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MYOG – Split Paddles Part I

If you ever need to call upon the set of spare (split) paddles stored in the back of your kayak the chances are that it must have got a bit fierce for you to lose/damage your normal set. If that is the case your spare set must me up to the job. Having an inferior set of spare paddles may not be the best idea. However shelling out hundreds of £’s on a fancy set of splits is quite painful on your wallet. Now and again you can find split paddles on ebay.

A couple of months ago I started a search for a suitable paddle to modify into a set of splits. The tools for the job were assembled. 1 x saw, 1 x tube clamp/cut guide, 1 x tape measure, 1 x Vernier gauge (everyone should have one these!).

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Today I spent a few minutes taking the care of creating my own spare set of paddles. This started by cutting a perfectly good set of Werner Wenatchee in half. The Wenatchee design is a superb symmetrical blade made by Werner in the late 90’s/early 00’s. This set cost £40 a few weeks ago.

I want my split to be bang in the centre of the paddle shaft. The paddle shaft was measured and the centre point marked. With second hand/used paddles make sure that you measure the shaft and not blade tip to blade tip as there may be uneven blade wear. If you intend to keep the same feather you may want to mark the shaft so that you can set the feather to what it was before you chopped it in half.

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As with all things critical, measure twice and cut once. Once happy with the measurement I then carefully started the cut making sure everything was nice and straight/square. The carbon skypole shaft is super easy to cut so this didn’t take very long. In the end I didn’t have to use the clamp/guide.

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Once cut, I lightly filed the ends of the shaft to get everything nice and level. The Vernier gauge was used to measure the internal diameter of the shaft. The internal diameter of a paddle shaft on a fully assembled paddle is not know until you cut it in half. In this case it was 27mm. I have now ordered the correct sized spigot and the other parts that I need to complete the job.

Total cost to date:

Paddle inc delivery – £40
Tools – already owned
Spigot – £6
Spigot button – £4
Epoxy Glue – £5

Total = £55

In part II I’ll be fixing the spigot, getting the feather set up and drilling some holes.

15 Comments

  1. Looking forward to seeing how these turn out, I’ve wanted to make some splits for a while so its great to see a post on here about making some! Also where are you ordering the spigot from? Cheers!

  2. Couldn’t have asked for better timing for this post really!

    Snapped my paddles in half a week ago on the Leven’s Gorge / Findhorn Gorge and am considering cutting back the broken parts and making them into splits, will be watching for part 2!

    • admin

      April 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

      You can just use a spigot to join them back up if you don’t want to make splits. The process is just about the same.

      • With the way they have broken (snapped and split a bit down the length), I’m going to loose the best part of a foot of shaft when I’ve cut it back neatly… Will it be possible to use the spigot to ‘replace’ that lost length as well?

        Or build an replacement piece from the different size spigots mounted inside one another and glued?

        I was thinking of buying a new pair of paddles anyway so would be making them into splits.

        • admin

          April 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm

          I’d use two spigots and find a length of shaft and get the length back to where it needs to be. What make of paddle?

  3. Andy kettlewell

    May 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Really good guide! When I get the money for a new set I will be making splits with my old set.
    They are cranks and I know from slalom that cranked paddles have a join in the middle already rather than one long shaft like straights.

    Do you know if it is still possible to spigot these as the internal diameter is smaller and already has a spiggot.
    Also I am guessing that they use long setting araldite to set the paddles unlike slalom paddles when using fast setting glue you can heat it up to take it appart.

  4. What type of spigot did you use Phil? Carbon Fiber/ Fiber class ect??

    • Unsponsored

      May 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      I used a spigot from WWTCC. It is the same as a skypole shaft.

      • Cheers Phil! Cut the paddle today and ordered the spigot. I cut the shaft at an angle and not straight in two as you did. It should mean that when I come to drill the hole for the button the only way it will sit together is at the original feather so should save calculations. Hopefully…

  5. Thanks for the handy tutorial and useful guidance.

    A spigot and spigot button from WWTCC for a tenner?

    I just paid them £26 (with discount) for 2 buttons and 2 spigots;
    That’s + 30% and did come as a shock!

    Now….. Where’s me hacksaw?!

  6. Nice guide to follow !!

    Which paddle brand did you use ?
    Before I cut my paddle, I try to know internal size of shaft I need

    My paddle shaft is a werner small shaft (size 28mm out)
    I think it will be 25 mm inside

    If you have any idea

    Thanks

    Regards

    • Unsponsored

      October 9, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      It was a Werner Wanatchee. You won’t know for sure until the chop it up. I would suspect it will be around 24mm.

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