Paddle decoration

Well paddledog’s lanyards made me think about paddle decoration. I like having a personal touch on some of my favorite paddles and back when I did nothing but work and paddle I used to bring 2 paddles a week to a local artist in Ann Arbor.

The snake she did really surprised me since it was so different than her other work. That straight shaft Zav is now retired since it suffered a bit from being slammed in a car door. The grey owl freestyle is somewhat unique in that grey owl made the blade thinner and lighter for me at my request. Then I damaged it on rocks driving upstream and eventually had the tip reshaped and reinforced with carbon fiber by Ron Sell at Unadilla Boatworks. The wood burned turtle is on a bending branches beavertail that I completely stripped of varnish and also successfully shortened. The “mean fish” is on a Black Bart bent shaft which is no longer available since Black Bart passed away.


Ron does nice work at Unadilla BW. Made my favorite paddle from Spanish cedar.

Here’s a shot of my Spanish cedar paddle from Ron with the carbon reinforced blade. It’s well worn from lots of river use, and ready for more. He also repaired the tip on the cherry beaver tail shown plus he repaired my Pat Moore Cue which found the only rock in a relatively deep place.

Very nice work on your paddles Tom. I like to do wood burning, and have done some of my paddles and a kayak I built from a kit. I also do them on Native American flutes I make. Here is some of the work I have done.
A canoe paddle.

A greenland paddle String made for me.

My shearwater merganser kayak.

Drawings for a flute I did

a drawing of a blue heron I plan on burning on an old Grumman beavertail paddle I have.

Very nice work everyone.When it comes to art, I am mostly a carpenter.

I like your work castoff!

I’m wondering if the snake on the paddle is a true likeness of a “paddle snake”?
In the past, especially in rock gardens on whitewater rivers; I’ve had a “paddle snake” grab my paddle,and try to take it away from me.

On one occasion, the “paddle snake” was actually successful…
I went over a drop; the current caught me, and pushed me & my boat sideways, about a foot up the side of a sloped boulder. I tried to hit a hard brace to keep from flipping, and just as the paddle blade slapped the water surface, the snake grabbed the paddle blade, and actually pulled it out of my hands. Then it let go, and the paddle floated to the surface (in 2 pieces/the shaft & the blade).
I retrieved the 2 pieces of the paddle; when I got back home, I reattached the blade to the shaft. I carry it as a backup paddle sometimes. It’s an old Werner Point paddle I bought new in the very early 90s. Definitely got my money’s worth out of it. The bite marks on it don’t bother me much.

That’s a true story; would I lie?
Damn “paddle snakes”!


Gator, croc, rebar?
I had a rebar rod grab my Rapidfire on the Withlacoochee. Left some serious tooth marks.

@string said:
Gator, croc, rebar?
I had a rebar rod grab my Rapidfire on the Withlacoochee. Left some serious tooth marks.

That bothered me a lot.

Bob, the snake is a Jetski Viper. I breed them and release them near put-ins to help eliminate invasive species.