How to protect your paddle blade with tape

Protect that fancy carbon blade of yours for $2!
This week, David "DJ" John from down in Melbourne put together a fantastic How-To on taping up the blade of your paddle with nothing more than a roll of electrical tape. The simple, yet very effective method not only protects your blade from scratches and nicks, but also the rail of your board, your toes, other people's toes and the deck of your board as well.

While adding a full strip of rail tape down the rail of your stand up paddle board is also great protection from nicks and chips you'll inevitably make, the paddle rarely see's any protection. Some brands have made these big, ugly looking plastic tubes that go right around the outside, but these not only disturb the water flow around your blade, they look a little ugly and cost heaps. 

Check it out below and thanks DJ! 

How to add tape to your paddle blade

Here's some pictures showing how I tape the edge of the blade of my paddles.

For those who have done theirs before will know it's no big deal and pretty easy to do but I've been asked many times how I get mine looking so neat.

First you need a good quality tape.. I have used a few different brands and found some better than others.

I like the Nitto brand.. It's available here from most petrol stations and only costs a few dollars.

First I wash my paddle down with soapy water and rinse and then I spray my paddle with Mr Sheen or Windex.. I like the shinny finish from the little man in a can.

I use Kialoa paddles and I start my tape from where the shrink tape collar is that covers the join between the blade and shaft.

Here's the trick.. When you peel this type of tape it stretches heaps.. You need to let it stretch back and relax before starting to stick it down for the first bit.

If you don't do this when it gets hot on a hot day it will slide back and leave a sticky mess from the glue and look pretty bad.

When taping along the first straight edge of the blade don't stretch the tape.. let it relax back before sticking it down making sure you have 50% each side of the blade.

Now you can pull and stretch the tape as you come to the corner of the blade but only stretch it enough to stop any wrinkles.. You don't need to stretch it that much.

Once you get to the straight bottom part of the blade let the tape relax again before sticking it down.. This helps keep the full thickness of the tape.

Once you've stretched to get around the second corner let it relax as you do the last straight bit.. all the time try and keep it 50% each side.

I usually cut the tape a little long when I get to the end.. Again these end bits must not be stretched or it will slide back after-wards.

I then trim it off to just the right length.

You will end up with a very neat looking taped edge.

If the reason that you tape your blade is to guard against board damage from tapping your paddle against you board rail you may want to do a second layer of tape.

I only use one layer.

I peel it off and replace it every few months or when it get nicks and cuts because you loose the ability to stealth paddle with a chopped up edge and the rough edge looks bad.

I tape my paddle blade edges even though I hardly ever tap the rails of my boards now.. I do it to protect the paddle and most importantly to protect me.

I've accidentally tapped my foot with my paddle and jeeez it can hurt and also cut because your skin gets soft from being wet and more prone to cuts.

I've also rested my paddle blade on the deck of my board once without tape and it slide across the deck and left a nasty scratch that would not have happened with tape.