I received a beautiful spruce paddle for Christmas. It is unfinished, and the tip is very thin. I don't normally use a paddle for pushing, etc. I often turn a paddle over and use the handle if a push is needed, but invariably there will be times when the tip will come into contact with rocks or gravelly bottoms. I'm wondering, if prior to varnishing it, soaking the tip in penetrating epoxy like CPES will toughen it up. Any thoughts, other ideas?