Stuck paddle

A friend brought me an aluminum 2pc paddle that had been used in salt water and never cleaned. It is STUCK!. I have soaked the joint with WD 40 ; tapped it thoroughly with a wood hammer, torqued the shaft by holding the blades - not a budge.

Any other suggestions? She needs a shorter paddle anyway. I’m thinking of cutting it off and reseating the connector IF I can free it , and I think I can.

I’m not sure you should bother trying to free the joint and just treat it as a complete entity. Metals respond to force in rather predictable ways and it seems quite likely that the existing weld is probably stronger than the shaft. I haven’t worked all that much with aluminum, but know that it is reasonably easy to deform it (which may be part of why it isn’t coming apart).

If making the paddle shorter is the goal, it’d be easier to cut off the desired amount from each end and then reattach the blades.

Or better, if money isn’t any issue, replace the paddle with something of higher quality since it is a huge part of the paddling experience.


Faced the same problem a few weeks ago. You need a propane torch and an ice pack. Put the ice pack around the male portion and heat the female portion with a propane torch. Then, using a big screwdriver hit the female portion in a direction to unseat it repeatedly. It takes two people. The first 1/32 of an inch took many blows, the next 1/8" less and finally I was able to twist it apart.

If you have ready access to it, dry ice would be preferable to the ice pack but the ice pack worked for me.

Kerry, I’ll try that. Sounds like a good

– Last Updated: Jan-06-13 5:51 PM EST –

approach. Brutality is sometimes the best approach.

The Universe is Giving you a Sign…
Life and paddling time is MUCH too short to fritter away using an aluminum paddle. Seriously. Keep it for home defense or fighting off rabid dogs, and upgrade to something that you will actually enjoy.

Yes, I am a kayaking snob and proud of it ;^)

Greg Stamer

Time for a new paddle.
Life is short. Take this as a sign that it is time to get yourself a new paddle.

Do people ever read the OP?
IT AIN"T MY PADDLE! I have 2 CF but am getting seriously attached to an Aleut I made.

Easy Solution
Make her an Aleut paddle.

Seriously, heat seems like a good suggestion although heat transfers so quickly through aluminum, shrinking and swelling the tubes with hot and cold may be difficult. The oxidized aluminum may have created an interference fit that is very strong.

Since you plan to shorten the paddle anyway you might try grinding a flat on the outter tube until you split it enough to help with separating the two tubes.

Although, you may just have an opportunity to carve another paddle.

Heated and beat the crud out of it.
No movement.Still a decent paddle if you like HEAVY. I offered to make her a paddle.

Did you use the ice? I tried heat alone and it didn’t work.

Forget it - it’s fused
Prolonged exposure to salt corrodes aluminum to the point where the two surfaces fuse together and essentially become one.

Thermal shock method
Freeze it real good. Pack the joint in ice for a few hours.

Remove from ice.

Pour boiling water on it.

By freezing for a long time you get everything cold. When you pour boiling water on it the aluminum will expand much faster than the inner plastic connector parts.

from bicycle lore
You might need some creativity to make this work for paddle

Aluminum seatposts frequently become stuck by corrosion also, and penetrating oil is almost useless against aluminum oxide. Fortunately, aluminum oxide can be dissolved like magic by using ammonia. [Jobst Brandt doesn’t think this works, because the ammonia won’t penetrate – see his comments on stuck handlebar stems. Drano drain cleaner in water also dissolves aluminum oxide. Leaving the frame upside down with the seatpost soaking in one of these liquids may possibly free the seatpost. With the frame upside down, you might also run liquid down from inside as described in additional suggestions.-- John Allen]

[Temperature-differential method, which is applicable to any seatpost material: Buy dry ice (solid carbon dioxide, which melts at -78.5° C (- 108° F). If you have access to laboratory supplies, you might also use liquid nitrogen, which is even colder, though its cooling effect is not as great because it boils, forming a shield of gas around itself. Ordinary water ice also might work. Remove the bottom-bracket parts, cork the top of the seatpost if it is open, and with the frame upside-down and a saddle attached to the seatpost, drop chips of (dry) ice or pour liquid nitrogen down the seat tube into the seatpost. Then hold the saddle down on the floor with your feet and twist the frame. You may also warm the seat tube by pouring hot water onto its outside. Wear winter gloves, boots and socks. Do not touch dry ice, the seatpost or other parts chilled by dry ice or liquid nitrogen. I thank John Newgard for this suggestion. Sheldon’s original suggestion follows – John Allen]

Casual paddler, don’t know her,
paddle going back.

Ryan L.

try vinegar?

– Last Updated: Jan-07-13 6:59 PM EST –

I had a similar issue one time. Wrapped the ferrule section with a towel, put it on top of a container and pour vinegar on the cloth....let it sit for a few hours, reapply vinegar until you are able to separate the halves