To make your own paddle is to join in a tradition which has remained largely unchanged for several thousand years.
With patience, modest skills and simple tools (axe, drawknife and spokeshave), anyone can produce a useful and even beautiful paddle.
On the course we will employ these tools on lengths of green ash to produce a paddle from a single piece of wood. Rough shaping of the form with an axe will be followed by measurement and reduction to thickness with a drawknife before final finishing with spokeshaves. A variety of paddle styles can be accommodated according to what is desired.
What you take away at the end of the course will be your first attempt but along with it will go a set of skills to develop and the satisfaction of knowing, the next time you are on the water, that the paddle in your hands is your own creation.
Clinton Chaloner (your tutor), own interest in paddle making grew from his involvement in the creation of four dugout boats. These were historical reconstructions of ancient vessels which have existed since the stone-age and continue to be made all over the world today. I use my own paddles regularly both in dugouts and in a modern Canadian open canoe.