This epoxy/wood paddle features a 10 degree bent shaft, just like the spiffy store-bought ones. Because of the setting times of the epoxy coating, it will probably take a week of evenings plus a Saturday afternoon or so to complete. If you're unfamiliar with fiberglassing, this is a great project to learn how to use this amazing construction technique.

Stand-up paddleboarding is the hot new watersport, but at $1000 to $1600 for the board, and $300 for the paddle, it's tough to justify unless it's your passion. You can go on Craigslist and buy an old beginner windsurfer (I paid $50 for mine), but what to do about the specialized paddle?

Check out my Instructable- I use the resources of my shop, but you can adapt your tools and skills to make yourself a fine paddle, almost as light as a carbon-fiber, one that will make all of the wealthy ne'er-do-wells grind their molars with envy at your skills! Maybe it will make up for the sketchy-looking board that you may be paddling...

All of the wood was purchased at Home Depot, and the epoxy can be found at a marine store (like WestMarine), or ordered on the web.

To complete my paddle, I used a:
table saw
drill press
orbital sander
mini-grinder with sanding disk (you may want a Dremel)
jigsaw (bandsaw or coping saw)

Step 1: Gather your Materials, Make the Template

First, like in any good program, we're going to define an attribute:
yourheight = the designated paddler's height in feet and inches

Your shopping list for the lumber store (or friend's woodpile):

1 1/4" Closet Pole, yourheight, rounded up to the nearest foot, not warped
(make sure that there is at least 4" to spare)
1) 2" #10 wood screw, stainless steel
Piece of finish plywood, 3/16" to 1/4", approx. 16" X 24", something nice like birch
Marine grade varnish, small can
Nitrile disposable gloves
1 1/4" hole saw
6 or so 2" chip brushes
3 or 4 2" foam brushes
Bondo squeegee (you may have to go to the auto parts store)
60 grit and 220 grit sandpaper
Masking tape
Single-edge razor blades
Marine epoxy
Plastic (not metal) mixing cups, about 8 oz.
Fiberglass cloth, 6 oz., about 4 square feet
Resin thickener/filler

I really like using marine-grade epoxy and fiberglass cloth for durability and stiffness. I'm not a fan of polyester resin, as getting the exact mix of hardener is dependent on the amount of resin, the temperature and the humidity. It's more of a coating, while epoxy is a glue, ever so much stronger. And epoxy is far more of a gentlemanly process to use! If you're desperate, in a hurry, or lazy, I guess that you could dispense with it, and just attach the blade with some screws, varnish, and go. If Polynesian dudes managed to paddle around the South Pacific without epoxy paddles, so can you!

As we are building a paddle that's as good as store-bought, you can find epoxy at your local WestMarine store (West Systems), or online. MAAS is also good, but I've been using ProgressiveEpoxy.com Basic No-Blush for years and find it to be a superior product for the cheapest price. If you want to impress the guy at the store, tell him that you want to finish your wood "bright", and that you don't want any "blush". Have a sneer ready for when you need to explain!

You want the no-blush or clear finish, as standard epoxy will leave weird white streaks in your project unless you specify that you want the good (more expensive) stuff. If you want to paint your paddle (shudder!), you don't need the special stuff. In the West System lineup, this would be the 207 Special Coating Hardener. West winds up being fairly expensive because you have to buy the special pumps that fit on the cans, but it is easier to make small batches. The small sampler of the ProgressiveEpoxy No-Blush is probably enough for your project, with some 3 oz. Dixie cups to eyeball the measuring. You also need a filler like Colloidal Silica (West 406), or fine grained sawdust (like from a belt sander bag) if you're cheap. Technically, this sawdust/epoxy mixture is called schmutz, and is massively strong, but will be rougher than something like the silica.

Download the file http://virtualacreage.com/files/SUPaddle.pdf
Check out my paintings and architectural renderings while you're on my site!

This is your template for the paddle blade, traced from a very expensive paddle that shall go nameless, while I was being anxiously glared at by a kid in a local surf shop.

Open the pdf and print it out- you know about Adobe Reader, right? Print out the template at actual size on to three pages, and use the newspaper background to help you get everything aligned properly. Trim the edges off two of the sheets at the crop marks and tape all of them together. Verify that the width measurement is actually 8 1/2". Cut it out, and you're ready to go!
Thanks for the 'ibble and the pattern. I finished mine up 2 weeks ago and it's been working great. It wound up a tad long but I can live with that. It helps with getting a good push. Here's 2 pics of the finished project. I think the final cost was about the same as the paddle I got from Cabela's (~ $60) and that one broke the 5th time out.
Awesome Instructable. Thanks for all the great info and advice!
Really nice job. Appreciate you effort.
these were a couple of people on the SUP. We also have had an outrigger team there since around 1998 if i remember right, and there is a bunch of kayak stuff including kayak polo at this new boat house , pier 64 i believe.<br>this inscrutable gave me the idea of cutting one of wider blade ZRE paddles and putting a stick inside it, lay whatever is easiest to work with as far as composite fiber and make it into a SUP blade. i think for 2 years in a row they had a SUP race around Manhattan, about 26 miles, maybe 23? They flew in all the big names of the surf world. I could probably paddle a bathtub type stability boat. i would love to try a paddle board, but not in any of our local waters, too much sh^t literaly, in the water. i have been looking for a used microscope to check the e-coli content of the river. The geese also foul the water in the lakes i used to swim and paddle in. They had to close the beaches due to the geese.
nts a nice blade for a SUP . price is right too. nice work. The expertise to make it using a hollow shaft and foam core bade is well beyond most, or you would be turning out the 15Oz SUP as a money maker. the nice thing about this this besides the price of $350 is that when you whack it , and you will, it wont hurt your mental state as much. I was watching a bunch of people trying SUP on the Hudson last weekend by 24 street, i will have to give it a try , i doubt i will be able to do it ,but might be able to modify a cheap windsurfer boar for the attempt. i have a quiver of oc6 and oc1 graphite paddles,but was injured so those days are gone. It looked like a lot of fun and i love the stretch and catch for the power, just not sure how i will get around a leg with very Little propreoception. seemed like a nice way to get some sun and exercise, even though i would not be able to push like i used too. when i get home i will post the pics of the SUP in the hudson.
Thanks for the great Instructable! I made one a few months ago for myself and am making another for my wife.&nbsp; We both use old windsurfboards here in Austin and the paddle always gets alot of comments!
Hey made one last week and really happy with it
Hey that's great! Be sure to treat yourself to a fine beverage!
Very nice work!

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