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How to break, and repair, carbon poles

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
First, the how to break part: combine one 200 lbs skier with one rainbow box and one very ungraceful fall. Be sure to bridge your brand new carbon pole from the ground to the corner of the box.

Now, the how to fix (warning, I doubt this fix is nearly as strong as the orginal pole, and personally am only using it for this weekend which is probably our last of the season here).

Epoxy pole back together as best as you can -- this works best if there are still a few strands of carbon fiber holding the two pieces together. Next, get a fiberglass repair kit from Kmart or an auto body store -- they are cheap, and I've fixed a few paddles as well as built my kids some paddles using this one kit, so had it lying around.

Cut a long strip of fiberglass cloth and wrap tightly around the pole, starting at least two inches below the break and finishing a couple inches above. Tape it in place, and then saturate with either the included resin mix or epoxy (stronger). After this dries, rough sand off any really high spots and do it again, this time wrapping in the opposite direction. Repeat at least one more time -- use epoxy for at least the last layer of glass, and sand it into a reasonably circular shape before applying the last layer. You can also apply another coat or two of epoxy after that. Let dry, rough lightly with sandpaper, and spray paint with some black paint so you dont' look like quite such a gomer in the lift line.

Anyway...just thought I'd let you people know, it does work in a pinch. I would NOT use these in any place it's critical to have a pole, but they're ok until I get some new ones, since the season is almost done and we're not going anywhere but our little local hill -- I'd estimate the strenght is about 60 to 70 percent of the original. I did it overnight...putting it near your boiler/furnace helps it dry quickly...just don't put it too near :

BTW, my Public Enemy's arrived yesterday...i quickly waxed em up so I coudl try them today, and I just can't wait until December!! They are so sweet...very nimble, super stable bot on the snow and in the air...can't wait to tryin them in some different conditions. I was sking with my 6 year old so I did not get to take em through all their paces...but in just one day they had me thinking I can do some new things I wasn't sure I coudl do yet!

later, billy
post #2 of 17
Before that, I would have just bought some real cheap poles ... and ... since it was only a temporary fix till you got good ones and were going to spend the long green anyway.

All that time .... get in the car ... go to Home Depot ... make a mess ...


And this way you have an extra set for when you smash next years!

Did you ever consider grabbing one of those broken alu poles you see all over the place, taking the basket off (your pole) .... cutting the alu junker and making a sleeve?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ha..Yuki...yeah, I know it was prob a waste to time...but, I had the materials, and I'm one of those "I wonder if that will work" kind of people.

I just broke em yesterday, so didnt' really have time to get more before this morning...I did grab a pair of the ubiquitous rental poles for the rest of the day...they are lying around everywhere.

It worked, and I could prob use them for most days...so, they'll stay in the corner for a few years I"m sure!!

One caveat...if the break were low on the pole...below the mid point, this fix woudl probably add too much to the swing weight.
post #4 of 17
If you visit a website like www.Sollercomposites.com, you'll find that they sell composite sleeving that would work well for this purpose. You can buy the fiberglass sleeve or carbon fiber as well.
A word of caution however; Carbon fiber is very lightweight and very stiff, but rather low in the impact resistance category. A high tensile strength plus very low flexibility tends to lead to a somewhat brittle final material. This means if you land on the same joint again, chances are it won't hold up well without a secondary fabric in the reinforcement, such as fiberglass or Kevlar.

One last tip; Soller also sells heat shrink tubing, slide some of that over the fabric after you cover it in glue while it's still wet. When you set it next to the heater the tape will shrink and squeeze the excess epoxy out, leaving the strong fibers, but reducing weight. after you're done you can remove the tube and have a mirror smooth finish, without the sanding.
post #5 of 17
I have a pair of twenty year old Scott alu comps in the garage with one tiny crimp toward the tip.

I refuse to toss them because they were great poles .... and someday ... since it's now been about fifteen years ... like when hell freezes over, I am going to use that stainless rod in the basement, lightly heat the shaft and use the rod to tamp the pole shaft straight. Then I'm gonna put just a dribble of epoxy down there ...

