I started out prone paddleboarding, then added SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) to my ocean fun. The funny thing is, here in Florida, what started out as a curiosity has now gained the same divided “love it, hate it” feeling first seen in Hawaii, where the sport first took off years ago.
Well, regardless of what camp you’re in, you probably know a SUPer or are one yourself, and know how expensive the sport can be even now after prices have dropped A LOT from just a few years ago. Just like everything, though, there’s always accessories you can get.
One of the very personal, pricey items is the SUP paddle. You will probably keep the same paddle for years- even if you change boards- so it’s something to take care of.
There are lots of full sized paddle bags you can buy for travel, and that’s great if you want to buy one (or make one, coming soon, ahem….). But if you’re like me, you just load up the board on the car or truck, throw your paddle in and go.
I really wanted to protect the blade of the paddle, which gets the most abuse. Granted, this doesn’t help while paddling, but it does help the blade from being cracked, scratched or nicked on short trips by bike or car to paddle or surf. And it’s much cheaper than what they have in the stores.
I thought of this little project after doing the fin cover project back in July. Basically, I’m using the same craft foam that you can buy at most craft shops or box stores, but in bigger sheets. I used 11.8″ by 17.7″ (30 cm by 45 cm) size foam sheets. I laid my paddle down, curve side down, on the foam and used a pencil to trace around the blade while keeping my pencil straight up, fairly perpendicular to the foam. When I traced down each blade edge, though, I didn’t curve in with the bottom of the blade, instead I made a straight line down.
|Blade curve side down, ready to trace|
|Tracing the paddle blade|
I did this on both sides of the blade, giving me a pencil shape on the foam that was curved towards the top of the blade, then had two parallel lines coming straight down to the bottom of the foam sheet.
To sew this, I’m only sewing each side- NOT the top and bottom- so I can slip the cover over the long handle of the paddle. This can be stitched on a machine or by hand, but if using a machine, use a stitch length of 4.5, and a roller foot or teflon foot on the foam for ease in sewing. Tiny stitching can rip through the foam easily. Keep your stitch line about 1/4″ OUTSIDE the pencil line to allow for the paddle blade thickness.
Once my sewing is complete, I’m going to cut in a continuous motion with regular scissors about 1/4″ outside the stitching line to finish the seam. Try to slip the cover over the handle of your blade- mine has a hand grip, so I had to cut a little off the top of the cover to provide room for the cover to slip over.
|Had to cut some off to allow it to slip over the top handle grip|
|Cover now slips over the top of the handle|
The bottom of the cover should completely cover the bottom edge of the blade. Check to see if it’s a good fit- the cover should be snug at the top of the blade, not loose, but if you are worried about the cover slipping up, you can make a foam tab on the bottom and glue a piece of velcro to secure- just keep all velcro on the outside of the cover, not the inside, or you’ll get scratching of the blade.
Here’s my completed cover- my paddle has a yellow logo on it, so I made a yellow cover to quickly identify it from my husband’s. But….I’ll admit, it does look like the end of a broom.
|Good fit, true sweeper!|
So, since I saw this image posted by a Team NO SUPer that made me laugh out loud (one of the funniest images I’ve seen- and horrifying!) on the 2nd Light forum:
|Team NO SUP Propaganda….|
Soooooo, I had to represent for the SUP homies out there with some inspirational, supa cool Sharpie art on my paddle cover:
Yeah, see that? See that? Yeah, I got the final word, yeah….
P.S. Um, FYI for our new SUP homies- please take the paddle cover off before using. And don’t wear it as a hat. Thanks.