So I’ve been using electrical tape to protect the edge of my paddle, and it’s been working pretty well so far. But lately, I’ve really noticed myself paddling like a madwoman for some of these tiny Summer waves and I’ve been making some pretty good whacks on my board with my paddle, so I decided my novice self may need an upgrade to the edge of the paddle.
I’ve seen thick edge bumpers you can buy at a surf shop and adhere along the edge of the paddle blade, but they cost no less than about $25 just for one paddle. Sheesh. I was going to break down and buy one, but a great surf shop owner, Roy Scafidi, at Ocean Sports World/ Island Waveskis (buy Local plug!) gave me this tip I’d thought I’d pass along to you.
He told me to try some glass and door weatherstripping you can get from the automotive store, which is very similar to neoprene tape. I picked up a coil for 10 bucks:
|Picked this up at the local auto supply store|
The weatherstripping I got was about 1/2″ wide, so I cut the width in half to 1/4″ wide after measuring out a long enough strip length to go from the neck of the paddle where the seam of the blade and paddle meet, all the way around the edge of the blade up to the other side.
|Cut a length long enough to go around the edge,
then cut the width down the center, making two strips.
The coil of adhesive I got could do about 6 paddles probably! That’s $1.67 a paddle instead of $25, AND since the stripping is self adhesive, no extra glue is needed.
Next, I carefully peeled back the backing from the adhesive and pressed it against the edge of the paddle, exposing only a little adhesive at a time, pressing down, peeling more back, and moving to the next section. Take your time- you want the bumper to be right on the edge of the blade. I didn’t press down too hard on the the edges that stuck out on either side of the blade edge, because I didn’t want to distort the bumper to one side or another.
When I finished, I took some colorful duct tape and wrapped around the neck of the blade where it meets the shaft just to make it look neat:
Now it’s time to go play Whack-A-Fish. Just kidding. I hope.