Gear How-To: Caring for Your Paddle


Properly caring for your paddle can help it last for years to come.

Woody walks us through the importance of taking care of our paddles, and we share a simple tutorial from Badger Paddle for refinishing our well-loved accessory.

The paddle is essential to any Wanapitei experience. That’s kind of like saying a steering wheel is important to a car – no doubt an understatement and completely obvious.  However the paddle for us becomes as dependable as a great friend,  not necessarily taking up much space but always there when needed.  It therefore behooves us to take special care of these simple yet highly essential tools of the trade.  There comes a time in every paddles life (at least those made of wood) where refinishing becomes essential.

If we take proper care of our paddles there is no reason why they will not last a lifetime.  Even if we outgrow them there is nothing quite like passing on a beautifully cared for paddle to someone else to use whether it be your kids, grand kids or younger siblings.  The respect,care and work you put into your paddle will surely be felt by those who use it.  It may inspire them to take as good care of the paddle as you did yourself.  In the event that your well used and somewhat neglected paddle is not being passed along but is sitting in storage for next season, pull it out and give it the TLC it deserves.

This is certainly something all our campers can do even with a little supervision.

I found this video by Badger Paddle to be simple and somewhat relaxing (there are no words), almost as simple and relaxing as refinishing your own paddle.

Woody is the co-director of Wanapitei and our go-to gear guy.