Paddle breakage

14 years 10 months ago #3619 by philipnye
Paddle breakage was created by philipnye
I had my paddle break in a race on Saturday - I was leaning into my stroke with about 500m to the finish when the blade snapped off - which, not surprisingly, had me straight in for a swim and spoiled my race.

The paddle (carbon wings with oval carbon shaft) had the increasingly popular construction in which the blade inserts into the shaft rather than vice-versa and it appeared that the end of the shaft had spilt, allowing the blade to tear out - I never recovered the blade. I am sure that the shaft inside blade construction which used to be universal would be stronger at this high stress point, but there may be other considerations?

Is this a common failure, or a freak incident? I have never had paddles break in normal use before, and this occured with no warning at all and leaves me distinctly nervous of using the same type again. With a single blade, even in small chop, I found it very hard to remount and stay upright for long and almost impossible to make real progress.

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14 years 10 months ago #3623 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re:Paddle breakage
I've only had one paddle break on me during a training run. It was a carbon/core blade on a round carbon shaft, where the blade end inserted into the shaft, i.e. blade was the "male" part (I'll avoid naming the brand). BUT, the blade broke about 3 inches from the blade/shaft joint. Erik

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14 years 10 months ago - 14 years 10 months ago #3626 by philipnye
Replied by philipnye on topic Re:Paddle breakage
I received an off-line query asking if this was an Epic shaft:

It was a Knysna Swing LD with green oval shaft - don't know if these shafts are the same as Epic - they look similar.

As an engineer, I see this as an obvious weak spot whoever the manufacturer - this is a point of maximum stress and the shaft is very thin-walled with a raw cut end - it doesn't take much of a flaw, such as a scratch or notch at the end, for a crack to start propagating. A reinforcement band around the shaft end would make a huge difference - but then why not simply revert to the much stronger construction with the "male" shaft and "female" blade?
Last edit: 14 years 10 months ago by philipnye.

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14 years 3 weeks ago #4701 by aracer
Replied by aracer on topic Re:Paddle breakage
Resurrecting an old thread I know...

My first set of wings was blade inside shaft - this has an aluminium reinforcing band around the end of the shaft to prevent the sort of problem you experienced. Still going strong - or would be apart from getting retired because the ends were so chewed up from paddling down shallow rivers etc. My current set are shaft inside blade, so it's certainly not something you can't get any more, even if some makers have changed around - just bought a new set of ends to replace the one I snapped in two last weekend (it had a crack in the leading edge due to my abuse and snapped from there when I put in a big support stroke on a weir). Is proving an expensive month for me for various reasons...

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