Need help with a broken paddle

My sister accidently ran over the tip of my wooden canoe paddle. All the advice I have seen or read so far are for clean cracks that run vertically along the blade. This break is horizontal, and has very rough edges.
Any advice for a repair or should I just buy a new paddle?

Probably buy a new paddle but you may as well post a pic. Somebody here might have a different idea.

The better the photos the better the advice.

I would just buy a new paddle. I would not want to risk a break out on the water

I am thinking a repair might be doable with enough epoxy and fiberglass

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Thickened marine epoxy. Microballoons are strong but show up white. Use wood sanding dust. Make it fairly thick almost like peanut better. Press the edges together but not too tight. Then wrap the broken section with fiberglass tape wetted out with epoxy. Maybe two layers. One about 2-3 inches wide, one about an inch wide.

If it is a good paddle it is worth saving.


I would never give up and buy a new paddle. Given a wood paddle I’d have to get creative. I have cut off damaged tips and laminate a new tip.

Given a cross the cord break and thinning paddle I’d sand the blade down, cut off the damaged end. Then epoxy a new tip on fresh cut. Then laminate some 2 or 4 oz cloth. I beat up paddles so a little more epoxy and cloth is a good thing. And I’ve always got supplies in the shop.

I have also with short length at tip cut off offending piece. Sometimes a short paddle is acceptable.

The other thing you could do to add strength is connect the two broken pieces with a couple of dowels drilled into the blade.

Thanks for all the advise so far. Here is a picture

When a wood paddle is broken across the grain it is difficult to regain the strength and shape without adding a fair amount of weight to the paddle. If you are concerned with appearance as well as function, that is a factor as well.

If you can use a shorter paddle, then it is not too difficult to cut off the broken end and refinish it.

The paddle retails for $140-150 new, which is moderate for a paddle. Unless you have woodworking skills and possibly the materials on hand and some skill in working with fiberglass, you might be better off in just replacing it.

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I once broke a carbon bent shaft blade during a race when it got caught in a slot between a couple of rocks and broke across the blade. Luckily I had a spare paddle with me, as I always do. I took it back to the maker and he wrapped it with another layer of carbon cloth and sealed it so it is useable if i need it. I bought a new paddle to replace it and the old repaired paddle is now the spare I carry during training, never for actual racing.

I also broke the wood rudder of a small sail boat while fighting to keep going straight in huge waves on Lake Ontario. I took it to a wood paddle maker and he wrapped it in a layer of glass cloth and epoxy. it works great again.

The ragged edges shown in the photo will bond much better with epoxy than a clean break.
Fix it.


Try to dry reassemble paddle WITHOUT disturbing the jagged edge except for bent splinters. If it is a decent fit drench the ends with epoxy and put together. Use tape to pull it together and hold it still while epoxy sets. There aren’t big stresses on a paddle end unless you bang it on things. In my hands I would be confident that I could repair this. The jagged ends will act like micro scarf joints. I would not try to dowel this. Dowels in joints are for alignment not strength, unless they are strong metal. It would be VERY hard to drill for dowels accurately in the jagged surface.