How To Make A Carbon Fiber Paddle – Check the Easy Instructions!

You will need a durable and robust paddle for a comfortable ride. If the paddle weighs lighter than usual, then it would be easier to have a longer ride. For kayaking, a carbon fiber paddle would be an ideal choice for sure. The paddle should be made with proper instruction to make the best use of it.

A carbon fiber paddle will be lighter and won’t get damaged easily. But it’s not easy to make one. So how to make a carbon fiber paddle?

Well, to make a carbon fiber paddle, you will be required to use solid elements. The paddle is made by molding two blade halves. When the half-blades are built, you will be required to assemble both.

Making the Carbon Fiber Paddle

If you are new to kayaking, you may have difficulties identifying the elements. This is why there will be a brief description for every element to make it easier for you to follow the steps.

  • Form the Plug & Flange

This is the first and most crucial step for making the carbon fiber paddle. The plug can be made with any wood as it will be required for the shape only. The wooden paddle will have a curve side, and the other side will be flat. Ensure no scratches on the wooden paddle, as a smooth surface will make the carbon fiber paddle look great.

How To Make A Carbon Fiber Paddle
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A flange is also required to lay the plug on it. A flange is just a flat piece of wood that will allow you to get the plug shape perfectly. After building the flange, use a premium epoxy and stick the plug and the flange together. Wait for a couple of hours to let the epoxy get entirely dried. As the following process is to use mold on the plug, you may use a wax paste so that the mold won’t get stuck to the plug.

  • Mold

Building the mold is quite a lengthy process. In this step, you need to apply fiberglass as a layer on top of the plug. You may compress on the top of the mold to get the fiberglass a perfect shape. It’s recommended to apply a layer of 6 ounces. After the completion, wait for a couple of hours and pull the mold off from the plug.

You will need to lay up multiple layers of plain carbon paper on a sheet of wax paper. Twill weave variants of carbon fiber will be preferable if you want a paddle in great shape. After layering multiple carbon pieces of paper, place them on the mold by facing down. Press the layers from the top to make them have better curves. You may use acetone to clean the epoxy and other debris. Use premium epoxy between the layers and make sure the epoxy gets completely dried.

Finally, use a steel-backed razor and trim the angles. Check the curves if they have got the perfect shape or not. 

  • Assemble

In this step, you should have proper attention to the details. With the above-mentioned process, you will be able to make four individual blades. Now, you have to assemble them to have the complete carbon fiber paddle. Before that, ensure the edges have a smooth finish.

First of all, assemble two blades face to face with epoxy. Use a brush to apply epoxy on the edges. There are tools available on the market to compress objects. The accuracy depends on how perfectly you made the mold.

Finally, cut ½ inch to each side of the top of the paddles. This will make them have a clean surface to assemble. You may cut the top with a miter box to have a better measurement. Use enough epoxy and assemble to center perfectly. You can even wrap the center with carbon fiber or masking tape.

The build is done. For finishing, you may use a 220 grit sandpaper that will provide you with a fine finishing. After 24 hours of the build, you may pull off the wrapping from the center of the paddle.

These were the steps you should follow while building a carbon fiber paddle. You should focus more on the mold and carbon fiber quality. Using quality epoxy is also a major concern in this process. The final process needs proper measurement and assembly. Thus, you will need to concentrate on the details while making a carbon fiber paddle.


Are carbon fiber paddles worth it?

They are definitely worth it. Having a premium carbon fiber paddle will make your paddling easier with no physical strain.

What materials are used to make a paddle?

There are a variety of materials used to make a carbon fiber paddle. The most common materials are fiberglass, epoxy, wood, carbon fiber, wax paper, etc.

What is the best wood to make a paddle?

The best would be lightweight and durable wood. Basswood is the most popular wood for making paddles. Ash, cherry, and maple are also recommended for making wood kayak paddles.

Are Greenland paddles good?

Yes, they are pretty good. Greenland paddles are mostly recommended for rolling. You will be able to balance well in these paddles.

Are fiberglass paddles better than aluminum?

The comparison depends on some factors. For example, though the fiberglass paddles are expensive, they are lighter and comfortable to use. Thus, you can’t differentiate them easily.

Final Words

Carbon fiber paddle is the most popular paddle for kayaking as they are lighter and provide a more durable service than others. Before making a carbon fiber paddle, you need to know about the steps and the materials. Try to use premium materials as this will help you to build a durable paddle.

The plug and flange should be checked well before making the fold as it is the first and most important step. Focus more on the mold and check the edges before proceeding to the next steps. That’s how you’ll have a premium carbon fiber paddle for your next adventure.

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