what type of wood is used for canoe paddles

So you might be wondering, what type of wood you should use for making a canoe paddle…

Recognizing the residential properties of different timber varieties helps a task to be sturdy, functional and, aesthetically appealing. I make paddles from a variety of products. Some varieties are well suited to paddle making, some are not, and also still other types are suited only for certain applications in paddle making.
The info in this internet site is the very best compound of data we had the ability to accumulate. We invite your input and any kind of comments or details that you could contribute to the growth of this website. I hope that you will certainly locate this details useful in choosing and also identifying wood species that are ideal for a paddle or any type of job you are embarking on.

Species Descriptions

The wood is moderately heavy, soft, great distinctive, straight grained, conveniently functioned and durable. Alaska cedar is rated as immune to very resistant to heartwood degeneration. Used locally for interior trim, furnishings, little boat hulls as well as canoe paddles, dock wood decking, carving, cooling down towers, framing, furniture, hefty flooring, marine piling, molding, musical instruments.
Suggested use: We utilize this species for blade pointers and also edges in our Pattit. It could be utilize to earn solid single blade paddles or as a laminate in a Greenland paddle. Paddle of this varieties will be somewhat a lot more pricey than those made from other materials.
Schedule: Really minimal, limited restore ability, we will give this species in the future just when salvage lumber is offered.

American Ash

Summary: Fraxinus Americana- The American ash is belonging to northern pleasant areas of the globe. The sapwood of ash is light brown, while the heartwood is brownish to grayish brownish. It has no particular smell or preference. Ash is straight grained, hefty, difficult, strong, rigid and puts on smooth with high shock resistance. It makers well and also adhesives moderately well. Ash is classified as a little too non-resistant to heartwood degeneration. Ash is generally made use of in handle supply, baseball bats, un-upholstered furnishings, floor covering, millwork, hand tools and also, showing off goods such as canoe combats
Recommended use: as a thin single layer in a Greenland paddle to include toughness or shield against abrasion on the sides of a paddle. This appropriates for hardwood ideas. Ash makes a great solid canoe paddle.

Availability: Commonly available from sustainable sources.

Atlantic White Cedar

The sapwood of Atlantic white cedar is narrow as well as white, while the heartwood is light brown with a reddish or pinkish shade. The wood has a particular aromatic smell when newly cut as well as has a pale bitter taste. Historically made use of in poles, tiles, wood ware (tubs, jugs & churns) and lumber and ship building.

Suggested use: although not well suited in a strong paddle this species is an ideal laminate layer in any Greenland paddle. This types is really light and adaptable however extremely soft and also you could wish to add protective tips and edges to a paddle of this product. This types is very degeneration immune and also looks attractive. We make use of Atlantic white cedar in many paddles. This is a varieties grown as well as collected and grated in our bioregion.

Accessibility: Moderate offered, from regional sustainable resources

Eco-friendly lightBasswood

Tillia Americana- The all-natural variety of American basswood is from New Brunswick to southeast Manitoba and, southern to Oklahoma as well as eastern to North Carolina. The sapwood of basswood is white to cream, while the heartwood is light to red brownish, with darker streaks. When completely dry, the timber has a soapy smell. The timber is soft and light, with a penalty, also appearance. American Basswood functions easily with devices, making it a premier sculpting timber. Rated as a little or nonresistant to heartwood decay. Uses: Lumber, veneer, plywood, carvings, pulp, decoys, fiber items, furnishings stock, mobile houses, color rollers, indicators, toys, showing off products, wood ware, as well as novelties.
Recommended use: Great as a laminate in any kind of Greenland paddle or in strong canoe paddles.
Schedule: Modest available, from eco-friendly resource


The wood of yellow birch is hefty, tough and also strong, All Birch has a penalty, consistent appearance. Yellow birch has white sapwood and also light reddish-brown heartwood. Yellow and Pleasant Birch lumber as well as veneer are used mostly in the manufacture of furniture, boxes, baskets, pet crates, wood ware, cooperage, interior surface, and also doors.

