Zoe's Whitewater paddle


Anyone can learn to canoe
Hi everyone,

This is my first post on this forum. There is a lot of great information here.

I thought you might enjoy some photos of a whitewater paddle that I finished last week for my girlfriend Zoe. The blade shape was copied from Warren and Gidmark's book "Canoe Paddles A complete guide........" I used a bunch of Ash pieces that were left over from previous paddle builds. This is a heavy and study paddle, the blade measures 8 1/4 X 20 inches and the shaft is 35 inches for a total of 43 1/4 inches. It weighs 989 grams. To make it durable the shaft is 1 1/8 inches in diameter and the blade was left much thicker than any other paddle that I've made. One evening I found myself standing in the 3-5 year old isle in Walmart trying to decide which color of play dough describes me.... actually I had decided to add an epoxy tip to the blade and needed the play dough to make a dam around the tip that would contain the epoxy until it hardened. I decided on neon orange for the color. To the epoxy I added as much walnut sawdust as I could produce from the small scrap pieces left over from the Peruvian Walnut Otter Tail (I'll post photos another time) that I made earlier this summer. The sawdust adds color as well as makes the epoxy stronger. Epoxy on it's own tends to be a bit brittle. To make the blade stronger I added 6 oz fiber glass to both sides. 6 oz is heavier than I wanted but it was the only weight the local canoe shop had on hand. We are leaving in and hour and a half for our favorite whitewater play spot so I'll be able to try out the paddle for the first time.

The Cree Syllabics translates to "big old bear"

I am currently working on two Ash/Cedar/Carbon fiber bent shafts. I'll post photos of them when they are finished.


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Looks nice! Will look forwrad to more pics of more paddles.

Weighs in at almost 1kg? That's pretty beefy -- wrestling that around for a day might be a bit tiring... but you'll see how it works ... It may be ideal for you!
It is a heavy paddle but then it is a white water paddle, not something to be used for long distance paddling, it needs to be tough. It is destined for a life time of bangs and scrapes on rocks and who knows what else. We just got back from our weekend of whitewater paddling and I'm pleased to report that the paddle performed great. The paddle is stiff and quiet, anyone that knows me and my paddles will know that silence is at the top of my list. Like any other wide bladed paddle it catches a lot of water and is therefore tiring to use all day but when a short burst of power is needed to avoid a large rock or to ferry out on to a surf wave this paddle is great.
I used a jig saw to cut out the contour and a wood rasp to rough out the shape. From there it was a lot of sanding.