Paddle Pads

I am in search of some type of pads to put on my Kayak Paddles to save my hands.

I am looking for something that I could just slide on, but so far I haven’t found anything…

HELP !!!

Why do you feel you need paddle padding?

– Last Updated: Jul-10-05 5:15 PM EST –

I ask, because I'm wondering if there's something about your technique that might be altered in order to make things more comfortable for you without the need to add something to a paddle that wasn't designed for such additions.

I can think of reasons why paddles aren't designed with "padding" in mind (like the ability to quickly slide hands along the shaft, weight and balance, etc.), but unless you insist upon an unchanging "death grip" on the paddle (which can cause all sorts of problems; even with padding), I can't think of a good reason for "paddle pads".

If you're worried about blisters, a bit more paddling will solve that with the development of some subtle, well placed calluses on your hands. In the meanwhile, I suppose you could experiment with different types of gloves (might help your hands yet not degrade paddle versatility at the same time). I would certainly consider this before ever considering installing padding along the shaft.

Being a musician, I'm very concerned with the health of my hands, yet I've never felt the need for any additions to my paddles in order to "save my hands"; hence my wondering if this is more a question of technique than anything else. If you could explain in more detail what your concerns are, perhaps we can help you find a realistic solution that wouldn't require any paddle modifications.


They are like neoprene tubes that slide on your paddle shaft. They are very comfortable (squishy), but make the paddle shaft much wider which can be annoying. We’ve used them for recreational kayaking and they do not slip and seem to work well for that. I like gloves better, I have very thin ones from NRS (I can’t remember the name but they have open fingers and I really like them.)

A couple of thoughts
I know several paddlers who use fingerless cycling gloves.

One of my many daughters uses an old pair of leather gloves with the fingers cut off

I know a couple of kayak racers that use tape on the parts of their fingers that are prone to blisters.



Looser grip?
Last year. my first year kayaking, I went through several packages of Band-Aids that I kept in my dry bag to cover blisters. This year, I am holding the paddle loosely, mainly with the thumb and index finger. My stroke has improved and I haven’t needed one Band-Aid. Don’t know if it’s correct but it works for me.

Tennis raquet grips work well for me, just wrap them on wherever you need them and secure them with duct tape. I also wear gloves. Maybe I’m a wimp, but without them the paddle shaft is too small for my hands and they slide all over the place.

cork handlebar tape
just curious if that would work. anyone tried it?

listen to the musician

– Last Updated: Jul-12-05 9:01 AM EST –

As a recovering musician I can relate to Melissa's post. (Melissa, a cellist if I remember correctly?)

I'm still very protective of my hands, even though I've been in remission for several years. I've never undertsood the whole glove thing for paddling.

It's through the hands that we "feel" the water. Why would anyone want to dull their senses? Over the years the calluses have softened to the point where I no longer have "paddler's hands". Loosen your grip, relax your hands, save the money to spend on more important things like beer.



I wouldnt
I love cork tape on my road bike, but I prefer the smoothness of the paddle shaft when I slide my hands for extended strokes. I am still amazed that anyone would muck up a loom with bumpy or spongy padding. Wear paddle gloves if you must, but intimate contact is always preferable IMHO.