How to make your own hand paddles - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-15-2010   #1
 
Cape Town, South Africa
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9
How to make your own hand paddles

My guide on how to make your own hand paddles. I hope it's useful to you, have fun!
Click HERE

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Old 10-15-2010   #2
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,753
WOW

Adrian,

One of if not the most complete and well illustrated set of directions I have seen.

Thanks for sharing this!
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Old 10-15-2010   #3
 
Cape Town, South Africa
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9
Thanks mate! If you have any suggestions, fire away. I'd also love to see what people come up with. The design/outline of the paddle could be worked on I'm sure. Everyone has their own ideas, so please do share
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Old 10-15-2010   #4
 
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Hey Adrian,
I've been exclusively handpaddling and making my own for about 3 years now. I thought I'd offer some of my ideas that I've came up with over the years.

I also use the powerpaws design (best design ever) and I'm actually happy with the size. I'm not sure if you are aware of it, but powerpaws made several different sizes. I use the medium size to paddle with and I have a smaller size for a backup that I keep in my boat.

I use 55 gallon plastic drums to make mine. They already have curvature...probably not as rigid but they are thin and lightweight (not to mention cheap). I know of others that have used old kayaks to make some but I really like the curve of the drums.

Buckles: I've had two swims now due to those plastic buckles breaking loose during a beatdown. Not to say I wouldn't have swam anyway...but I didn't have a chance once the buckle broke and my handpaddle came off. So i've changed my design to metal cam strap buckles. They are heavier, but lock on securely and I never have to worry about them breaking. I'm in Colorado so I always wear gloves. I imagine the metal buckles would be uncomfortable on bare hands...also, I never had this problem with Powerpaws...only when I started making my own. Maybe I just got cheaply made buckles?? But either way I'm happy with my buckles now.

Foam: Another modification I've made is that I put a very thin layer of foam...about 1/4" or so where my hands are. The foam extends out just past my fingertips and I sand it down on the ends so that it doesn't cause any resistance on the water. The purpose of the foam is so my paddles float when I swim. Otherwise the paddles just sink and you have to make another set. I don't like the foam to cover the entire paddle because of the resistance on the water and the overall paddle is just too thick. And it's just too much foam. they float fine with just a small amount.

leashes: I also toyed with leashes around my wrists to prevent losing them. I never had much success. I wanted them to stay on my wrists during a swim or scout, but break loose if they became entraped in a rock during my swim (didn't wanna get my arm ripped off). I never found the right snap to make that work, so I just gave up and stuck with the foam.

Well that's all I've got. Thanks so much for sharing your document. Very informative! I like your idea of using the chisel to punch the holes for the webbing. I normally just use a Dremel and my holes are rough and jagged sometimes. The chisel seems to make a very smooth hole.

Later,
Gavin
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Old 10-15-2010   #5
 
Cape Town, South Africa
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9
Hi Gavin,

No I didn't know about the different sizes. I have no idea which size these were..

Hmmm, the metal buckles sounds good. I guess I'd also wear gloves as it's cold here in the Western Cape of South Africa - I haven't had the chance to test them as our season experienced some drought. I felt that just by wearing them it felt like they may come off in a beatdown.

Foam, excellent idea! Thanks for that!! I was thinking of putting something under the fingers, maybe a carefully layed out strip of expoxy glue so that the fingers have something to grip on to too.

Many thanks for the tips, I actually have no hand paddling experience, yet. So I do appreciate it. I think I'll add your comments to that page if you don't mind. I can mention your name (surname?) or just keep it anonymous if you wish.

Have a super weekend,
Adrian
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Old 10-15-2010   #6
 
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
I don't mind you adding my comments at all...name or ananymous makes no difference to me. I just make paddles for myself and a couple buddies use them in place of a breakdown. I don't manufacture or sell them at all.

Also,
I'll try to post a pic of mine so you can see the foam. The foam adds grip, makes them float, and keeps your hands a little warmer (not just touching cold ass plastic the whole time).

good luck learning how to handpaddle. It's really frustruating at times, but really fun too!

later,
gavin
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Old 10-15-2010   #7
 
Cape Town, South Africa
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9
Great stuff! You could mail me the pic, and I'll post it up. Yeah I'm also not planning on selling these, way too much effort for that you could sell them.
Mail: adriantregoningAThotmailDOTcom
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Old 10-15-2010   #8
 
Provo, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 115
How difficult is it to pop our skirt with hand paddles on?
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Old 10-15-2010   #9
 
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
not difficult at all...you can either leave them on and push out, blowing the skirt with your knee. Or you can just sling them off and pull. Lots of people seem to freak out a bit about this, but I've absolutely never had trouble getting them off when I need to.
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Old 10-15-2010   #10
 
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 354
So now the big question is... Who has access to 55 gallon plastic drum? Please let me know need some hand paddles as a break down. Plus they are alot of fun in the park.
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