diy paddle build

I made this paddle a few weeks ago. I've done a lot of rough carpentry and some finish carpentry over the years but never something like a paddle. it was very satisfying to paddle out for the first time on a new board and my own paddle.

the shaft wood is ash. I bought a six and half foot board for under $20 at a specialty hardwood store. after ripping the board I had enough material for three paddle shafts. the blade and handle are white pine. the next paddle will have better wood for the blade -I didn't wanna spend a lot on the first build. it's fairly light and the ash has great flex properties. ash is what most maritime canoe paddle builders use. lot's of the people making their own sup paddles use bass wood but I think ash is probably stronger. they cost about the same.

the dimensions are 6'3" from handle to tip (not over curve). the blade is 8" wide 16" long and set at a 14 degree angle. it has a t-handle and is assembled using Gorilla Glue epoxy and two screws. i don't think I'll use the screws on the next one. if the glue faces are well planed and matched and the joint is clamped tightly during gluing it should hold. some guys foil the blade super thin and then glass it. I rather keep it a bit simpler. it's water proofed using marine grade Spar varnish.

tools: table saw, jig saw, palm sander, two different size block planes, a sureform, and sanding block ( short 2xr wrapped in sandpaper).

a SUP specific paddle costs at least $200. this one cost me about $20. sure a carbon fiber paddle for $275 is way lighter but who cares? the light argument is played out. a heavier glassed board carries more speed than it's super light counterpart -not to mention lifespan. a steel bike (way heavier than carbon fiber) absorbs more road vibrations and lasts much longer, etc.

I will mostly use the SUP to paddle in the Halifax Harbour and to explore the coastline when it's flat. I may try and surf it a little but it's low on my list of priorities. I got this board for a couple of writing projects. the original project was shelved because the board got stuck in customs and time ran out. in the spring or early summer I will embark on a multi-day back country trip using the SUP and carrying all my gear.


lawless said...

So rad! Can't wait to get back to work on my little projects. Such a gratifying feeling when they are done and you're using equipment you built yourself.

Glad you finally posted these. Getting me motivated to finish shit up so I can play.

Eric said...



Anonymous said...

Nice Ras!!!!

Anonymous said...

from, Push

Erik Hakon Olson (EHO) said...

Nice job on the paddle. Your back country trip sounds like a great adventure in the making!

colleen said...


Salty Dog said...