Customised paddle plans

We supply plans by email of the three classic blade designs; beavertail, ottertail and Sugar Island. The plans come with patterns for all the shaping templates you will need (grip, throat and blade tip) and suggested shaft dimensions including the position of 8-siding guidelines. Although brief instructions are included, it is intended that you follow the procedures given in the Making Paddles page of this website or Canoe Paddles or Making Canoe Paddles in Wood.

Three classic paddles...

Electronic, printable patterns to greatly simplify marking out

The most important variable in paddle design is the surface area (pulling power) of the blade. Choice of blade area depends on the type of canoeing you intend to do.

For touring, many canoeists find that they have a optimum blade surface area that balances speed and maneuverability against the rate at which they become fatigued. Alternatively, you may wish to carry two  paddles, a smaller area one for cruising and a bigger blade for fighting a headwind. It is usual to specify a smaller blade area for children, depending upon their age. Tandem paddlers with radically different pulling powers can sometimes achieve harmony by choosing paddles of different blade areas. For short sprints, a large surface are is a good choice. Finally, you may wish to explore the handling characteristics of different blade patterns, and the best way to do this is to have a set, each having exactly the same surface area.

Choose a design, then specify the surface area that you want

We supply blade patterns of these three popular blade designs customized to the surface area that you specify. Plans are delivered as .pdf files that you can print out in sections on a standard A4 printer and glue directly to your wood as a pattern for cutting out.

The surface area of canoe paddle blades is normally in the range 120-150 sq. in.  135 would be a good area to choose for your first paddle. The only sure way to find the surface area you are most happy with is to try out a range of paddles. Once you have found a paddle that suits you, determine its blade area. One way to measure this is to trace the blade outline on to a sheet of paper, cut out and weigh. Compare the weight of this to the weight of a piece of the same paper of known area. If you are uncertain about what surface area to choose, we will be happy to advise.

Plans print out on a standard A4 printer and have alignment marks to allow the plan to be taped together accurately.

Please order using the button below and email to specify which blade plan you want and the surface area (in sq. in.) required.

Price per plan £6.

Please note: This is not an automated download system. Each plan is customized individually and delivered as a .pdf email attachment. This usually takes a few hours, but occasionally longer if we are away on holiday when your order arrives. Pdfs are produced in a virus-free Mac environment.