Wooden Paddles

No not a GP, but wooden euro’s - Can someone fill me in on how they compare, advantages/disadvantages, experiences etc!

Recommendations welcome too, and if any known stockist’s in Australia let me know!

Thanks in Advance!

I have a Sawyer wind paddle
in Euro style with longer, thinner blades. Great paddle.

I have a Sawyer, too.
Carbon or some kind of carbon/fiberglass would be lighter, but it is a beautiful paddle and I like the way it feels in my hands. If I were racing competitively, either sprint or long distance, then obviously a carbon paddle would be preferred.

DIY, Maybe???
You can easily make a very light, simple kayak paddle, using a solid wood shaft, ply blades and epoxy. Here’s a link to the ones we build and use.




Mitchell Black Magic
Laminated cedar/walnut/beech shaft & Carbon Blades with a cedar core between the carbon.

Been using one for quite a few years now. One piece only. Fantastic feel on the water.

I haven’t the foggiest about Australian suppliers though.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

I’ve owned Grey Owl wooden paddles
I paddled exclusively with wooden euro paddles for the first few years of paddling and loved them. Then I bought a high-end Werner foam core carbon paddle and will never go back to wood.

I really like the feel of wood in my hands but the lightness of the carbon fibre paddle is much, much better and I’ve grown to like the feel of carbon.

Grey Owl makes a very light wood blade paddle with a carbon shaft – I’ve yet to try it but it looks really nice (and very light).



Am looking at this paddle for sea touring, not racing etc, so really high end performance isn’t an issue. Don’t think my budget will stretch to the high end all carbon models for some time!

So where do they fit in the weight stakes? Heavier then Glass?


wood is my favorite
I own a bunch of paddles, and for some reason always think I have to try everything. I have several brands - plastic, fiberglass, wood, and even a couple high end carbon paddles. The high end carbon is not my favorite, even though I paid more for them and I suppose, as with anything you spend a lot on, I really wanted them to be. I love the all-wood Mitchell Sea Blade, and I recently requested a different paddle from them with a bigger blade than the Sea Blade (he said he modeled it after their Black Magic - but all-wood design.) It is another fantastic paddle, with a very solid catch that matches very well with higher angled paddling. (I call it my Mitchell Maritime, they labeled it Mitchell Sea Blade, but this design was nicely modified to match what I described I was looking for in modifying the Sea Blade. This is the first time since I bought my Sea Blade years ago that I’ve found a new favorite, and I bought a couple much more expensive paddles between the two. I like to get out and paddle 10 to 20 miles, I do at least 40% of my paddling on the open coast, and I like to surf waves at the beach and into the inlets into the intracoastal. I’m not a sit & spin playspot style kayaker. I like to go somewhere and cover some miles, and I like paddling through playful and challenging areas while doing so. I don’t use rudders and skegs, so I rely on my paddle and body to give me control while forward paddling. My typical solo paddling speed while not aiming for speed is right at 4 knots.(I just don’t know how I can recommend a paddle without giving an honest explanation of what I like to do with my kayak and paddle.) My favorite has proven to be the wooden Mitchell paddles. The bit of extra weight vs my all carbons doesn’t seem to factor in while paddling. They are super strong (my friend slammed the car door on the blade of my Sea Blade a few years ago - no damage other than marks), surprisingly light, and for I’m sure many reasons feel better to me than any of my others. I can tell you that when I first got my Sea Blade I thought the smooth varnish finish was slippery. I wasn’t that excited at first because of this. You could put something on the shaft, but I must tell you after a few uses, I learned to keep my grip looser in challenging conditions, and I believe that extra slickness proved to be a blessing in the long run.

For me
I loved my wood paddle until I broke it. In fact your post has got me in the mood to fix it. Wood is never hot or cold in your hands and it has just a little give that seems to take the strain of my joints. It is heavier though.

I also have an Onno wing and a Bending Branches touring paddle. The Onno would be my choice for any race and the other for rough water. But for just heading up to the lake and putting around the wood sure is nice.

I love the look of the wood Euro’s
and thought I was going to buy one.

Went to the shop and stood by the paddle rack and swung every paddle they had. Took me about two hours (silly shoppers kept getting in the way)!!!

In the end I bought a Werner Skagit - fiberglass shaft and plastic blades. $125. Just felt right to me, better even then some more expensive ones.

Just went by feel which is purely subjective. If it feels good, do it!!!

Grrrr -
Now I have found one more thing to spend money on!!! Seems there are no makers or Wooden Euros in Australia or stockists (Same for GP’s!!!) and the Postage is HUGE…ahh well, its only money!

postage from USA to OZ
is very reasonable if the paddle is a two piece job.

I have been buying Werner paddles from REI at less then half price of OZ. Wait for the 4th of July sale, usually 20% off.

You just have to have somebody in USA that is willing to forward the paddle via USPS (post) Air Mail.

It costs about $40 and takes one week.

Any contacts in USA?

You buy the paddle and have is shipped to them (usually free shipping)

They go down to their friendly local Post Office and for a very reasonable sum send it to you Air Mail.

If you don’t have any contacts in USA, then all bets are off and you are at the mercy of UPS or FedEx charging you an arm and a leg.


No US friends…
Arm and leg must go - any bidders?

Lighter than aluminum/nylon
About the same as most glass configurations. Heavier than carbon.

Jesse, paddle making isn’t that hard.
have you considered building your own? You have wood in Australia,right?

Last time I looked!
But I have complete lack of any woodworking skills! Any info would be great and I may just waste some timber in an attempt! Could be fun - so any directions etc would be good!


Mainpeak Paddlesports
Mainpeak paddlesports in Western Australia used to have some timber kayak paddles, not sure if they still do but you could try them. http://www.mainpeak.com.au/index.aspx

There should be some leads here.

Bryan Nystrom has written a book on paddle making.

Check “DIY, Maybe?”, Above
Real simple process, real nice paddles.

I can ship you a paddle. REI is on my way to my usual put in and I am not that far from the US Post Office. http://www.rei.com/search?cat=4501483&page_size=50&hist=cat%2C4501483%3AFlatwater+Paddles

I am kind of far from a real paddle shop but Southwind Kayaks has a limitted selection of wood paddles also and is pretty close to me. http://www.southwindkayaks.com/ I am also a member of Outdoorplay and get free shipping and 15% off req priced stuff. http://www.outdoorplay.com/

Just be warned that I am a foul mouthed scoundrel who would screw your wife and eat your dog in a flash so you would be taking quite a risk.