Making a bent shaft Aleutian paddle – part 1

Hybrid Aleutian paddle, Top view
Hybrid Aleutian paddle. Prototype#2 Two seasons of use showing, but still going strong.   Top view
Hybrid Aleutian paddle, sideview
Hybrid Aleutian paddle.Prototype #2.  The power face is the flat face.  Side view

A paddle design I’ve exclusively used the past 3 years. The first prototype I built and used during the summer of 2013. It performed well but due to the materials used; maple, alder and pine,  was slightly on the heavy side ( 1500+ gms), but booy, oh boy is it robust!

For the coast of Finland kayaking trip in 2014,  I built a second prototype from lighter materials (total weight in the 950g range): Western Red Cedar (WRC), nordic pine and alder. I’ve used that paddle now for two consequetive summers and some 2500+ kms of touring. It still needs improvement but still its the best paddle I have made. While its not the lightest paddle out there, it IS strong enough for touring/expedition use! NO question! It has  slight flex, just enough to let you know there is flex, But it is sturdy for serious heavy duty use! I’m not sure it will withstand the greenland definition of a multi-use-dependable paddle = “one can use it as a pull up bar”, but it’ll come very close!

The dimensions of the paddle prototype# 2 are: Length 220cm, Loom length 55cm, Blade max width 92mm. The loom cross-section is a mix between a Tri-oval and egg shape, kinda asymmerical oval. The loom cross-section dimensions are:  width 28mm and thickness 32mm.

Marko, who will be paddling the Finnish coast during the summer 2016, asked me to make him a similar paddle with slightly tweaked dimensions to suit him. Here’s a quick and dirty photo-album (part 1) of “How, what and possibly why?

Part – 2 will follow once I get the paddle made… and mayhaps later of how it all worked out? Or did it?