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TOPIC: Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS?

Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 1 month 5 days ago #1


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I prefer a one-piece paddle for rigidity. Got caught out in a pop-up thunderstorm last summer ,rolled up on me fast. I started thinking about heading back when the lightning started, getting closer and closer as I started paddling across the lake back to my launch site. I soon realized that my preferred paddle, Harmony Drifter 1 pc. Aluminum-is just one big lightning rod. SO
I'm looking at carbon paddles.
The Backwater paddle claims a Lifetime Warranty, offers 250-260 length=but is two piece-with a joint-which is IMO a weak spot.
Anyone have experience with the Backwater? I'm intrigued by the backwater as my main focus is small rivers.
Thanks
TeamFlannelOutdoors
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Re:Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 1 month 5 days ago #2

Wouldn't a carbon fiber paddle be a conductor also?

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Re:Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 1 month 4 days ago #3


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Similar to a graphite fishing rod? I did not think of that
TeamFlannelOutdoors
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Re:Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 1 month 3 days ago #4


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yeah, both would be good conductors. The carbon graphite wouldn't be as good a conductor as most metals but, well, being hit by lightening is being hit by lightening. When I'm on the water and I hear thunder, I'm heading for the boat ramp cuz that means there is energy. Rain is one thing but electricity is a problem.
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Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 4 weeks 2 days ago #5


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I've been a sailor for decades (30 to 50 ft aluminum mast up above the waterline) and as I understand it lightning "sees" 150 ft intervals. So a rod or paddle four feet in the air won't make it any more or less attracted to you.

We have had big debates (on sailing forums) as to whether it was better or not to ground the mast to the keel. Even the manufacturers are not in agreement on this. Provide a path or deny a path. Does not seem to be an answer.

The only time I ever had a "hit" was in one storm in a 20 ft sailboat. We decided to drop sail because it was getting overcast and I pulled the cord to start the outboard. It had not started to rain yet. At the same time lightning struck the water 150 ft away. I was thrown to the other end of the cockpit and my arm was numb. Scared the bejesus out of me and THE ADMIRAL (who was inside the cabin). Lightning does odd things and it doesn't have to hit you directly.

We raised sheep and in one storm a bolt hit the fence line (there was a six-foot crater - we jumped off our chairs in the house - LOUD). It travelled 300 ft along the fence, took a right angle turn and jumped the fence to a tree. Killed three of our sheep under the tree, tore the bark off the tree around the soil and that eventually killed the tree, and on the backside of our 30 ft wide pole barn (whose metal roof was beside the tree) on the side opposite the fence it blew apart a two foot section of 4 x 4 treated post at eye level that was holding up the roof into wood shrapnel that was stuck into the ground 10 ft away.

I stay away from fences and the barn in thunderstorms, now.
Charlie P.

Perception Sport Sound 12.5

Last Edit: 4 weeks 2 days ago by Stumpkiller.
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Re:Are aluminum paddles LIGHTNING RODS? 4 weeks 2 days ago #6

In another life, I worked at a boat dealer/service dept.

Lightning struck a boat in the yard. Best we could figure, it hit an antenna, ran through the radio and straightened the coils in the mic cord. Traveled through various electronics. It eventually burned a hole through the hull and entered the trailer where it went to ground via the steel jack wheel and splattered mud on the bow of the boat.

We assumed someone had splashed mud on the boat with the yard mule until we got in the boat and saw the rest of the mess.

Interesting stuff, lightning.

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