Monday, July 26, 2010

A new whitewater paddle for Zoe

In a couple of weeks Zoe and I will be joined by a group of friends in the Barker Lake area on the Churchill River for a weekend of instruction and playing in moving water (rapids). Being new to paddling Zoe didn't have a whitewater paddle so as usual I decided to make her one. 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 try 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 along 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 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.

Every time I make a paddle for Zoe I tell her "keep it off of the rocks!" but this one she can bang on the rocks all she wants (I still hope she doesn't), I also added 6 oz fiberglass to the blade.

Barker Lake area.

Play dough dam around the tip contains the epoxy/sawdust until it cures.

Whitewater paddle 43 1/4" long.

Close up showing the epoxy resin tip and the fiberglass blade.

The "T" grip ensures a secure grip as well as good control over the pitch of the blade. And of course the Cree syllabics.


Pawistik said...

Very nice Mark! Are you taking orders? ;)

Wildpaddler said...

maybe we can work something out in exchange for a couple of pulk poles

gnarlydog said...

I am impressed with your craftsmanship.
Puts mine to shame :-)
Very neat work, indeed.
Just came across your blog.
There seems to be plenty of good material to be read.


Wildpaddler said...

Thanks! Paddle building has quickly become a passion of mine. I'm hoping to finish a set of cedar/ash/carbon fibre bent shaft paddles this weekend. I'll post some pics when they are done.