Fluoro Paddle Blades [52]

How to Stand Out in The Crowd

With Julian Smith

How to stand out in the crowd. Be safe, be seen they say. With correct preparation your paddle can be located on a satellite photo — handy after your entire paddling lifestyle has been splattered along a wide stretch of surf beach after a mistimed encounter with the forces of nature.

Follow these steps to create a paddle that is highly visible and safe:

Step 1 – With scotch abrasive pad or fine wet and dry paper rub back your blades over the area to be painted — this keys the paint to the surface.

Step 2 – Mask up areas not to be painted. This may include paddle brand or name. Trim masking tape with blade.

Step 3 – Paint surface with 2 coats of bright white primer or white acrylic paint. This is important as it highlights fluoro paint if your paddle blades are plastic. You will need a primer suitable for plastic surface such as a two part urethane primer (read warning before using).

Step 4 – When cured a light sanding back is required.

Step 5 – Apply a couple (at least) of coats of your preferred fluoro colour or maybe a couple of different colours on each end.

Step 6 – Now is the time to remove masking from brand or name you want revealed.

Step 7 – Apply 2 or 3 coats of clear acrylic or urethane epoxy (see warnings). Do not rub back as fluoro is delicate but will absorb the clear.

Step 8 – Allow time for curing before using.

Best results are by spraying either by pressure can or spray gun, however you could use a small foam roller. Fluoro paint is available from auto paint supplies in pink, orange, green and yellow. One-and-a-bit small aerosol cans are required per paddle.

Notes: Fluoro paint cannot be made with UV inhibitors so has a relatively short life and paint may need to be reapplied after some time. Keeping the paddle out of the sun when not in use also helps.

Recent tests of fluoro paint on emergency vehicles proved costly and unsuccessful due to fading in a short period of time.