Werner says: We have redesigned our Adjustable Ferrule to make it even better! The NEW low profile button looks and feels like a one piece paddle. The button is flush with the shaft preventing snagging or unintended release.
I guess Werner has listened to their customers' feedback. If you like to have your paddle as a two piece job (for easier transport and for storing it on the deck of the kayak) you might have had the occasional odd incident where the paddle came apart in the heat of the battle (surf zone).
This hick up never happened to me but to some of my paddling buddies.
Werner has changed the release button on the new 2009 paddles but it is offering a retrofit solution for the older style button that protrudes from the shaft.
You can order for free a little rubber booth that will cover the button and prevent accidental release of the paddle.
booth installed (not needed here: button shaved already)
For ordering the part email: firstname.lastname@example.org and they will pop one in the mail for you in no time.
I installed the rubber booth but was not totally satisfied with the result.
The paddle now had a big bump on the shaft.
Greg Schwarz, the eternal tinkerer, has showed me a better solution: shave the button.
The idea did come to mind but I was afraid to ruin the ferrule system.
Greg shaved the button and it worked.
He warned me to be careful and shave off only what the button will allow.
For some reason not all release buttons are the same.
Of the 3 Werner paddles that I have shaved, one had a shallow shoulder and care had to be taken not to reduce the button too much and ruin the part.
The button contains a spring that holds the catch mechanism in place.
If the button is shaved too much the spring might be exposed and pop out and ruin the mechanism.
I shaved the button progressively until I came close to the spring but still leaving enough material to keep the spring in place.
I used a Dremel® tool to shave the button until flush.
I have now two Werner paddles that have the button flush with the shaft.
On one paddle the button did not have enough shoulder (the spring was going to pop out).
For the one that the button still protrudes, I shaved the rubber booth and reduced the “bump” .
While shaving the button is a better solution than just installing the booth I am sure it is not endorsed by Werner.
Hack away at your own risk.