has anyone made a paddle?

I’m looking at making my own wood paddle and was just wondering if anyone on here has taken on this project. I’m looking at making one in the 230 mark for length and that’s about all I know at this point… any pointers or directions of thought would be appreciated at this point. I"m fairly handy with woodworking and low on budget so this seems the best way to have a new paddle for the upcoming season for me. I found this article online http://www.nessmuking.com/paddle.htm and am using it as my base…

home made paddles
A friend who is quite thrifty,needed 2 paddles for his kayaks. He bought 4 canoe paddles,sawed off the ends,took apart his wife’s vacuum(she never used it anyway’s he said),and used the fittings from the vacuum and some duct tape,and jury rigged 2 kayak paddles. They were about 15 ft long,and immediately started to sag,but still make a great story after a few beers.I hope you can do a little better than my friend,Good Luck Ron

Paddle making
Go to qajaqusa.org and click on the top of the page (Equipment). There are lots of links and instructions from people that make paddles all the time for both kayaks and canoes.

A long canoe double blade, and two
whitewater canoe paddles. I only consider one of the three to be a real success, after a number of modifications.

I thew this http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2288614130102987447HBUByh together one cold winter day to paddle my desk chair lol but looking at it from a more practical view point, just maybe? nahh… pine closet rod shaft with thin mahogany blades

Check Archives
I’ve made a couple dozen canoe paddles and they’re all I ever use.


Every winter since I’ve been around p.net (2002), there have been discussions on building both canoe and kayak paddles. Check the archives on this forum. Start with the archive info first.

and I’m super happy with its performance. If you’re handy, go for it.

Check out these posts:




Pedro Almeida

Excellent resource book

Primarily about canoe paddles, but has excellent advice on woodworking.


A friend did
He made himself a bent-shaft (aka crankshaft, i.e. ergonomically bent at the hands), 30 degree offset wooden kayak paddle. It was beautiful, but it had something like 30 different pieces, that he needed something like 25 or more jigs to cut, as well as a lot of west system epoxy. It only took him a year and a half. We always joked that if the paddle ever snapped on anything it would spread shrapnel up and down the river.


This is my page on flickr:


It has pictures of the paddles/kayaks I’ve built.

Pedro Almeida

p.s. The link only works if you copy and paste the whole thing into your address window.

Made lotsa GP’s
and one knockoff of Derek Hutchinson’s “Toksook” paddle. My Toksook knockoff paddled beautifully, every bit as good as Derek’s, in fact. Problem was, it was even heavier than Derek’s. I way overbuilt it.

I’ve stuck with making GP’s since then. I seem to do those very well.

Check out
the website for the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. www.wcha.org On the forum there is a section on paddle making that will be helpful. Cheers.