Making a SUP paddle.

Always talking about technique and design, we came up with a concept and an idea for a paddle.

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So the question was, how to make it?DSCN2474-w

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Insulated paneling was the answer and a broken carbon boom.DSCN2177-w

First take off the wood and chipboard I stuck 2 pieces together, as I needed the thickness. I used epoxy mixed with micro balloons to make a thick paste. Do not use to much paste! Shaping through the join is tricky, I put a little to much on.

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Draw the outline shape and cut it out. The foam is very easy to cut by hand. I drew several ideas down and then slowly sanded the outline shape of the blade. I find it hard to see the true shape in 2d so finalizing the shape in 3d.

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While doing the outline shape I also started to put the angle I wanted into the face of the blade. Once the rough angle was made I then went onto the back.

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The foam sands down very fast, so be careful! Remember if you go to far you are going to have to change the shape idea or find a new block of foam.

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The back of the paddle needs to be finalized at this point as I know when I shape the front, the foam will get very thin. Due to this I must glass the back next.

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I decided to use 2 layers of glass on the back.

Now to take off the grip of the boom and make the connectors.

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And place the lower part of the shaft into the blade, giving the angle.

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The next step is quite slow as the shaping I am looking for is complicated.

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I started by doing the taper into the shaft and starting to get the taper down the blade. The next part was to get the angle down to the rail and starting the complex inner rail shape.

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As the angle gets deeper, you can start to see how thin the inner rail is getting. Now you understand why I had to glass the back first. It is important to always work both sides. Do not go down a lot on one side and then try and match, small adjustments all the time. Also keep that center line marked.

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Now it was time to fine sand and check the shaping and keep looking and decide whether to go down more.

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I went down a lot more and  did the final fine sanding, then thought. More fine sanding, making fine adjustments. Time to put 2 layers on the face of the blade.

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So the blade is glassed time to attach the shaft and handle. Plus do all the final sanding and filler coats.

When you take care, the filler coats and sanding are not so much. I only had to do 2 filler adjustment coats. I will have to say the handle was hard and took a few more.

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The finished item. Now time to test it on the water.

In the next article I will show the testing and explain the concept of the paddle.

I had so much fun making this paddle.


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