OK I may not be doing this the best way but I do it this way with good results each year.
I go to the any place that sell paint to get Helmsman Spar varnish in a spray can. I sand down the varnish on the paddle with 200 grit until it is smooth and spray on a coat of spar varnish on the paddle and the shaft.
On the handle I sand off all the varnish and put on pure tung oil. you may have to hunt around some to get it. Other oil products are not quite as good and some oil is not even oil but wipe on stain/varnish/oil mixture. In a pinch any oil will do, even vegetable oil, but tung oil is better. It you use the paddle three times a week it gets enough oil from your palms to keep from drying out.
Full Size Sail Rig
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