The Benefits of Hot Glue: Easy Paddle Adjustment
There’s a secret to becoming a better paddler that rarely gets mentioned, learn to adjust your equipment. If you want to get the most performance out of your paddle stroke, you need to start fine-tuning your paddle. This article looks at one of the many benefits of hot glue SUP paddle assembly as recommended by Black Project and outlines how to adjust and shorten your SUP paddle.
Benefits of Cutting Down Your Paddle
In most cases, paddlers will discover they are in need of a shorter paddle. With the growing popularity of softer, shorter and smaller paddles, there’s a good chance that you may eventually find yourself in this camp.
Longer shafts tend to over-extend the paddler and put unneeded stress on the joints. Eventually, this can lead to injuries and less time spent having fun on the water.
When it comes to performance, shorter paddles lead to shorter strokes. This allows you to maintain a higher cadence and faster overall speed that will actually produce less muscle fatigue––especially useful during those longer distance races.
While chopping down a paddle may sound difficult at first, you can complete the job and be back on the water in less than 30 minutes. That is, as long as you’re using the right tools and adhesive.
Why Is Hot Glue Is Better Than Epoxy For Building Paddles?
At Black Project, we always recommend using hot glue when adjusting your paddle. Whether you are swapping out your blade, shaft or handle, hot glue sets quickly, holds tight, and lasts longer providing a flexible and watertight seal.
While epoxy is popular because it doesn’t require any tools, it can take up to 24 hours to fully cure. More importantly, epoxy creates a permanent bond which makes it very difficult to make adjustments to your paddle. In fact, just swapping out your handle will force you to chop off at least few inches as well being left searching for a new handle.
On the flip side, hot glue allows for easy adjustments that won’t damage your paddle. For that reason, we recommend that all 1-piece paddle handles are secured using hot glue. All Hydro and Surge paddles come pre-assembled with hot glue used on both the blade and the handle.
We believe that like us, paddlers are passionate about not only paddle performance, but also improving their paddle technique. Finding the optimal feel in a paddle takes adjustments and you can’t buy a new paddle every time you want a minor change. Whether it be the height, blade size or handle, dialing in your setup is essential to reaching your paddling potential.
Hot glue makes it much easier to quickly complete these important paddle adjustments.
How To Build And Shorten Your SUP Paddle With Hot Glue
Glue: Make sure that you get the right glue, we have tested lots and this one is the best we have found, this is what we use to build paddles and supply to our retail partners.
- Steinel GF 260 High Strength 12″ Glue Sticks (we only use this).
Glue Gun: The DeWalt is the workhorse of the Black Project workroom, we have tried others but this one is cost effective and reliable. We had hoped that the cordless feature of the Ryobi would help but it doesn’t deliver as much glue and takes longer to heat up (and is a lot more expensive).
- DeWALT Rapid Heat Ceramic Glue Gun (we mostly use this).
- Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Full-Size Glue Gun (we use this on the road).
Heat Gun: When working with hot glue it is better to use a cheaper heat gun, that way you don’t mind if it gets a little messy. We used the Wagner for a long time and have it as our backup, currently we use the Milwaukee because it is a little quicker to heat up the paddle parts and glue, albeit more expensive.
- Wagner Heat Gun, 2 Temp Settings 750ᵒF & 1000ᵒF (we have used this a lot).
- Milwaukee 570/1000-Degree Fahrenheit Dual Temperature Heat Gun (we use this daily).
Miter Saw and Blade: You can use a good quality hack saw with fine teeth but using a miter saw equipped with the right blade will make better cuts.
- Ryobi 10 in. Compound Miter Saw with LED (we use this).
- DeWalt DW8005 General Purpose Metal Chop Saw Wheel (we use this).
Please contact us if you have any questions about paddle assembly.