Recommended use: may be utilized for hardwood ideas or as a thin strip to safeguard the blade edges from abrasion.
Schedule: Commonly available from eco-friendly sources


Description: Brosimum Rubescens, likewise called Muirapiranga, Satine Rubane, Cardinal Timber, is found in the Amazon container and also the Guiana’s. The heartwood is blood red in color and also ages to a deep brownish color. Lacquer expands aging to assist protect red color. High bending as well as squashing stamina. Medium rigidity and resistance to shock, but tends to splinter as well as has low heavy steam flexing features. Blood timber is difficult as well as heavy although it could be functioned nicely you will should sharpen your tools before and after dealing with this species. Blood wood is sturdy, stable and also extremely rot immune. Usual usages are Cabinetmaking, furnishings, decorative inlay, transforming, veneers.

Advised usage: Wood pointers and also attractive strips.
Availability: A tropical wood of restricted renew ability, we purchase it as scraps from boat contractors and cabinet stores to restrict our ecological impact.

Black Cherry

Summary: Prunus serotina- American Cherry, black wild cherry. Cherry is discovered in the eastern fifty percent of the USA, from the plains to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Terrific Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. It likewise happens in high elevations in Mexico the sapwood is light yellow, while the heartwood is brownish with a greenish tinge, dimming after exposure to deep reddish brownish with a gold radiance. The timber has a mild, fragrant scent, however no particular preference. It is of medium thickness, company, and also strong, with a penalty, uniform texture. The grain is usually straight.

Recommended usages: Makes great hardwood tips on a Greenland paddle. This might additionally be use in horizontal 5 layer lamination as the outer most laminated on the impend. Cherry makes a remarkably gorgeous strong timber canoe paddle and is excellent as a laminated in any kind of single blade paddle.
Availability: Widely offered from sustainable sources. This types is grown, gathered and also, milled in our bioregion.


Summary: Among a number of varieties Guibourtia arnoldiana, additionally called benge, Guibourtia ehie, called ehie or ovangkol and also,, Guibourtia spp. All called bubinga all from West Africa and also varying in color greatly from red to brownish and also yellow. Benge is yellow, ehie is gold to brownish, bubinga is pink to brown with black or purple red stripes. Ehie is program in texture while bubinga and benge are great textured. All types are tough as well as hefty woods that work well with sharp tools. These are reasonably degeneration immune varieties. Usual usages are flooring as well as furnishings

Advised uses: Hardwood pointers. Currently not in use.

Accessibility: An exotic hardwood of limited restore capacity, we buy it as scraps from boat contractors as well as cupboard stores to limit our ecological effect


The slim sapwood of butternut is white to light brown, while the heartwood is chestnut brown with red tints. The growth rings are distinctive, with a marked difference between the dimension of the early timber and latewood pores. Butternut is made use of in lumber, furniture, boxes, crates, mill job, and veneer.

Recommended use: might be used as an additional product in Greenland paddles or as a key material in solitary blades, this timber is really eye-catching when finished yet is not as sturdy as numerous other types.

Accessibility: Low schedule from renewable resources. We do not stock this species unless we happen throughout a good log.

Eastern Red Cedar

The wood is reasonably low in toughness and tightness, but it is high in shock resistance. Eastern red cedar is made use of in fencing posts, chests, wardrobes, closet linings, pencils, carvings, pet dog bed linens, furnishings, floor covering, and tiny boats Oil from the wood (cedrol) is used in the manufacture of fragrances and medicines. It is also utilized for Xmas trees.

Suggested usage: This species could be brittle and also is constantly very knotty. Eastern red cedar ought to be utilized for its appearance not it architectural high quality.
Availability: Extensively readily available from eco-friendly sources. This types is expanded, harvested and, grated in our bioregion.

