Blademap2The anatomy of a paddle is pretty simple really. There’s only a few terms  to learn. Shafts are usually made in two halves which are “scarved”  together and made of three pieces each. “Plated shafts” have a lighter  duty core- like spruce or sassafras, and then tough “plates”- usually of ash. It’s a tough, ding-resistant combination. “Stringer shafts” have a thin spline of ash in the middle and then sides of lighter wood- like  fir or spruce. These are lighter and whippier but more prone to dings  and catastrophic failure. So Stringer shafts are more like a light,  whippy indulgence for light duty uses.

The blades usually feature an “Edging” and “Tip” around the outside to buffer the blade from rock  bites. Just inside the edging is the outermost blade strip- the “Bang  Strip”. Bang strips support the edging whereas a lighter wood here could collapse under impact with rocks.

Next to the shaft in the  center of the blade are the “Fairing Strips”~ they help “fair” the shape of the shaft into the shape of the blade. Between the Fairings and the  Bang strips are the “Blade ” pieces and they are usually a light filler  wood- like Black Willow.

There are thin wood veneers across the  tips to help slow tip wear and resist splitting. That’s the basics!