Materials for Canoe Paddles

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Forum topic by WMD2006 posted 159 days ago 523 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75 posts in 848 days

159 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question lumber source canoe kayak paddle

Does anyone have experience with building canoe paddles? A friend I work with is interested in building one, but doesn’t really know where to start.
Any recommendations on types of wood, along with suppliers for it, would be a huge help.


-- -MDWhite

5 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1470 posts in 2750 days

#1 posted 159 days ago

When I used to kayak, the sweet paddles had ash shafts. So I’d start with that. My local wood store carries it, I’d be shocked if you can’t find a hardwood supplier who carries it in Pennsylvania.

Some nice paddles are on my list, but I haven’t done ‘em yet. I have built a small boat or two, for which I’ve used construction adhesive, but next time I’ll use epoxy as my glue, so I think I’d do the blade glue-up with epoxy.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View jap's profile


1225 posts in 679 days

#2 posted 159 days ago

View jdh122's profile


351 posts in 1442 days

#3 posted 159 days ago

Here’s a short document from Lee Valley:

I’d like to make one one of these days, although I’d like to try splitting and working it out of green wood.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

View Roger's profile


14318 posts in 1429 days

#4 posted 159 days ago

I’m sorry I can’t help you with this one. I’ve been up a river without a paddle for many years now

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View mtenterprises's profile


817 posts in 1318 days

#5 posted 158 days ago

My favorite canoe paddle is ash, very well made and rather old. Though I do mostly use an aluminum shaft plastic blade just because they are broader and more suit my hard paddling style. On the other hand I made my own Greenland style kayak paddle with a spruce shaft and red cedar blades. Oh so light and springy I love using it. Years ago I met Mark Gilespy (sp) when he first started making canoe paddles. We met on a small lake in Bath NY and he let me try a couple of prototype paddles. I would say research the top paddle makers see what woods they like using.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

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