What type of finish is on my paddle?

Varnish: High gloss exterior polyurethane with UV block
Oil: Boiled linseed oil


Can I oil a laminated paddle?

No. Only one piece paddles with closed grain woods such as cherry should be oiled.


How do I refinish my oiled paddle?

The number of times per year you will need to apply oil to your paddle will depend on the usage and storage conditions. When you see scratches or the wood appears ‘dusty’ or dry then you need to apply a coat of oil. If the paddles feels rough to the touch you can do a light sanding with fine sandpaper and then remove all dust with a tack cloth. Using a clean, dry rag, apply a thin coat of oil moving in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Let the paddle sit for ten minutes. With another clean, dry rag, buff the paddle (by hand, in the same direction as the grain) to remove any excess oil (this prevents a sticky build-up). Apply a second coat if required. PLEASE FOLLOW THE OIL MANUFACTURERS DIRECTIONS CLOSELY WITH REGARDS TO DISCARDING OIL SOAKED RAGS AS THEY ARE HIGHLY COMBUSTIBLE.


How do I refinish my varnished paddle?

Touch Up: seal any exposed wood with varnish on a regular basis. Lightly sand area, apply a diluted (by 10%) coat of finish and let dry. Lightly sand area again and apply a full strength coat of varnish.

Complete Refinish: strip all finish off the paddle using sand paper. Use a tack cloth to remove fine dust. Dilute first coat of finish by 10% and apply with a brush. Let dry. Sand paddle with fine sand paper and remove all fine dust with a tack cloth. Apply second coat of finish at full strength. Let dry. Apply third coat if required.


Can I paint my paddle?

Yes! We suggest using acrylic paint and then applying a coat of varnish over the artwork.

If you have purchased a blank or unfinished paddle and want to paint it we suggest you follow the instructions above for a complete refinish and apply your artwork between the first and second coats of finish.


How do I store my paddle?

The best method for storing paddles is to hang them off the ground or lay them down in a dry area away from heat. Standing a paddle on its blade for a long period of time or laying a paddle down in the hot sun may cause it to warp or bow. One piece paddles are much more susceptible to warping from these conditions than laminated ones. If you do manage to warp or bow a paddle, soaking it in water overnight and laying it bowed side down in the hot sun may reverse the damage.


How do I attach a wooden handle?

  • Using a mitre box cut the shaft to the desired length (remember the handle will add 1/2″ to the overall length) with a fine tooth finishing or back saw.
  • Sand the finish off the top 1/2″ of the shaft where you will attach the handle .
  • Using a marine epoxy, apply glue to the top 1/2″ of the shaft and the inside of the handle.
  • Press the handle onto the shaft.
  • Immediately remove any excess glue.
  • Let the handle dry making sure the handle is parallel to the blade.


How do I attach a carbon handle?

The shaft on your paddle tapers. To ensure a proper fit please follow these simple directions:
Materials Needed: Waterproof epoxy type adhesive or other similar waterproof glue available for bonding non-porous composite materials (follow the manufacturer’s instructions), fine tooth hacksaw blade or laminate cutting tool, masking or fabric tape and hair dryer.

Paddle Length:

  • When you have decided what overall length you would like your paddle to be, stand you paddle against a wall so the entire shaft of the paddle is lying flat against the wall surface
  • Remember that when your handle is glued onto the paddle it will add to the overall length of your paddle
  • Run a measuring tape from the floor up parallel to the shaft and mark off where you need to cut the shaft (overall length minus handle length)

Cutting the Shaft:

  • Wrap a piece of masking or fabric tape tightly around the shaft over the cut point (this will prevent splintering)
  • Cut the shaft with a fine tooth hacksaw blade or laminate cutting tool

Preparing the Handle:

  • Shim sleeve may be easily cut with a utility knife or split by hand
  • Use as much of the shim sleeve material as is required to obtain a close fit. Warning: do not make the fit so tight that the handle has to be forced or tapped into position as splitting of the shaft may occur
  • The piece of shim material may be glued onto the handle and held with elastics or tape until dry being careful to remove any excess ‘squeeze out’ glue that you see
  • When the glue has dried the shim material can now be sanded to provide a proper fit (if required). Avoid scratching the handle with sandpaper.

Please Note: paddles 50” or shorter (overall length) will require little or no sanding of the attached shim sleeve. Paddles 51” and longer will require less shim sleeve and/or more sanding.

Attaching the Handle:

  • Slide the piece of shrink wrap down the shaft letting it settle on the throat of the paddle
  • Apply glue to the handle base and slide it into the shaft wiping off any excess ‘squeeze out’ glue
  • Let the handle dry making sure the handle is parallel to the blade
  • Slide the piece of shrink wrap up the shaft to cover the seam between the handle and shaft
  • Use a hair dryer set on high heat to shrink the material around the seam.


Can I order unfinished paddles or paddle blanks?

Yes, any of our paddles can be ordered without any finish on them. You will have to specify if you still want the Grey Owl brand on the paddle.

Most of our paddles are available as blanks. You will need to decide how many hours of work you want to put into the paddle to complete it and the price range you are interested in. We will then let you know (based on our production schedule) what model(s) would suit your needs.

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