The scary part is ... twenty five years ago, I would have really spent a whole weekend fixing those poles. I know the feeling all too well.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Cutting Edge - thanks for that link...cool stuff, I'll have to keep it in mind, cause I break a lot of things. But I wanted to get it done overnight so I could use em today...so I used what I had on hand. And like I said...I'm going to get another pair, so dind't want to really spend $$ on this repair...I really obliterated these things...it wasn't just a break in one small spot -- if you've ever broken carbon poles (or fiberglass) you know how the strands just sort of fray and tear apart...the break was about six inches long, and the pole was held together by about 1/6 of the total diameter of material. Your solution would probably be better, cleaner...but mine was quick and cheap

FWIW, I like to stretch my gear sometimes...yeah, I love getting new stuff too...but even if I could afford everythign I ever wanted...I'd still repair stuff I break. Even if it's not too $$ to buy new ones...keeps the landfills smaller, and satisfies my need to tinker with stuff. Now that I think of it...I could get some of those sleeves, sand down my quickie patch job smooth, put one of those on and have a perfectly good set of backupu poles!!

I'll do that this summer, along with painting my PE's -- my wife was aghast at the graphics, I just think they're ugly. Going to go with some nice retro stripes.
post #7 of 17
BTW, if you replace your carbon poles, my Goode solid crabon pencils have seen too many years of use and are still going strong ... and .... they are not that heavy. Occasionally, I thought of getting some Leki on pro form .... but why bother .... mimimal gain.

Strongly recommend a solid carbon!
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Now, the how to fix (warning, I doubt this fix is nearly as strong as the orginal pole, and personally am only using it for this weekend which is probably our last of the season here).

Epoxy pole back together as best as you can -- this works best if there are still a few strands of carbon fiber holding the two pieces together. Next, get a fiberglass repair kit from Kmart or an auto body store -- they are cheap, and I've fixed a few paddles as well as built my kids some paddles using this one kit, so had it lying around.

Cut a long strip of fiberglass cloth and wrap tightly around the pole, starting at least two inches below the break and finishing a couple inches above. Tape it in place, and then saturate with either the included resin mix or epoxy (stronger). After this dries, rough sand off any really high spots and do it again, this time wrapping in the opposite direction. Repeat at least one more time -- use epoxy for at least the last layer of glass, and sand it into a reasonably circular shape before applying the last layer. You can also apply another coat or two of epoxy after that. Let dry, rough lightly with sandpaper, and spray paint with some black paint so you dont' look like quite such a gomer in the lift line.
I would havw hit lost and found and borrowed poles for the day, then sent your brken poles back, most composite poles are warranteed no matter how old. barring that, I think I would have threaded a screw shaft into the middle of the pole for added support, but I overengineer everything.
post #9 of 17
umm...I just duct taped my mangled goode composites and they've been going storng for over a year.

Don't underestimate the power of duct tape.
post #10 of 17
I have a giant pile of poles in the closet. Breaking a pole justifies having that giant pile.
post #11 of 17
Buy 2 or 3 sets of poles that are the same. That way you can
match singles up with other nonbroken ones so you don't end
up with a huge pile of unmatched poles.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by X-EastCoaster View Post
Don't underestimate the power of duct tape.
Most of my ski equipment bares witness.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
I have a pair of twenty year old Scott alu comps in the garage with one tiny crimp toward the tip.

I refuse to toss them because they were great poles .... and someday ... since it's now been about fifteen years ... like when hell freezes over, I am going to use that stainless rod in the basement, lightly heat the shaft and use the rod to tamp the pole shaft straight. Then I'm gonna put just a dribble of epoxy down there ...

The scary part is ... twenty five years ago, I would have really spent a whole weekend fixing those poles. I know the feeling all too well.

I have two Scott aluminum poles from the 70's. One has a bit of a bend in it. I'm thinking I should get some of those new-fangled safety poles that break instead of breaking your wrist.
post #14 of 17
Or, I could send you my good pole or vicey-versa ....

There must be a "Elephant's Graveyard" somewhere for broken skis and poles?
post #15 of 17
just busted my Goode graphite poles, took them to the ski shop and Goode will replace at no cost. Did you check the warrenty out?

FWIW- yes I also had to to duct tape for the day. Props to the Steamboat Ski patrol at the Sundown lift shack for the duct tape. Amazing stuff....
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Finndog...actually, it didn't occur to me to try to get new poles under warranty, since it was my fat a-- falling directly on them, while the poles were literally bridged from the edge of the box to the ground, that caused the break. I guess I didnt' consider that failure under normal usage, but failure due to my own retardedness. The poles are Salomon Scrambler poloes I got pretty cheap through Sierra Trading Post when I was ordering a bunch of other stuff.

Didn't think duct tape would work on this. After using the poles two days this weekend I think there is no need to really replace them...working just fine. May not have been the most elegant repair, but it cost me notthign but about an hour total of time...prob not even that much.
post #17 of 17
Billy, after the season, take them to a ski shop that sells them and see if they will send in under refund. If they can, make sure you buy something from the store or tip the tech. Good luck.
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