Description: The name mahogany is used to define several unique kinds of commercial timber. American West Indies mahogany, Swietenia mahagoni, was the types used as very early as the 1600’s in Europe for furnishings making due to the fact that of its appeal and also work capability.
These species are reasonably degeneration resistant. These varieties are made use of in closet and furniture as well as in boat building.

American Mahogany, Swietenia mahagoni, likewise called true or Honduras mahogany, ranges from Mexico southern to Bolivia. Heart timber is light pink or salmon to a dark reddish brownish. The grain is normally straighter then African types. The grain differs form penalty to training course, and the timber is thought about decay immune, well practical and also stable. This varieties is made use of in all fine wood working consisting of watercraft structure and musical instruments.

Suggested use: hardwood ideas.

Availability: Moderate available & low renewability


The wood of sugar maple and black maple is recognized as hard maple; that of silver maple, red maple, and box senior as soft maple. The sapwood of the maples is generally white with a small reddish-brown tinge; the heartwood is light red brown, but occasionally is substantially darker. Maple timber discolorations well as well as takes a high polish.

Recommended use: Wood pointers and also as a laminate in a solitary blade paddle.
Schedule: Widely offered from sustainable resources.


Oak wood has a course structure; it is heavy, straight-grained, difficult, difficult, really tight, as well as strong. Oak wood has good functioning homes. Oak is commonly utilized in ships, railroad crossties, hardwood bridges, tannin dyes, fuel timber, hardwood measurements and also flooring, furniture, veneer, plywood, barrels, kegs and also casks (white oak team), truck as well as trailer beds, extracting lumbers, containers, pallets, boxes, paneling.

Suggested usage: Hardwood pointers.

Accessibility: Widely offered from eco-friendly sources


The heartwood is vivid orange to red when newly cut darkening to a purple brownish on direct exposure. This is hefty as well as difficult wood that is challenging to device.
Advised usage: Wood suggestions

Availability: An exotic hardwood of minimal renew ability, we buy it as scraps from boat home builders and also cabinet shops to restrict our environmental effect
Eco-friendly lightPine

Summary: Pinus spp.- there are a great deal of different kinds of yearn each a bit various however Ponderosa Pine is a lumber varieties. Botanically, ponderosa ache belongs to the yellow want team rather than the white yearn group. The heartwood is yellowish to light red brownish or orange and the wide sapwood is virtually white to pale yellow. It is straight grained and has reasonably small shrinkage. It is fairly uniform in appearance and has little tendency to warp as well as spin. Commonly distributed throughout the Rocky Mountains and mountains of the Pacific coast. It also grows in north Mexico. Ponderosa pine is not durable unless treated with a chemical, under conditions positive to degeneration. It is ranked as somewhat to nonresistant to decay. Ponderosa ache is used primarily for lumber and to a lesser level for piles, poles, messages, mine woods, veneer, and also railway crossties. The clear wood is especially well matched for millwork, such as home window frameworks, doors, shelving, moldings, sash doors, blinds, paneling, mantels, trim, and integrated situations and cupboards. Reduced grade lumber is utilized for boxes and also crates. Much of the lumber of intermediate or reduced qualities enters into sheathing, below floor covering, and also roof boards. Knotty ponderosa ache is made use of for indoor finish. A considerable amount now enters into particleboard and also paper.
Advised usage: could be made use of as a key material in any paddle.
Schedule: Widely readily available from eco-friendly resources


Yellow Poplar sapwood is white, often with environment-friendly or grey to black red stripes, while the heartwood is usually tan, it could vary from greenish brownish to dark environment-friendly, purple, black, blue as well as yellow. The wood is straight grained, uniform in texture as well as modest to light weight. Poplar is used for lumber, veneer, pulpwood, furnishings, plywood, indoor surface, dimension supply, gunstocks, music instruments, playthings, novelties, hat blocks, showing off goods, pallets, delivering pet crates, slack cooperage, and also particle board.

