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Step 5: Stick and Blade

So now you've got a stick and a blade.
Cut the end of the stick so it tapers down on one side to the end like a wedge.

The handle for this particular paddle is a broken hockey stick from the rink at Kihei, Maui.
I know from growing up in Minnesota that a hockey stick is the most suitable shape for grasping. I don't know why I've never seen canoe paddles with rectangular shafts. It works and feels great.

This blade is 8.5" x 18", which is big like a snow shovel. Later I cut it down into a smaller more graceful shape. Unfortunately I lost it shortly after taking that second photo.
Take a sharpie marker or laser and write a return address on all your gear.

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.
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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