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Step 3: Rip Sticks

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.

Looks like paddles I've seen made for cardboard boat races. If I could make one suggestion: you might want to make a couple of notches on the end of the hockey stick to hold the rope from sliding out.
It doesn't slip out because the loop is smaller than the stick. It creates a strong friction hold.
yeah, ut a notch couldnt hurt.
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For the canoe's out there place padded handle on the ground and the end of your blade should be at the bottom of your chin (looking strait on)
I just read in "Force of Nature" by surfing legend Laird Hamilton that a stand up paddleboard paddle should be 8" to 10" taller than you are. Just built a paddle to these dimensions, and it seems pretty good- wouldn't want anything much longer
Great!! Now just to get myself stranded on a island!!
That can be arranged...

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Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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