Advised usage: might be utilized as a laminate in any type of paddle or making a solid single blade paddle.

Accessibility: Extensively offered from sustainable sources

Port Orford cedar

The sapwood of Port-Orford-cedar varies from almost white to a pale yellow-colored brown the heartwood is yellow-colored white to fade yellow-colored brown. The wood has a penalty, also texture as well as the grain is also and also directly. Port Orford cedar is utilized in arrowhead shafts, storage space battery separators, Venetian blind slats, sashes, doors, interior surface millwork, mothproof cellular linings for boxes as well as closets, watercrafts, suits, basic building, water tanks, bridges, dock planking, railway connections and also mine hardwoods.

Recommended usage: Might be used as a laminate product in any kind of paddle nonetheless, it is of restricted schedule and when available valued a little greater after that various other cedar varieties.

Availability: restricted available, restricted renew capacity

Purple Heart

Over time the timber transforms dark brownish. The dirt from the wood is toxic constantly wear a dirt mask when reducing as with all timber types. Typical usages are in hefty construction and also as for use in pool hints and also as accents in great timber working.

Suggested usage: Wood ideas

Schedule: A tropical wood of restricted restore capacity, we purchase it as scraps from boat building contractors and also cupboard stores to restrict our ecological impact


Description: Dalbergia stevensonii additionally know as Palissandre du Bresil (French), Jacaranda de Brasil (Spanish), Cabiuna, Caviuna, Jacaranda (Brazil), varieties are spread in the eastern forests of Bahia and also southward to Espirito Santo and also Rio de Janeiro and inland to include Minas Gerais. As a result of veteran exploitation, the tree has actually ended up being extremely scarce in the much more obtainable regions. Various other comparable species of India rose timber are also marketed. For this reason we seldom utilize this varieties unless salvage wood is available. Heartwood is brown to violet off-and-on and notably streaked with black. Grain typically directly; structure tool to instead rugged; radiance tool; great smelling rose-like odor, taste distinctive yet don’t try it once more constantly wear a dirt mask when collaborating with wood. Works really perfectly, some specimens may be too oily to take a good polish. Really immune to degeneration.
Frequently use in great wood working

Suggested usage: If you desire a hefty paddle you cannot pay for as well as want to feel bad concerning cutting down the rain forest this is the types for you!.

Accessibility: An exotic hardwood of minimal renewability. We just have this in supply when we are working with musical instruments.

Sitka Spruce

The sapwood is a luscious white to light yellow, while the heartwood is pinkish yellow to brownish. The wood has a fine, uniform appearance as well as generally has a straight grain. Usual usages include lumber, pulpwood, sounding boards for high quality pianos, guitar deals with, ladders, parts for speculative light aircraft, oars, planking, poles and spars for watercrafts, as well as generator blades.

Recommended use: We do not use it due to the fact that we cannot get it really typically but it is great in a lot of paddle making applications

Availability: Modest available, renew capability unknown

Teak wood

Summary: Of the family Verbenaceae, Tectona grandis L also called Kyun (Burma), Teck (French), Teca (Spanish). Is Belonging to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, consisting of Indonesia and also is thoroughly cultivated in ranches within its all-natural range in addition to in exotic locations of Africa and also Latin The U.S.A.. Heartwood dark golden yellow, turning a dark brownish with direct exposure, typically extremely variable in color when fresh machined showing spots and also streaks of different tones; sapwood light yellow-colored, greatly demarcated. Grain directly, in some cases wavy; structure rugged, uneven (ring permeable); plain with an oily feeling; perfumed when freshly reduced. Dirt may trigger skin irritabilities. High resistance to water absorption. Quickly worked with both hand and also equipment devices as well as gowns to a very smooth coating if tools are kept sharp. Frequently used in Shipbuilding, joinery, furniture, flooring, sculpting, cabinetwork, paneling, turnery, components calling for high resistance to acids.

