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cutting down a fiberglass paddle

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:00 am
by TonyB
So I bought a werner Natahala and love it to death as my first oficial canoe paddle. got it at sale size as the raft paddles I been using at 60 inches. Cause I'm a big guy (over 6 ft) with a big boat (mad river ME) until I had to borrow my friends natahala paddle at 64 inches. It felt a little to short but more natural than my 60 inch. And now my paddle feels unweldy.
So now Im looking for advice about weather I should attempt, and how would I go about cutting it down.
Ive chopped the raft paddles down but aluminum is diffrent.

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:27 am
by yarnellboat
I've used a little $10 pipe cutter with success, just as I've used it with aluminum shafts - worked with fiberglass too.


Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:39 am
by TonyB
so then how to remove the extra bit from t handle and reattatch?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:39 am
by yarnellboat
Cut it up too with the pipe cutter, into thin strips (1/4 - 1/2" ?) and then cut/pry the strips off with a "chisel" of some kind (I just filed a flat screwdriver head into a sharp edge and used that).


Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:53 am
by TonyB
thank you, any rcomendations for adheising it back on?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:30 pm
by gumpy
Should I use the same method on my Aquabound Edge carbon paddle? and what type of adhesive?

btw tony, kevin@seven wants to do the lower on sat, wadya think?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:18 pm
by PAC

Okay now that we have that out of the way....

T-grip off shaft - use a hacksaw blade cutting accross the shaft at an angle top to bottom so you don't cut the insert. Does that make sense?
Glueing - First install a minicell plug in the shaft near the Tgrip insert when you go to glue them together. This aids in floation (don't want to lose it) and keeps the glue from running down the shaft if you place paddle down to dry (of place it tgrip down.

Just some tips. Good luck. Paul C.

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:40 pm
by Walsh
I put the T-grip back in a Werner Bandit using a moderate amount of hot glue. I've heard of slalom paddlers who use this method to trael with paddles. Use a heat gun to pull the thing into pieces, and re-glue on arrival.

I just wanted to trim the paddle in small increments.

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:20 pm
by ezwater
I'm confused. Did you mean to say that your friend's paddle was 54 inches ??

There's always a lot of arguing about paddle length. I paddle a MR Synergy, very similar to your ME. I'm 6' 5" tall, with extra length in my torso. I use 61.5" Mitchell and Clinch River paddles.

I honestly think that 60" will be a good length for you. If it feels wrong, re-examine your outfitting, especially your seat height.

Remember that C-1 titans Jon Lugbill and Davey Hearn, NOT tall men, and sitting very low in their slalom boats, used paddles around 59". It is hard to make a substantive or functional argument that a person your size, sitting higher, should be using a shorter paddle.

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:38 pm
by TonyB
sorry about the spelling. I was always bad at English. Thanks for the minicell tip.
Her paddle was at least 4 inches shorter and felt better than mine. I find my top hand being to far above my eyes during the cross stroke. Her paddle (might actually be 56 feels more comfortable. My plan is to only cut 2 inches off.
What are the blade sizes on your paddles? The natahalla is not a very tall blade, so doesnt go that far in the water.
could yours be a deeper/taller blade?
it just felt like I was using less effort and had more control with the shorter blade

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:05 pm
by ezwater
They are all curved slalom blades, similar in width and length to your Nantahala.

You have to use what feels best. I just wanted to point out that your present length of paddle may deserve a longer trial.

Another thing.... people differ in how wide they space their hands on paddles. Though you are tall, if you like a relatively narrow hand spacing, you might feel better with a 58".

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:30 pm
by John Coraor
If you have any other friends with different paddle lengths, you might give them a try first to better ensure that you establish the most comfortable length for you and your current boat before you start to trim down your existing paddle.

However, if the other canoe paddles aren't the same model, keep in mind that different models of paddles with the same overall length can feel different (i.e. shorter or longer), particularly if they have different blade lengths. Shaft length is typically a more reliable constant than overall length, when comparing different models of paddles.

If you ever switch from an open boat to a C-1 or even from your current boat to one with a different seat height, you may find that you'll need to adjust your shaft (paddle) length accordingly.