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MYOG – Split Paddles Part III

Part I can be found here.
Part II can be found here.

Part III

Setting the correct feather of your paddle is critical. In the past I have always used an existing paddle and lined the new one up by eye. This can be hit or miss.

In order to set the feather correctly on this paddle I have decided to deploy a little bit of maths.

I want my paddles set at 35 degrees and I know that the diameter of my paddle shaft is 30mm. Using this I can calculate the length of the arc (this will make sense later on). I can rotate the two paddle shafts to match this distance and therefore set the feather angle.

Length of Arc = Diameter x Pi x Angle/360

My paddle set to 35 degrees –

Length of Arc = 30 x Pi x 35/360
Length of Arc = 9.16 mm (2dp)

On a piece of masking tape I marked a straight line and marked this as “Start”. Two lines one 9mm above and one 9mm below the start line were drawn in. I didn’t worry about the 0.16mm.

The paddle was set up with zero feather. I used the floor to get this spot on. A length of masking tape was then run the length of the shaft with the edge of the paddle blades as the reference points.


A straight line was drawn across the join as the main reference point. Please note that The Clever Bear’s Colouring Book is optional. The tape was then cut at the join to allow the two parts of the paddle shaft to be rotated.


The masking tape with my “Start” line was placed on the paddle shaft and married up with the straight line already drawn.


Fixing my left hand as per paddling left handed I rotated the right hand side of the paddle shaft so I was able to use the paddle correctly. The image above shows the paddle set up for left handed use. You can also see that I have also marked up the paddle for right handed use. I used the same process but fixed my right hand in the correct paddling position and rotated the left hand side of the paddle shaft so I was able to use the paddle correctly.


I then marked the end of the spigot and measured half way between that and the join for the position of the push button. I wanted the push button in a location that the user can see so a visual check can be made to make sure that all is well and the paddle is correctly fastened together.

Next step is to drill the hole for the push button. I used a small general purpose drill bit to start off with then worked up to a 12mm bit. This is the same size as the push button, so a little filing was used to get the hole just large enough for the button to engage. The final step was to tidy up the hole and add a little epoxy to seal the exposed edges of the hole.

1 Comment

  1. Paul

    Really helpful practical article – this is exactly the method I used to turn a set of RH Werners into LH (minus the button). I was also fortunate enough to get hold of an old set of Robson greens which I converted into splits for keeping in the back of the boat – at 191 they were too short for me, but fine as spares. Tip – practice using your spare paddle from time to time, you’ll never know when (or where) you’ll need them and you do need to be comfortable using them!

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