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BladeA beginner's guide to easily remove a polo blade from a paddle shaft and how to correctly set a blade into a shaft. Includes step-by-step instructions with pictures and a few tips along the way.




What you will need :Tools

  • Sandpaper
  • Epoxy glue
  • Sharp knife
  • Electrical tape
  • Hair dryer or heat gun
  • Shrink wrap (optional)
  • Kevlar strands (optional)
  • A second pair of hands


Not all steps below may be necessary depending on whether it's your paddle shaft or blade that's broken. In this case we were removing a good blade from a good shaft to change the paddle shaft for a shorter one.


  1. Remove any old electrical tape from where blade joins shaft.
    Taped BladeUntaped Blade
  2. Heat end of paddle shaft with hair dryer or heat gun for a couple of minutes. Don't go overboard, you just want to heat it enough to break the glue down a bit.
    Heat up
    Depending on the type of glue originally used, it may not be possible to save the shaft when taking out the blade. This is because some glues are just as heat resistant as the epoxy from the shaft itself so the glue may not melt.
  3. Twist blade out of paddle shaft with the help of someone else. If it doesn't budge at the first attempt then more heating of the glue will be required. Get the blade turning in the shaft first and then twist and pull simultaneously to remove it.
    Twisting paddlesRemoved blade 
  4. Once you get the blade out, remove any excess glue from the spigot* with the knife. Only remove enough glue so that the spigot fits into the shaft snugly without forcing it in. If the spigot itself is too thick to fit then it may be necessary to sand it down to fit - that or a thicker shaft will be needed.
    Remove glueClean spigot
    * The spigot is the end part of the blade that goes inside the shaft
  5. When most of the excess glue is removed sand the spigot well and also the inside of the shaft. Blow or wipe away any dust after the sanding, this will allow the glue to stick better to both pieces.
    SandingSand Shaft 
  6. Optional Step : If you need to apply shrink wrap to your paddles then slide it onto the shaft loosely for now before reinserting the blade and you can position it where you want later.
    Before continuing you will need to know what angle or "feather" to set your paddles to. What angle to set is very user specific so we won't go into that here but know what angle you want before you start to mix your glue!
  7. Now you're ready for glueing. Mix the glue according to the instructions that came with it. A piece of cardboard is useful for this and can be discarded when finished.
    GlueMix glue 
  8. Apply glue to spigot and inside of shaft. Make sure to get an even coating all round but don't put it on too think. A thinner layer of glue will actually stick and hold better than having a thick layer of glue between the surfaces.
    Add glueGluedGlue shaft 
  9. Insert spigot of blade into shaft slowly, trying to keep as much of the glue inside the shaft as possible and not allow too much to be pushed out as it's inserted. Smooth the excess around the end of the paddle shaft for a nice finish.
    TouchupTouched up 
  10. Optional step : You can add Kevlar strands around the join of the blade and shaft for added strength. Just wrap a couple of loose strands of kevlar into the glue and smooth over.
  11. Now you need to set the angle of your paddles before the glue sets. To change the angle, just slowly twist the blade until it looks about right, check by looking down length of paddles and by paddling a few strokes in the air.
    If you're setting the angle to what you've paddled with before then when you're "air paddling", after twisting your wrist, your knuckles should be inline with edge of the blade each time.
  12. Wrap with electrical tape to prevent any movement while the glue sets. Then just stand the paddles upright with the glued end at the top and allow to set. Depending on the type of glue you use it may take different times to set but you should allow setting overnight if possible.
  13. Optional step : If you've decided to use shrink wrap then you can heat it on with the hair dryer at any stage now.

 That's it, hopefully this tutorial will help you get back in your boat and playing polo quicker than it would have to leave your paddles into a shop for repair - should be quite a bit cheaper too

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#4 michielv 2010-02-17 12:35
Hi, great tutorial! I just find one thing a bit confusing, at step 12:
"Then just stand the paddles upright with the glued end at the top and allow to set."

I have assembled and repaired many paddles and always let the paddles stand upright with the newly glued blade at the bottom. This is to prevent the epoxy to drip from the spigot into the shaft, thus becoming useless weight. If you place the newly glued blade downwards the glue will fill the room between the spigot and shaft. The electrical tape that covers the joint keeps the glue from getting out (and smoothens any excess glue that might pop out, saves you a bit of sanding).

Woops, I just noticed that this has been said before by Rob Warren.

Cheers, Michiel
#3 Rob Warren 2009-11-07 00:51
I always leave to set with the replaced blade down so any excess glue runs down to fill any air gaps.It also stops the glue running down the shaft then breaking off leaving you with a 2m+ baby rattle !!
#2 Nichole 2009-11-07 00:51
Here Here Chimaera! Keep the tutorials coming!
+2 #1 Chimaera 2009-11-07 00:49
This all idea of posting tutorials is simply brilliant, wish it was done sooner so I could have learned how to replace a blade in a less bloody way than directly on the field with no experience! Absolutely great

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