Sticky Paddle

Hey ya’ll! Question, we are getting ready for a paddle this weekend, and we went to put my paddle together and it is such a tight fit, that both my husband and I had to crank on it, and it still isnt together properly. Does anyone have any idea why or what we can do to remedy it?? Thanks!!

Is it an Onno?
I had one that was so tight I ended up putting a little bit of Phil Wood (bicycle) grease on it. Putting it together wasn’t bad–taking it apart was difficult, and the grease made it easier. However, I don’t know if this practice is recommended by any manufacturer. Maybe you could use “personal” lubricant instead, if it’s water-based instead of petroleum-based.

Sticky paddle
Thanks! I tried coconut oil, it didnt work…it was a chore getting it together, and taking it apart again is going to be a chore. The paddle is an Aqua Bound Carbon abx…

Sand the male end…
…a TEENY bit at a time.

Clean both ends until there’s no more
gray residue on the rag. Anything you put on is just going to make it harder to take apart.

sticky paddle
Thank you!

sticky paddle
Thank you!


– Last Updated: Jun-14-12 1:33 AM EST –

Original ONNO two piece paddles were hand honed/mated for precise slip fit and were much more snug than typical two piece paddles. The were packed with a light coating of grease on them, had a warning note on the ferule " Beware of grease" and wore a hang tag stating to keep a light coating of grease on them for best performance and longevity ... I also had on the hang tag and website a note stating to please call or write for a 5 miunute, tool free method to 'break them in' a little but more if one was having troubles as stock.

I have NOT made paddles like this now for about 7 years.

The new paddles have a 10cm adjustment range with precision machined ferule and locker and are remain the closest tolerance in the industry.

Just remembered another useful technique
My tight paddle had a strong pushbutton spring. I found that if I carefully held a 4 or 5mm Allen wrench down on the button to keep it recessed, then my husband could more easily manipulate the pieces as desired.

I personally would not sand any mating parts of an expensive lightweight paddle.

Yes, sand it
Aquabound had a problem with this. The plastic ferrule would swell more than the carbon fiber shaft. Call Aquabound. They’ll tell you to sand it, and if that doesn’t work they might replace the paddle.

After being super tight for a year, my dad’s ended up splitting right at the ferrule button during a PF rescue, and Aquabound replaced the paddle.

200 grit wet/dry sandpaper
Sanding a ferule isn’t a big deal as long as you’re conservative and use the right tool. Some 200 grit wet/dry (the black kind of sandpaper), used wet, and done evenly around the ferule and inside the female end will remove whatever gunk has gotten in there and is making it hard to assemble. You’re not looking to remove much in the way of material - you’re looking to fair the surfaces enough so that they’ll fit, but still be firmly together.

Shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. After the sanding/cleaning, thoroughly rinse out both areas to remove any sanding residue, and you should be good.

Don’t lube or use anything else to try and ease it on, since that stuff will only make it harder to get it apart when you’re done.

A more mild approach would be
to use auto wax or buffing compound. I did that with a paddle, and had to put on and wipe off several coats. It did the job without overdoing it.