I have been Kayaking in a flatwater lake for over a year now with an aluminum double blade paddle. The paddle was bought together with an Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. The Kayak was accompanied with two double paddles and additional two were added due to the demand for the Kayak.
The paddling has gone well to some extent without any challenges due to less wind and waves. However, one paddle broke down. The portion that got broken was the blade. Given that we share the oar with many people makes it difficult to find out what exactly happened.
To get the answer as to what transpired in one of the trips was not forthcoming. It was difficult to ascertain the reasons behind the breakages to safeguard the remaining aluminum oars. Knowing the facts to me was very important to device paddle safety rules.
But, I had to find what happened the hard way. All along my instincts pointed at using the paddle on a heavy boat not intended for the blade and the shaft. In deed this what transpired that resulted into rendering the paddle useless.
The oar was applied on a heavy wooden boat with a carry capacity of 12 people. Besides, the boat is supposed to be driven by motorized horse power. In the absence of a motorized pump, a wooden or hard paddle is required that can withstand the weight and the waves at the same time.
Before we look at the methods to protect your aluminum oar, in particular, it would be best to point out its drawbacks. The paddle is weak and bends easily when applied to heavy objects. To safeguard the bat, kayak owners to ensures that.
How Safely Handle Your Paddle
1. Have a designated storage place for the paddle. This will help save time when in rush to Kayak.
2. Have a designated person to take care of the Kayak accessories. The person in charge will monitor, supervise, and record the paddle usage.
3. Learn basic paddling techniques. Applying the wrong paddle stroke will lead to aluminum breakage.
4. Only use the paddle in the recommended boats and canoes. Applying forcing to paddle heavy boats is disastrous and you will end up buying paddle frequently.
5. After paddling separate the double paddles into two, this helps to reduce the storage space, and as a result, they can be bundled together in the storage bag.
6. Do not step or sit on the paddle shafts, blade as this often weakens the oar.
7. Find a lockable storage place, such as a metallic box to house the paddle after use.
8. New kayakers to use the paddle under supervision. Without giving instruction to new paddles, chances are that the oar will be swept when the Kayak flips.
9. Number your paddles for ease of identification
10. Do not rent the Kayak paddles without a tour guide, or if you are not comfortable with the renter.
11. Avoid throwing the paddle to the shore when done Kayak. This is a common habit with most paddlers.