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Design & Illustration

Carbon greenland paddle

A couple of years ago Duane Strosaker published a carbon fiber paddle project, an article that was highly appreciated, but with noone, as it seems, taking up on the idea - up til now, that is. Rune Eurenius in Gothenburg built a beautiful paddle using roughly the same method.

Runes White Pearl and new paddle

Runes new paddle Duane notes this as well on the qajaqusa forum: "Speaking of my hollow CF GP building instructions, Rune in Sweden built one. In the three years since I first provided the instructions, he is the first one (besides me) to actually build one".)

Rune presents the project in pictures here. specs:: Length 223 cm. Width of blades 90 mm. Shaft 38x31 mm. Weight 730 gram. Cost of materials approx SEK 800 (half of it carbon). Building time approx 30 h.

"Hi Björn,

After building Duanes hollow paddle, I can establish that it is not very stiff - not more than my old wooden paddle (which I like). The torsional stiffness is high though and the low weight is handy. The flotation from 2 liters air tempts me to leave the paddle float at home.

At occasions I have tried the Superior carbon paddles and found them much stiffer. Maybe the foam core makes the difference?

The water temp in Gothenburg did not invite to spent time upside down. I prefer to, somewhat impatiently, wait for more tolerable temps.

Rune Eurénius

Another approach...

The other day there were pics from another exciting paddle project. Joel Fleischer had to reforge a broken paddle and developed a method where a braided carbon/kevlar tubing was tightened over the old paddle and laminated in place. This is how it turned out:

Joel Fleischers reforged paddle

Here is Joels desciption with pics and a discussion on the potential on qajaqusa.


I have been playing around with the idea of making a composite paddle for a while now.

My plan is to model one quarter of the paddle in Solidworks and then have a friend make the female mold of it on a CNC mill.

I would then use vacuum infusion to make lightweight and strong parts of s-glass and carbon/kevlar or something like that.

Always nice to see that the concept is tested.

If you do a female mould, try to incorporate a taper for joining the two main parts together and possibly flanges etc. for assembly. If you do a mould and are not going into business, perhaps we could borrow/rent the mould from you (I somehow got the idea that you are in Norway)

I am thinking about ways to make it:

1: Easier to assemble

2: More rigid

If I ever get the mold done I'd be happy to lend it to you. I must warn you though that projects of mine tend to take awfully long time befor they finish, if they ever do.

I've been thinking about this paddle mold for about two years already.

When/if I get it done I'll email Björn and he'll probably put a note on his website.

(I'm Swedish, but live in Oslo)

During the build of Duanes hollow GP, I made up a few samples of the lay-up for testing purposes. Hard abuse with pliers and a hammer showed an amazing strength and impact resistance.

I´m totally confident with Duanes construction method and I will now build a high wind / spare paddle as a complement. I will use the same mold, just shortening the length of the loom

For the lay-ups, I have used a 163 g. fiberglass cloth, left over from a strip kayak build. (200 g cloth is recommended by Duane)

Possibly as a result of this, my paddle is no stiffer (lengthwise) than my wooden GP. The torsional stiffness is on the other hand very noticeable and as the four lay-ups are identical, the paddle is perfectly balanced.

Prior to joining the paddle halves, I was thinking about filling the paddle with a two-component marine grade polyurethane foam. This would have added up to 100 grammes to the paddle but also stiffness and durability.

When pouring the pre mixed foam liquid into the paddle halves, proper cooling of the shells may be necessary as heat is generated when the foam expands

Link with specs. for the PU foam here:

I am thinking that since the paddle needs most of it's strength lengthwise maybe one /a few of the layers could be unidirectional cloth?

I get the impression that the torsional stiffness is enough anyway.

An alternative way for you Rune would be to make a female mold from your male one, using chopped strand and polyester (since its very very cheap, at Biltema for instance).

You could then place thin lengths of foam in between the layers of fabric in your paddle. I am guessing this would add a lot of stiffness lengthwise, I have never tested this myself though.

I can see that I didn't read thoroughly enough, you already have a female mold.

What if you place a 1x0.5cm (wxh) strip from the blade tip and all the way into the loom.

If it is placed with two layers of cloth on top and two layers beneath my guess is that the new "profile" would make the paddle a lot stiffer.

Thanks Einar for the input. Great tip on the polyester mold! I may try that, as my female mold was slightly damaged due to a disaster with the plug.

I´m sure the strip reinforcements you are suggesting will add considerably stiffness to the paddle. However, I´m very happy with the soft feel of it and I will keep the lay-up properties for future paddle projects.

In case you are visiting Gothenburg, you are welcome to give my paddle a try. Just let me know

I think a variation of Einars suggestion would be fine (if I understand it correctly). VKV use an asymmetric layout for this reason in their paddle shafts - they specify approx 300000 respective 200000 filaments on the push and pull side of the shaft and perhaps (by the look of it - not specified) 100000 on the neutral sides:

A couple of narrow strips (1 cm?) of carbon fiber cloth on top of the ordinary laminations in the bottom of the mold, may be enough.

Inga problem med sammafogningen av delarna eller lack på slutet om du anvämt silikon alt. teflon som släppmedel ?

Eller försvann det iom en sista finslipning av utsidan ?

Skulle ett alternativ kunna vara att fylla varje padelhalva med t ex fogskum (som kanske är lite lättare att få tag på än något tvåkomponents marin-skum) för att styva upp paddeln ytterligare lite ?

Jag tror att årets semesterprojekt är spikat...

Ja, det släppmedel som eventuellt fanns kvar slipade jag tydligen bort, för några vidhäftningsproblem har jag inte haft.

Jämförelsen med min gamla träpaddel är missledande. Jag fick tillfälle att provböja ett halvdussin hemsnickrade grönlandspaddlar i helgen och samtliga var mjukare än min träpaddel.

De flesta skulle förmodligen uppleva min kolfiberpaddel som ganska styv och jag kan egentligen inte se någon fördel med en styvare grönlandspaddel.

Måste också tillägga att skaftet är så styvt som ett paddelskaft kan bli. Det är bladen som flexar.

Har nu byggt en stormpaddel från samma form. Tekniken med glidande tag kräver min fulla koncentration, men jag vill kunna bemästra den när det kniper playimage.php?album=30&pos=45

Kan ta ner paddlarna till Kanot Väst den 24/5 om någon är intresserad

Hi, since none of the links is working any more, could someone inform me , which foam core is best option, EPS or XPS? What density? And how many layer of fiberglass needed to be laminated? One layer of 160gr/sm is it enough? Thanks in advance

I hope someone else can comment on this since all my paddles are in solid wood – I have no personal experience of anything else ;-)

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