paddle shaft, blade, and handle options

choices to make your paddle ‘one of a kind’!

A Solid Citizen kit, the stock kit, looks great as is. To my eye, cedar and purpleheart are a great looking combination, along with poplar, white pine or basswood. However, there are many different wood types available to the paddle maker. Build to order paddles offer one way to get a custom look. Ordering a kit with wood that you select is another option. For example, a maker could request a kit with basswood handles, a walnut piece for the middle of the shaft, along with walnut inner blade pieces and outer blade edge trim. A piece of redwood for the top shaft piece, or paddle blades with bookmatched knots from old barnboard could also be part of a kit. A custom kit or swapping out pieces changes the price, but the tradeoff is a ‘one of a kind’ paddle, made with your own hands. The idea remains that wavetrainSUP does the ripping and the ‘right sizing’, for lack of a better phrase, such that you need only hand power and hand tools to make your paddle AND are not left with a big chunk of very expensive wood with a few quarter inch slices off one side.

paddleboard paddle shaft wood options

Wood choices for the shaft include:

Wood shaft pieces can be cut slightly thicker and/or wider if desired. Wider and thicker is what the Chubbster is all about.

paddle shaft pieces

five strips, three cedar and two basswood, destined for a kit. Remember that each kit includes ten strips, enough for two paddles.

paddle blade options

Paddle blade options can almost be their own book. While the default paddle blade turns out an awesome paddle, I am happy to change things up, after all there is no absolute right or wrong in this pursuit of watery pleasure. Some of the choices beyond the default include:

Be sure and check out the knotty blade section for a wide range of blade pairs featuring knots!

picture of wavetrainSUP paddle blades

a mix of blade types, including from left to right: vg Douglas fir, vg western red cedar, multi-piece of cedar and paduak, and last but not least vg redwood.

paddle handle options

The default handle is a chunk of wood with thumb pads and some ‘bulk’ to increase the circumference of the handle. The larger the handle is the less your hand needs to ‘squeeze’. Minimizing this grip motion, minimizes issues with carpal tunnel problems that gripping a ‘normal’ handle can aggravate.

That being said, there are still many ways to create a handle that is ergonomically very friendly to your hands and looks good too.

Just about anything is better than the simple t-grip found on most paddles, both ergonomically and stylistically.

Stripes are the easiest way to touch up a handle. Redwood strip on cedar, basswood strips on walnut or cedar, or just about any two woods with contrast between them can be built up and then shaped into a unique paddle that is large eniugh to allow for shaping and fitting to a paddler's hands.

handles, canoe paddles handles and SUP paddle handles