Making paddles with pine
Pine how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Or something like that. I'm told Shakespeare had a paddleboard out in his carriage house. Truly a man ahead of his time. With cedar and traditional boating woods there's a bit of snobbery when looking at pine. As in, 'ohh it's not cedar then it must not be good enough.' Teak is in there sometime too. But times they are a changin'. Western red cedar, a wood which I really like, is simply getting too hard to find. Never mind the cost or even the shipping. It's just plain getting scarce.
Most of the time, the longer a problem lasts the easier the solution tends to be. That's the case here. Cedar scarcity and cost opens the door for other woods, like good old pine, a wood with lots of American history behind it and plenty of paddles ahead of it!
Pine might be the only wood lighter in color than basswood. However, where basswood
is calm and consistent (very much beautiful in its own way), pine has pattern and texture all over the place.
Knots, dark heartwood, light sapwood, wildly varying colors for no apparent reason, and more all appear in pine in a beautiful variety.
The wood is strong. It takes being shaped, although it might tear and gouge a bit easier than basswood or cedar. But still, reasonable pressure applied
in a good way yields beautifully shaped wood.
As western red cedar goes away, other woods emerge from the dark corners. Pine is widely available and makes great paddles. What more could you want?
A Flyover paddle under construction. Whitish color and interesting asymmetrical patterns and inclusions make pine an interesting wood.
For most people, paddling is a simple act of getting outdoors and enjoying the water. Maybe there is an interest in connecting a bit with the outdoors. We like to think paddling with a wood paddle strengthens that connection!
Paddling with a Flyover pine SUP paddle on its very first excursion under beautiful sunny skies in the heart of flyover country on wavetrainSUP's home water, the Yahara river between Lake Kegonsa and McFarland.