Setting a fixed lengh paddle to size is an easy job, but one that you want to get right as there is no going back once its cut!
Follow the below steps to cut and fix a paddle to lengh.
1. Choosing the length:
Generally flat water paddles will be set a little longer than wave paddles. This is due to flat water riders needing long smooth strokes to maintain speed while wave riders want short sharp powerful strokes to maximise acceleration.
The best way to find your paddle length is to use an adjustable paddle for a few sessions which lets you play and figure out what works for you.
Alternatively, as a rough guide, for wave riding we generally recommend total paddle length to be a persons height plus the length of a closed fist, while flat water is a persons height plus the length of and 2 closed fists.
2. Mark where to cut.
Remove the handle and measure the height that will sit above the paddle shaft. Mark out the total length you want the paddle to be set at on the shaft and remove the lenght of the handle. (Note: some paddles are cut at the blade end of the shaft)
We advise measuring twice and adding 1cm to the length before cutting - a too long paddle can be shortened, but once its cut short thats it!
We use a jig to ensure a 90 degree angle on the cut. Without a jig, this can be achieved by marking the shaft and cutting carefully with a sharp hacksaw.
Sand down the cut with fine sandpaper (watch out for carbon splinters).
Test fit the handle and re-measure the total lenght. Cut shorter if required.
Once you have the right length set then handle needs to be set into place.
Try to remove all carbon dust from the area as this will reduce the sticking potential of the glue.
Ensure that you have the handle facing the right way - the recess for your fingers should be in line with the front of the blade.
For first fixing it is recommended to use hot glue. This will alow you to make adjustments later (by heating the paddle and popping off the handle). Be wary of leaving the paddle out on a hot day as this can melt the glue and the handle could pop off.
Once you are confident on the size you can use araldite to fix it perminantly.
6. Clean up
Remove any excess glue from around the handle with a sharp knife.
You can then use a heat shrink wrap (or electrical tape for a more basic finish) to cover the gap left between the handle and shaft.
Your paddle is ready to go out and shred!
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