A hockey stick is a perfect shaft for a canoe paddle. Graft two of them together with a scarf joint for a standup paddle. I didn't have enough hockey sticks for all these paddles, so I ripped some nice scrap wood on my table saw. Ripping means cutting along the grain of the wood. Ripping is one of those jobs that's a whole lot easier with power tools. I've done it with a hand saw, and it's a day-eater. 1.25" diameter is about right for a round softwood stand up paddle shaft. 1.5" is too thick. 1" wouldn't be too thin for the hand, but is too flexible for a shaft this long. Measure some paddles that look and feel good to you to see how thick you want yours to be. Personal preference will vary greatly. A rectangular shaft can be thinner than a round one and have the same strength.