Making a paddle

What is the lightest paddle anyone has made out of wood, aprox how much did it weigh and with what materials? Or do you know of a website where I can find a nice one?  Must be wood though.

6 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: Making a paddle

I just finished a 90" Greenland paddle carved from paulownia and tipped with 1 1/4" laminated bamboo tips. It's finished with one coat of unthichened MAS epoxy and wet sanded with 400 paper. Weight is 15.7oz and it handles well. Paulownia is very light but very soft and this paddle was made to see how light I could go. I've rolled with it but it's obviously not as strong as a heavier paddle would be. Hope this helps. SEEYA Jack

RE: Making a paddle

Check out the Gillemont website.  They have a plan for a curved blade kayak paddle.  It's also described in Nick Schade first book on kayak building.

I built the paddle using ceder for the shaft and laminated ceder, pine and cherry for the blades.  Looked  great and worked for several years.  It broke while paddling at the point where the shaft was narrowed to fit the steel ferral. If you use a ferral, I'd build the paddle from spruce instead of ceder.  It should still weigh less then paddles in the 100$ range.

RE: Making a paddle

I made a feathered- laminated paddle shaft with oakume blades. It is very light but was a bit 'springy' with just epoxy and varnish. With the addition of some 4oz. glass it tightened up and now works well. Be aware, stiffness may be as important as light weight.


RE: Making a paddle

Thanks for the feedback so far.  I actually made the two paddles in the New Kayak book.  I used pine closet poles for the shafts and left over okume for the blades.  I used 4oz fiberglass on the blades, varnished and painted.  The curved blade paddle seems sturdy enough because the shaft bends around the blade.  But the diamond shape paddle seems very flimsy?.  I have not weighed them yet, but am a little concerned if I take a long trip with them.  Probably could have saved some weight using fiberglass ferrills instead of steel?  Still interested to hear if anyone has made a paddle out of any other woods that are sturdy but lite?  Thanks again!

RE: Making a paddle

I have made a couple of paddles but I do not know their weights yet. I have a greenland paddle made of cedar 88in long, real sturdy and works well. I used a tung oil finsh on it and epoxied the tips.

 My new paddle is the more traditional style. The blades are made of hardwood, mahagony, maple, and walnut planed down to 3/8in where it connects to the shaft and 1/4in at he edges and tips. The shaft is redwood started from a 2X2. I am impressed with how light it feels. I put a light coat of epoxy on the blades for water proofing but they are stiff and hard as a rock without it. I think I am going to tung oil finish the shaft. I really liek that fell over the varnish.

Here are some pics of the second paddle

I am thinking of making a ferrule out of carbon fiber but not sure yet.

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.


Special Financing with Blispay

 CLC's Fall Kit Sale