Suggested use: Use teak in any type of paddle application when your are tired of utilizing your money to begin campfires or as a shammy to polish your cars and truck and also desire a brand-new method to get rid of cash money.

Availability: A tropical hardwood of limited renewability.

Western Red Cedar

The wood is typically straight grained as well as has an uniform yet instead coarse texture. This types is light in weight, reasonably soft, reduced in strength when utilized as a beam or messages, as well as low in shock resistance. Western red cedar is made use of principally for tiles, lumber, posts, posts, and also heaps.

Recommended use: Might be made use of in any kind of paddle as a laminate or making a strong paddle.

Availability: Commonly available, renew capacity ending up being much more restricted.

Use it, Abuse it, Varnish it!

Use it. Abuse it. Varnish it.

Your stan up paddle, kayak paddle or canoe paddle won’t need any special care except to protect it from the elements between sessions. However, If the finish of the paddle does become scratched or worn through, you can repair it.

Rub the area with a fine grit sand paper (220 grit is perfect…) until it is smooth and dull. Apply two or three thin coats exterior marine grade polyurethane.

Rub lightly with the fine abrasive between coats for a better finish. When the last coat is dry you are ready for action. If the wood is damaged, sand the area aggressively with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the wood and remove the discoloration. Treat the sanded area with 3 or 4 coats of polyurethane as described above. If the job is more than you can handle, we’ll be glad to repair it for you for a small charge.

If you have any additional questions, call or email and we’ll help you out!

Size Matters

Canoe Paddles

Here’s our double-top secret, tried and true method of measuring for our canoe paddles.

Here’s the deal. Overall height doesn’t matter since canoe paddling is a sit down activity. So sit up straight (like your mother taught you…) in a hard bottomed chair and measure from the seat to your eye brows.

For bent shaft canoe paddles add 18″ to this total.

For straight shaft canoe paddles add 24″ to this total.

It sounds goofy but works great for our canoe paddles.

If you have any other questions about sizing please call or email and we’ll be glad to help.

If you’re purchasing a canoe paddle as a gift, and you feel a little weird putting a tape measure between his/her legs without explaining, then a gift kit is for you. We include measuring instructions in the kit.

Stand Up Surf Paddles

There’s lots of theories about how to properly determine the correct stand up surf paddle size. It seems that everyone we speak with has their own personal preference. We recommend 8 inches over your over all length. The chart below will help you figure it out. Please call or email us if you have any questions.

Your Height
Paddle Size
86 Inches
85 Inches
84 Inches
83 Inches
82 Inches
81 Inches
80 Inches
79 Inches
78 Inches
77 Inches
76 Inches
75 Inches
74 Inches
73 Inches
72 Inches
71 Inches
70 Inches
69 Inches
68 Inches
67 Inches
66 Inches

Canoe Paddles

Every Whiskey Surf Paddle is individually handcrafted. Like a snowflake, no two are exactly the same. Each one is unique and special in its own way -and each has the classic style and innovative design that defines Whiskey Surf Paddles.

All Whiskey Surf canoe, kayak and stand up paddles are individually handcrafted from the finest select-grain, red and white cedar available. These beautiful and unique paddles combine old world craftsmanship with modern laminated design.

The ergonomically designed grips are incredibly comfortable and greatly reduce hand fatigue. We painstakingly mold each grip so that they fit perfectly into the palm of your hand.

Our fiberglass reinforced blades are designed to glide through the water without flutter or vibration. Our blades are strong but have just enough flexibility to reduce strain on the joints.

The shafts are constructed of five strips of laminated cedar and are spokeshaved by hand into a smooth, oval shape -perpendicular to the blade. Our wooden shafts provide wonderful flex which acts as a natural shock absorber during long days of hard paddling.

These beautiful canoe, kayak and stand up paddles are built with pride and are among the nicest paddles you will ever hold.