What's the secret?

You know the little round things on your kayak paddle to stop the water from running back down the shaft on to your hands? How do you hold them in place. I have two lower end paddles and these things never stay in place. They always seem to go right down to the blade on the shaft. Do I need to put a small drop/bead of glue on the shaft to stop them from sliding? Any help is appreciated.


I paddle mostly GP but my Euros don’t slide by themselves. Sometimes it is pretty hard to move them. Besides, shouldn’t the rubber thingies BE by the blade?

Don’t twirl your paddle like a baton
and they may stay in place.

Actually drip rings are made for particular shaft sizes. If your lower end paddles separate at a ferrule, perhaps you can scare up some shrink down plastic tubing and use it to thicken the shaft where you want the drip rings to be.

I never found them to be very useful. Usually I find that I modify my paddle recovery unconsciously and the dripping isn’t bad.

Two ideas
Your paddle shaft must be a really small diameter or your drip rings are stretched for some reason.

You could slice a wedge out of your drip rings and glue them back together. Or you could try these cinch down rings:


Duct tape
The fix anything stuff.

I put a couple wraps around the shaft where I want them and that’s where they stay. Not that I use my euro anymore. But it worked even when I was paddling with it.

Funny that you post this
We have about a half dozen paddles, and some of them have the drip rings. They have always been nice and tight and stay put, but yesterday after some of the neighbors borrowed our rec yaks one of the paddles came back with the drip ring sliding up and down and is so loose that it is useless. We kind of figured that their rug rat who uses that particular boat and paddle must have been playing with it.

I figured when I get a chance, I’ll put a bead of silicon around it and see if it sticks.

If you come up with any good solution, please let me know

Jack L

same here. I call them "dip rings"
I never found them very useful either, and my hands are gonna get wet anyway.

I call them “dip rings” because I position them to tell the “dip” (me) where to hold the paddle.

Want spares?
Most in our year round (as in winter too) paddling pod have taken the silly things off. Wet is part of the activity and they just get in the way if you have to pull a spare paddle off the deck.

Funny story though - there is a sports expo locally each spring in a convention center, and they have collapsible pool there big enough to hold a couple of 16 ft kayaks and actually paddle them for a whole stoke and a half, to demo rescues, rolls and basic strokes. The demos include sea kayaks, WW boats, canoes and kayak fishing boats.

A couple of years ago, the WW guy doing the demos after I had been in with a fellow paddler doing rescues in 16 ft boats needed to borrow a paddle. I threw in my paddle, figuring it’d be the shortest among us so closest to his needs.

He just grabbed it without really looking and went on with his talk, sitting in his boat in the pool. It all worked fine until he got to the part where he advised using the drip rings to mark where your hands should be on the paddle…

The day, the WW guy again needed to borrow a paddle. One of the paddlers in our small group who was doing demos that day threw his in. He looked and worked around the drip ring issue. But then he started talking about control hand and needing to have a 60 degree feather. Except that a number of us don’t relate to the old-style control hand bit, and paddle with either unfeathered or very minor feather under 20 degrees…

The last couple of years he has arrived with his own paddle.

Drip Rings
Most of these things have a groove on them which can hold a pull tie (not that I’ve had to do this on mine). It should be pretty easy to cinch it tightly to the paddle with same.

Mine have always worked reasonably well, though I only care about that on really cold days (not many of those here, though).

I’ve seen people place the rings so far down the paddle that they pick up water on each stroke and deposit same in the sleeves of their spray jackets, so make sure you have them placed properly before cinching them down.


Rubber bands.
Or, when you get sick of replacing those, 30-cent black rubber “O” rings from the hardware store.

drip rings
Thanks for all the input. I have thought of elastic bands, a drip of glue or silicone and smaller diameter O rings. Although being wet can be a part of kayaking in the cooler weather when gloves are not required it is nice to have dry hands. Drip rings only hlep and really don’t prevent the water as we all know. I’ll try some of the ideas.



I don’t use drip rings anymore myself. But i noticed on the genuine Inuit kayak paddles in the Carnegie Museum Polar World exhibit, and in the documentary films there showing them kayaking, that they wrapped cotton rags around the paddle shafts to catch the drips. I have yet to try this, but it seems like it would work about as well as the rings.

Drip rings…
We’ve removed the drip rings from our paddles. They tend to snag on rigging when stowing or retrieving paddles and never seemed very effective. By now we must have at least a half dozen pairs somewhere in the basement.

Need them?
If you paddle open cockpit on gentle waters and the water on your hands or in the boat bothers you, try silicone, friction tape or whatever to keep them in place for the partial relief they provide.

If you wear a skirt and paddle splashy stuff, they probably don’t make much difference and may not be worth the trouble.

If you paid the extra bucks for a full carbon to shave off a few ounces of swing weight, don’t add a couple in the form of semi-effective rubber and trapped water.

One of our members glued 1" strings
on either side of the blade (4 per paddle) at the spot where the water tends to drip off. Leaving about half on the blade half hanging down. This takes most of the water off before it reaches the shaft.

Rest in peace Ralph. You will be fondly remembered for many things!


I second the rings Glenn M. noted.
We’ve used these and never had a problem with them.

Some of the reasons for a lot of water dripping can also be due to ones style of paddle placement and removal in and from the water.

But paddling is a wet sport. From the note one of the group mentioned, it appears our kayaking originators faced the same situations.

It’s going to 80º here in Michigan today and the fall colors are ramping up. Beautiful day to get out and paddle.

Paddle on and enjoy your canoes and kayaks.