Just a quick question , I just purchased a Kevlar kayak paddle ( 4 pieces for travel)for use on my canoe and I was also thinking about buying a Kevlar single blade paddle but I am a bit afraid that the Kevlar will suffer over time when in contact with side of my canoe of my canoe . Any of you with feedback …
Do you truly mean Kevlar, or do you mean Carbon Fiber? I dont think i have ever seen a 100% kevlar canoe paddle. I have seen one manufacturer who made a 50/50 carbon/kevlar blend, but forget who it was. Kevlar is somewhere between pale yellow and dark honey color depending on the ammount of UV expusure it has had. Carbon is black/gray. Fiberglass can have many appearances ranging from clear, translucent colors, or opaque gel coated in any color
As for composite paddle life, whether fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon, banging the side of your boat is not what will kill the paddle. Typically a composite paddle is broken when it hits things it shouldn’t. This is most commonly: Rocks, logs, the ground, your foot (stepping on it), prying off something (thats a big no-no with carbon paddles), having something fall on it (in the car or boat), ect. “Normal wear and tear” of paddling typically is not what kills a carbon paddle, its the OOPS moments that kill.
I have broken my ultralight carbon ZRE canoe paddle multiple times. twice I crushed the grip (both times a crack propagated from a flaw in the weave), once I smashed it into the sand accidentally at low tide in long island sound where you cant see 6" into the water and partially broke the blade, another time I was showing a newbie how to do a draw stroke overly enthusiastically in a racing canoe that has sharp ‘wings’ and cracked the shaft when pulling in too far and hit the boat. So far my ultralight carbon kayak paddle is holding up fine after 2 years of heavy use, not sure why that is going better for me as i treat it the same.
In all cases I repaired the paddle myself with carbon cloth and epoxy without too much trouble or added weight. So you have to treat a composite paddle nicely. I’d say much more carefully than a wood beater paddle. I will sometimes bring both my carbon and wood paddles, carbon for deep water touring and the woodie for beaching, pushing off rocks, ect.
one thing to note: If you truly found a Kevlar paddle (as opposed to fiberglass or carbon), is that Kevlar will not sand. If you sand Kevlar it just fuzzes up worse and worse. You CAN sand both fiberglass and carbon, making them MUCH easier to repair. This is important because typically over time the tip of the paddle will get chipped or the epoxy will wear away exposing a little cloth. with FG and carbon the remedy is simple; sand away the fuzz and brush a light coat of new epoxy on the tip (West Systems epoxy, not home depot stuff). If that were a kevlar paddle, you’d have to either cut the fuzz off with a very sharp knife or burn it off quickly with a blowtorch. Overall kevlar is much harder to repair than FG or Carbon.
But overall, composite paddles will typically last more or less forever until an unexpected catastrophic event kills them.
What paddle did you buy? I’m curious.
Similar to Mclmes, my wife and I have ultralight ZRE paddles as well as old heavier BlackBart ones.
In many many years and miles, neither one of us have broken one.
Over the years there have been many times when using a real fast cadence I have hit the gunnel on a switch and expected to see a it break, but it never has happened.
Over the years, if you push off rocks or strike gravel, the edge of the blade will start to chip a bit, and you can just repair it with some epoxy.
On the other hand I have seen many broken cheaper wooden paddles!
I have just one ZRE paddle and its 23 years old. Its carbon fiber. Like others I have never seen a kevlar paddle. Where you are going may be similar in environment to Belize where people seem to either paddle dugouts with homemade paddles or Wenonah Kevlar ultra light canoes with carbon fiber paddles… And I am not talking moneyed tourists. It must suit them well and have long life.
IIRC you are paddling with an Ally canoe… its fabric ( tough fabric) over aluminum tubing anyway
sorry for the late reply I was away and the internet at my hotel wasn’t that good. I am not sure about what is the composition of the paddle but its a Aqua-Bound Edge 3-Piece Carbon .Thanks so much for your explanation about the all things , I am new to the sport and even so I read all I can about it , its still a bit complicated to me. After reading your comments I can see that I should not be too worry about failure unless…
Thanks to all of you .
I have also not seen an all Kevlar paddle. The majority of “carbon fiber” paddle blades are not all carbon fiber. The ZRE flat water paddles, for example, have a foam core. Other carbon paddles have a wooden blade wrapped with carbon fiber fabric.
The Aqua Bound Edge has a nylon blade reinforced with carbon fiber. That paddle is geared more towards whitewater use, although it can certainly be used for flat water paddling. It will be over twice as heavy as a Zaveral (ZRE) power surge. I wouldn’t worry about its toughness. I know a number of whitewater open boaters who have used carbon Aqua Bound Edge paddles and found them to be quite durable.
Thanks Pblanc , I did picked the Aqua for its weigh and pricing , since I want to do long distance I am trying to reduce greatly the weight of what I will be using in order to reduce my daily effort over long distances.
I’d think you also want a rock bashing paddle though.
Watching some videos of canoeing the Amazon there are many really serious rapids
Watched a Nat Geo special last night and I’d call the rapids a class 3 to 6
One was a first live descent. Not the first attempt. The others were killed
Portage when necessary
I will not do the serious rapid , I always do the safe way when I travel in isolated ways and between my lack of experience canoeing and the importance of my gears I will do lining or portage for the difficult ones