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Epic 2-piece paddle — stuck collar

I’ve been a fan of Epic paddles. Both of my main and spare are Epic 2-piece, one fiberglass and one carbon. I used them with similar frequency. But lately, I’ve been having great difficulty with one of them getting stuck together that I couldn’t take them apart after paddle.

The fiberglass one never gave me any issues. But the carbon 2-piece had occasionally had difficulty to stay solidly locked in and ALWAYS difficult to take apart. And lately, it’s getting more and more difficult... until today it won’t come apart after paddling!

In the progression of the difficulty, I went from asking guys with big hands to grip the collar while I twist the blade to take it apart, to asking TWO guys to help: one grab the collar, the 2nd one turn the blade! But last time about a month ago, TWO guys couldn’t take it apart!

I was resigned to use it as a one piece paddle, until I came upon the idea to use a plier to grab the collar and then turn the blade. That got it undone easily by myself. After that incident, I cleaned the threads of the collar and the shaft. Since then, I took care not to tighten the collar too tightly, and making sure they’re clean (no sands/debris) before tightening them up.

But today, it froze again. So I need to find a better solution...

This only happens when I paddle in salt water. I’ve never had any trouble getting it undone when paddling in lakes.

I wonder if there’re other Epic paddle owners who have had similar experience and how they resolve it?

I need suggestions on:

1) how to take it apart one more time (even the plier trick no longer work this time)

2) how to prevent it from getting stuck again.

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Epic 2-piece paddle — stuck collar
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