Proper Paddle Storage During the Winter

packing canoe paddles
If you live in the north with a snowy winter and frozen lakes like we have here in Wisconsin, your paddles likely take the winter off. Here are some tips for storing your paddles during the cold months to keep them in tip-top shape for the next paddle season…

Top Priority: Keep Your Paddles Dry

The most important thing while storing paddles is to make sure you keep them dry. If possible, store your canoe and kayak paddles inside and protected from freezing temperatures.

The worst places to store your paddles during the winter is:
  • Inside a canoe or kayak that’s outside
  • In the weeds or long grass.
Moisture, rodents, freezing temperatures and sunlight can be a problem for any of your paddling gear, including your paddles.

Storing Kayak Paddles

Our paddle materials are pretty good for cold weather, but a hard impact at 20 below zero can fracture just about anything. And, though it would be rare, if water were to get inside the shaft and freeze (say, if your paddle was left outside, taken apart, in the rain), it could cause a crack.

Kayak paddles should be stored disassembled with the blades up. That’ll allow for any water to drain out. We recommend storing your kayak paddles either inside a heated garage or inside your house, if possible.

Before you put them away for the winter, check them over to make sure the ferrules work properly and there aren’t any major cracks or other blemishes. That way you won’t be surprised when you take them out again in the spring.
kayak paddles

(photo courtesy of @kayak_plug)

Storing Wood Canoe Paddles

Wood paddles may need some maintenance if they get a lot of use during the paddling season. The perfect time to refinish wood paddles is in the winter.

Bring any worn wood paddles inside during the fall and put them somewhere warm and dry. If you’ve worn through the varnish in some places any moisture in the paddle will work its way out. By midwinter, the wood should be bone dry and you can re-varnish it without the risk of capturing water inside the paddle.

If you have several wood paddles, a clean plastic garbage can works remarkably well for storing them. And, of course, storing them inside is great, too.

Have a great winter and we’ll see you back out on the water come spring!

What questions can we answer about our kayak fishing paddles? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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