Current Sources for Decent Cedar or Other Woods for GPs?

I’ve been hunting around a bit at my usual local lumber stores, and not finding any 2 X4 stock that isn’t warped, split or full of knots or other damage. I have a contact at a wood dealer in Oregon where I sometimes get bow wood, and they told me I would probably have to take out a loan for a clear straight grain piece if one comes in.

I found a driftwood 2 x 4 on the beach a few months ago that I suspect is Douglas fir, I don’t think it had been in the ocean very long. I’m contemplating having a go at it, since Greenlanders have been using driftwood for a couple of thousand years.

I think it would be too short even for storm paddle… I think of a storm paddle as the two blades combined with 2-3" of loom (shaft) in the middle, as opposed to my “standard” of about 17"


I have hanging in my shop a 16’ clear piece of cedar 2x4 and a 16’ 1x6 Doug fir for my next sof right now. Bending stock is on its way now but I’d hate to be searching for the long pieces right now

Oh… 2x4x? Duh!!! LOL! If length is 5’ plus, definitely could something with it.


Yeah it’s at least 8’ long. Wood seems to be in pretty good shape now it’s dried out, I’m not sure if it will crack after the saltwater soaking. I’m not all that tall so should be plenty, I’m going to make it a few inches longer than normal to use with my Cobra Strike and Seadart . My homemade GPs are up in our garage in Utah with my Necky Jive and I want to do some long coastal paddles here with less elbow stress. GP might be not enough paddle for the Seadart though.

I’d say have at it. The worst that might happen is that you make some excellent fire starter.

Another option, although one that you might not want, is to search through the lumber piles (here in Michigan, Menards seems to be best) looking for stock that you can rip and then laminate.

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Before I got the Hobie Rev, I kayak fished with the Scupper Pro. I favored and consistently use my 216 cm GP with that. (Get more than my share of stares from boaters watching me sprinting across the channels with what looks like a stick.) I liked the (naturally comfortable) cadence that I get with that GP. It gets me from the inner harbor to the outer islands, even against current and wind. On the hand, I remain in favored of Euro paddle for paddle surfing. As you know, there you just need a serious of quick strokes/catches to get on a wave. I like doing the short sprints with the bigger Euro blades.


Well maybe my Seadart SOT will be just fine, when I started out with kayak club outings the Seadart would keep up with seakayaks and when racing scupper pros was fair amount faster. It just seems so wide and high when I paddle it after just using waveskis and whitewater boats mostly. I’m hoping to take it to Utah this summer and leave it on our farm to paddle on Bear Lake which is a fairly large lake but fairly windy.

How long is the GP in Utah, and the width of the Seadart? You might want to hang onto the piece of wood until you test with what you have.

Might not have to do another GP. In which case, you have the wood for your next longbow! :dart: :slight_smile:


I used Yew and Osage for my longbows.

Jeeze, that sounds even more exotic than cedar!


A good Yew stave cost $100 20 years ago. Osage ran about $60. These would be split from the log not sawn. Osage is heavy and hard, but makes a fine durable self bow.

Yeah bow woods are typically yew, osage, hickory, ash, elm, some kinds of oak and cedar work. Tropical woods like purple heart, lemonwood, ipe and bamboo laminated together work. In Utah I used to make bows from chokecherry and juniper. Conifers, like spruce, pine, fir, generally make very bad bows, in the arctic though traditional bows were made from compression pine and birch. Yew is typically used for English Long Bows which are one piece of solid wood with sapwood and heartwood layers, it’s getting really hard to get a nice piece of yew. I make lots of bows out of hickory because it’s easy to get and very forgiving if the grain is not the best.

I have not priced Yew in the last year but a good stave was about $200 -$300 dollars early last year, unless you knew a supplier and not much cheaper then.

Hickory if very dry can make an excellent bow, and can be made from boards. My two yew staves made English long bows with horn tips. The staves were gifts.

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Guacamole! Y’all better have good bow making experience. That is an expensive piece of wood.


Yeah, that’s why I use hickory it’s cheap, or wood I cut down in winter, it’s free. The problem with making bows from wood is since it’s organic it can have unusual imperfections you don’t notice and the bow can break when test it as you are shaving it down so it bends correctly. Sometimes Oregon and Washington yew has bullets or shot pellets inside of it, that’s a real nasty surprise.

Just make a paddle with crap wood. You’ll learn so much. Then you can make a paddle with good wood. My first paddle cost $3.10. The next piece of wood was about $30. I’ve still not cut it, 2 years later, too scary.

Just make it with a crap 2x4 and enjoy it for a season or two.

You missed it, but SeaDart actually has experience carving GPs. For me, as someone who has carved GPs, I find his longbows making as more impressive skill given the poundage he has been able to inbue in some of his bows (I’ve seen some of his YouTube vids on longbow making/testing). Of course, this is coming from someone who thinks his 30 lb recurve is plenty challenging enough to shoot for extended target shooting sessions.


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the last bow making videos I watched were Dean Torges making bows. Would love to check out SeaDart’s. I am mediocre to OK when it comes to tillering. I am a decent shot or was when I shot all the time. A life member of TBOF in FL. My usual draw weights are 50-53 pounds. Archery has been a burning passion. I have too many others these days to give as much to archery anymore. But these lines by Maurice Thompson sum up what it still means to me.

“So long as the new moon returns to heaven a bent beautiful bow, so long will the fascination of Archery keep hold the hearts of men.” It holds mine!