Nancy Saulsbury, who has long been doing some great work at Rutabaga as well as equally great stuff at Canoecopia, called recently and informed me that my proposal was accepted. I will be giving a couple of seminars on making bent shaft laminated paddles.
The seminar will show what the steps in bent shaft paddle making look like. I will discuss how I do the laminating (hint: it's not rocket science), the bending, and the fiberglass bits and pieces. The tools and forms will be shown and shared as well. I will also be offering paddle making kits and an instructional DVD for those that want to try making their own paddle. I use these techniques to make standup paddleboard paddles, but these same techniques work equally well for making shorter canoe paddles too.
This has long been a labor of love for me. I made my very first paddle back in fourth or fifth grade. Still have it. I'll bring it to the seminar. Woodworking is something I have always done purely for the pleasure of being in the garage, smelling cedar and watching the curl form behind a spokeshave. Hours fly by and the cup of coffee goes cold on the workbench.
A few years back I made a hollow wood standup paddleboard and realized that I had no paddle to go with it. So I proceeded to make a standup paddleboard paddle. And then a few more. A couple years later, both board and paddles are still in use and have spent many a paddle stroke in Lake Kegonsa and the Yahara River, my two most-used local paddling spots. For the record Fish Camp Park on the northwest corner of Lake Kegonsa is a fine place to put-in and either go up the river or out into Lake Kegonsa.