heat gun used carefully will usually do the trick. Anchoring one end in a padded vise while you work to loosen it will help. After the paddle is separated wash with a mild detergent like Dawn and rinse well.

Avoid sanding or using abrasives. Over time with normal use most paddle ferrules will often wear and eventually become looser. I’ve worn out a couple of carbon fiber paddles over 25 years. Companies consider this normal wear and it is not covered, even with a lifetime warranty.

If a paddle sticks badly when brand new, I would consider returning or exchanging it. The same if it wobbles. There is a slim but possible chance that the halves were mismatched.

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My Werner 2 piece fiberglass was a one piece for a long time until I finally dripped a little 3 in 1 oil into the the socket holes and gap. The next day my son and I each held an end while I held down the pin and working hard we were able to rotate it a little, then more and finally worked it apart. A good cleaning and now it is still tight but manageable.

As a side note I should point out that in my years of doing gunsmithing I have learned a few things about oils and lubes.
Both WD40 and 3 in 1 will gum and turn to “varnish” in time. A far better lube for anything that needs to be free to move over extended time periods is Automatic Transmission Fluid and it’s also much less expensive. In my shop I am constantly cleaning out gummed up actions on older guns that were lubed with WD40 or 3 in 1. (note: if you are not cleaning it off plastic or aluminum the best cleaner to remove that gummed oil and varnish is paint stripper, but be careful there are no aluminum parts or plastics that the paint remover will destroy if you use it. So for most applications in the canoes, kayaks and paddles I’d probably not try it)

If I higher degree of lubricity is needed the best I have found is what the USMC turned to in the last 30 years for combat field troops for a “combat expedient oil” for their small arms which is 90% full Synthetic oil with 10% ATF mixed in. It is very slick and withstands very high levels of heat and pressure and never gums up. It also have a “floating effect” for fine silt and grit which is why it works so well in automatic weapons. Not that such levels of performance are all that important to a kayaker, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

And the best part is that 1 full quart will last most folks about 25-30 years for lubing things around the shop and home and that will cost you about $9.00.
Pour about 1/10 of a quart into your car’s engine and then fill the bottle back up with ATF and shake it up. Now you have a full quart of the best light oil you can get at any price, for about any home and shop application you can think of. You simply decant it into your pump or squeeze bottle as needed. Running a full time shop and working on guns for a living 55- 60 hours a week I go through far more light oil than most other people, and even at my rate of consumption I only use a quart of this oil about every 5 years.

32 OZ of this stuff (1 quart) will cost you about $9 and 4 oz of 3 in 1 will cost you about $4,50. So the same amount of 3 in 1 would cost $36, and the mix of 90% Full Synthetic and 10% ATF is a much better oil in every way-------- and costs 25% the price of 3 in 1 compared once to once.

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Joints should be left dry after you separate them.

Why do you say that?

Lubrication attracts dirt. Werner says leave the joints dry.

Lube a joint drop sand on it see what sticks vs. a dry joint.


I’ve used Boeshield T-9 aerospace lubricant spray or drip bottle for 22 years on the frame connections for my folding kayaks (to resist corrosive seizure after salt water immersion) and also to lubricate stubborn breakdown paddle joints. It doesn’t get gummy (often used as a bicycle chain lube as well) or have a destructive effect on synthetics as some lubricants do. I find as long as the joint is clean of any grit or slime (I wipe inside and outside surfaces with a soft flannel rag and I wipe some T-6 the joint, it does seem to make the stubborn ones easier to pull apart.

I have always wondered why dry powdered graphite wouldn’t work. I have both Werner and Aqua Bound carbon shafts, but Werner says “no lubricant” and AB doesn’t address the subject in FAQ. Graphite is basically carbon, right? Must be something wrong with the idea since I’m sure Werner has thought of it.

Tight fit means nothing but two pieces :joy:

I only had a problem once about 10 years ago and haven’t had a problem at any other time. I make a point to keep it dry and free of salt water or silt. Just take care of it.

I can see that point, but I believe it may be unrealistic.

Yes I am sure if you lube any surface and then intentionally pour sand on the lubed surface it will have some sand stick.
And if you drive off a 400 foot high cliff the seat belt is probably not going to help.

But being that no one does those thing intentionally ---- why is that used as some kind of example? That’s like saying “if you eat 20 pounds of onions in 1 sitting it can poison you so you should never buy an onion.”

I wipe the male end of my paddle shafts every time I slip them together (other then when actually one the water) and if I carry them broken down in the tool box of my truck I wipe out the socket every time too.
I have only ever had my cheep aluminum paddles stick and it’s never happened even 1 time since I started wiping them with the 90%-10% “gun oil”.

Aluminum shafts and both my Kalliste and my Eagle Ray all get that lube and it’s made them work very easily.