New bent-shaft UPDATE

This paddle is an experiment in progress. I trimmed the blade and then decided to put a fiberglass sleeve on the shaft. I purchased the sleeve material from Soller Composites and placed a 30″ segment above the blade. Of course I did this after that portion of the shaft was rounded and before the grip was built. Western Red Cedar is a very soft wood and it dents easily; thus my reason for putting on the sleeve (I also have a desire to make a wood whitewater canoe paddle which needs reinforcing on the shaft, especially in the area where shaft meets gunwales).

I glued on 4 walnut pieces to the square shaft to make the grip, then shaped them similar to the grip found on a ZRE paddle I own. I sanded everything and coated with two coats of West epoxy 105/207 to fill the grain on the western red cedar. Instead of taking photos, I decided to make a couple of short videos of the grip and blade while I rotated the paddle so you can see the 3D shape.

The paddle currently weighs 20oz. After the epoxy cures for a while, I’ll sand it down and put a couple coats of varnish, so the weight may go up just a bit. I like the grip and shaft. However, the blade is not stiff enough at the edges (outside of the center support). I’ll write more after I give it a test in the water.


New bent-shaft UPDATE — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Canoe workout – old school w/ new stuff - Adventures

  2. For some reason, he let me be the first to use it. Thanks. Aesthetically it is beautiful paddle, not in the traditional way of classic paddles, more like a piece of art. It is very light. I have used one single ZRE paddle for over 11 years so any transition would be weird but within a few minutes I was comfortable with this one (though not with the responsibility). My preference was for a little more depth for the base of the palm and a slight front center ridge to reduce flutter, but I did not feel the softness. It turned out great – hope I can get one like it for my outrigger.