Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making a Bent Shaft Laminated Canoe Paddle

So last week was a big week for Quietwater. The event that splashed into last week was an ebook on making a canoe paddle. As some know, Quietwater Films got its start with a series of five DVDs on paddlesports. For me personally, producing the five projects for QW Films was especially nice because of my life long interest and enjoyment of paddlesports. Working with Darren Bush and other big names in the paddling world like Jimbo Meador, remain high points both personally and professionally.

Along with the enjoyment of paddling and the experience as a professional guide (again back in the day but a bit further) is one more piece. Paddlemaking. The wood and hand tools type of DIY making things. A few years back I decided that paddlemaking was something I wanted to do more of. One of the pieces of that was writing a book about paddle making. Last week was the culmination of that effort. Making a Bent Shaft Laminated Canoe Paddle is the first of three books on paddle making, and like all the other firsts, remains a ground breaking eye opening effort and entry into the fast moving and evolving indie publishing world.

Working with cedar strips has long been a big interest. Hand tools and the quiet shaping of wood for me just plain feels good. In this increasingly digital world we live in, going out to the garage and escaping all screens and sounds is yet one more pleasant pursuit. Immersing my ears in the one of a kind sound that a spokeshave makes is a pleasure. Watching a piece of wood take shape due to my own hand efforts is a pleasure. I hope that some of you paddlers out there on occasion enjoy it as well!

Ironically enough, writing the book required lots of digital screen time. But writing has its own strange sort of intrinsic reward as well.

Anyway, the ebook is out there. Globally even. Paper book soon to follow. If like me you are looking at a still growing snowbank, I hope you'll consider reaching for a small screen (like an iPad) and reading about how you can start adding your own hand made bent shaft paddles to your quiver!