zre tacky grip

A while back I asked for advice on ZRE paddle length. I ended up going with a 58" paddle and took it out for the first time yesterday on the Yellowstone River here in MT. About 2 hours into the paddle the grip became incredibly tacky. It was as if someone had put pine tar on the grip. The rest of the way I kept dipping the grip in the water, which would work for a minute or two before the tackiness returned. I intend to write ZRE and ask them about it, but being Sunday, I thought I would see if anyone here has any ideas about what is going on. Thanks.

Happened Last Summer
This is what I did, not necessarily the BEST method. Wifes Zav, and I got “Bullfrog Mosquito Coast” sunscreen on it. Noticed it on a 3 day trip and washed it off in water and wiped it off. When I got home it was still “Gummy.” I cleaned it with gasoline, wiped it off, then cleaned with dish washing liquid and water. Had to sand it with fine sandpaper then washed again. It will never be smooth like it was, but it is better. Wife wasn’t too happy. The paddle is about 5 years old, and this was the first time it happened. I believe Eric Nyre at Canoe Colorado sells them, so he probably has the best advice.WW

Same here, but what I do
is after putting the sunscreen on and just before getting into the boat, I’ll grab a hand full of sand or small pebbles and water, and rub both hands to gether for a bit, (kind of like sand soap), and this takes off the sun screen.

Jack L

I am a day paddler so I put it on
before I leave the house and wash my hands with dish soap.

You may - and I stress MAY - be able to smooth the polyethylene grip with a heat gun applied judiciously. The heat might cause teh fuzz from sanding to melt down abit, makng the surface seem smoother.


I always wanted to try that…

Might have to try that. Thanks, Jim! WW

Is the grip carbon or plastic? I know the “Rec” paddles have plastic grips which may react different than the carbon grips. Never had a problem with carbon.

It is carbon
thanks for all the input everyone. I washed it with dish soap. seemed to help a little bit, but not completely back to smooth. I may try the alcohol that Eric suggested next. what a bummer…

I’m really curious as to what resin ZRE
uses that would react in this way. I have grips with epoxy and/or varnish finish on them and have not had a DEET problem. If the grips feel slippy or sticky, I use the same strategy as jackl, rubbing with river sand. I also use sand on the long vinyl sleeve protecting the carbon shaft.

Tacky Grips
If you are using a ZRE paddle with plastic grip you must wash your hands after using suntan lotion or bug spray. This will attack the plastic and make it sticky or tacky.