slippery carbon paddle shaft

I have a carbon bent shaft that through use has become very slick, and most importantly, rediculously so when wet. Because it was my race only paddle in deep water, the blade has remained in great shape.

I thought about steel wooling the shaft but thought I’d run this by you folks to see if there is a known “home” remedy.

Keep in mind it needs some degree of slickness, so a very rough surface or any tacky surface such as wax will not work at all.

Any ideas ? Thanks ahead of time !

Some Qs
I only notice that the shaft is slippery when I try to push something with it. I was also told by the paddle police that there isn’t much point in trying to jab the water with paddle with intention to push off and go faster. They were also injecting some weird stuff like, “torso rotation”, “loose grip”, “elbow pain”, “wrist pain” into the stream of verbal river.

So, how did you discover that your paddle shaft is slippery?

Some people swear by sex wax and pink gloves.

So what changed?
If your shaft used to be grippy and is now slick something changed, right? So what changed?

Possibly it’s a build-up of whatever - body oil, sunscreen, salt, oil, whatever. Or possibly amine blush from the epoxy.

So try something simple and harmless first. Give it a good bath. Dish soap and a green scrubbie.

I experienced that on the Shepaug

– Last Updated: Aug-02-10 5:25 PM EST –

All of a sudden, my carbon shaft felt like a greasy axle. After I got a "swim tune-up" I felt like my old self again. Ahhh, right as rain now! But I also put down the carbon shaft.

I used wax on it once after that and it hasn't been slippery again since.

Not amine blush. Almost certainly
oils and fats from skin. Cleaning with alcohol may help. I would not use steel wool or other abrasives on a carbon shaft if the weave of the carbon is right on the surface.

We canoeists often order carbon shaft paddles with a long vinyl sleeve to protect the carbon matrix from damage. That is not easy to do on a kayak paddle.

perhaps some 1500 grit
…just touching the shaft with it enough to dull it a small amount?

I have a carbon shaft paddle and have never had this problem. I’d guess you’re right about the accumulation of oils.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but an old timer taught me long ago about rubbing beeswax on wooden axe and hammer handles to improve grip even with sweaty hands. Unlike other waxes, beeswax retains a sticky feel even when wet. You lose nothing to try it and it is easily removed with alcohol.

try gloves
fingerless are nice, and the tactile material on the palm will give you more grip.

Agreed - clean it first!

Adding beeswax and similiar will attract dirt, sand and assorted grime. Which you then have to clean off.

Why start that cycle.

No-NO to sanding it w. sandpaper - of any grit. You are just ruining the precision machining that went into making the shafts. You are pitting them which again makes it easier for dirt, sand etc to adhere.

And possibly voiding the warranty, if you care about those things.

My ZRE gets very tacky and rougher from spray-on sunscreen. And it seems the effect is somewhat permanent. I didn’t mind it being so slippery before, but it not now, just because I applied sunscreen and still had some on my hands when I picked up the paddle.

Perfectly O>K> to lightly wetsand the
shaft. This is the best surface for paddle shafts… Soft when dry yet just the right amount of grip when wet.

Glossy, sprayed on finishes will always be sticky when dry or slippery when wet.

Take your pick on the grit but roughest should not be more than 320 if you are knocking down those ridges on one of those horrible tape wound shafts. This will make an amazing difference in comfort … Something the company should have done for you in the first place.

Try 600+ to just take the sheen off.

If pits or voids are showing up then the shaft is junk and should not be used as a paddle shaft.

Try some sex wax.