Paddles for inflatables
IKs are mostly undecked and drips from the swinging paddle can be a bit of an annoyance on a chilly day if you’re not wearing waterproofs. A solution in three words: Wax Your Blades.
More than three words
After watching the vid above I found some Nikwax Solarproof (left) under the kitchen sink. As well as being a UV protectorant (like the Aero 303 spray I’ve used for years), it adds water repellency to outdoor fabric gear like tents and jackets.
Now that it’ll be out for weeks, I sprayed my Seawave 2 and noted the boat was slipperier than usual when we lashed it to the car roof to go for a paddle. Should glide better on the water, too.
I also sprayed Solarproof on one paddle blade and in the sink noted the unsprayed blade took over twice as long to dribble dry (4-5 secs), but the coated blade still brought some water up with it.
Out paddling on the water, I can’t say the coating made that much difference because, as in the video above, your paddle is typically out of the water and swinging forward for a second or two – not long enough for the Solarproofed paddle to shed its water.
However, his wax version did seem to shed near-instantly. So I beeswaxed the untreated blade and noticed wax sheds water as fast as the sprayed paddle did alongside the untreated one.
Conclusion: water repellant spray works and has UV benefits, but wax sheds water better and probably lasts longer, too.