Step 4 - Making the Blade

The first thing that has to be done to make the blade of a Stand Up Paddle is to lay out the shape of the blade.  This can be done by tracing a production blade on paper or by coming up with your own shape.  Or you can use the table of offsets below to make a blade that is 16 3/8” tall and 8 1/2” wide.  To use the offsets below, start by taking a piece of paper and draw a straight line from top to bottom down it’s center (the “center line”).  Then draw another line perpendicular to the center line, about an inch up from the bottom of the paper (the “bottom line”).  This line should go all the way across the bottom of the paper.  Mark the center line at one inch intervals from 0 to 17 starting with zero at the intersection of the center line and the bottom line.  Also make marks near the bottom at 1/4”, 1/2”, and a mark near the top at 16 3/8 inches.  Now, based on the information provided in the table of offsets, measure out from the center line the appropriate distance and make a mark.  For example, at the 1/4” mark on the centerline measure out 2 1/16” and place a mark.  At the 1/2” mark on the centerline measure out 2 3/4” and place a mark.  At the 1” mark on the centerline measure out 3 5/16” and place a mark.  And so on, until all the marks are made on the paper.

After all of the marks have been made, use a flexible batten or a French Curve to connect the marks.  This is the outline of one half of the blade.  Fold the paper in half along the centerline and cut out the shape of your blade.  You now have a complete template that is symmetrical.


1/4”........2 1/16”
1/2”........2 3/4”
1”............3 5/16”
2”............3 7/8”
3”............4 1/8”
4”............4 3/16”
5”............4 1/8”
7”............3 13/16”
8”............3 5/8”
9”............3 3/8”
10”..........3 1/16”
11”..........2 3/4”
12”..........2 3/8”
14”..........1 5/8”
15”..........1 3/16”
16 3/8”...9/16”

One of our builders, Matt Detone has been kind enough to provide a printable CAD template of the offsets.  Matt says, “it’s designed to print to scale and your exact dimensions on 11” x 17” paper.”  Here’s a link to the template file.  Thanks Matt!

Next, you need to prepare a surface on which to glue up the pieces of the blade.  An inexpensive, melamine covered, particle board shelf is ideal for this because the glue used to make the blade won’t stick to it.  You could also use a piece of plywood covered with packing tape or plastic.  It’s important that the gluing surface be flat with no twists or warping.  Draw a centerline on the gluing board.  Lay the template on the gluing board matching up the centerlines and trace the outline of the blade on the board.  This will give you a reference point for how much wood is necessary to make the blade.

To make the blade, take the offcuts from the shaft.  Start with the laminated offcuts.  Cut it into five pieces that are 17 inches long.  Arrange these pieces on the gluing board with one piece in the center, and two on either side of center, leaving gaps between each. 

Now take the offcuts from Step 1 and cut them into 17 inch lengths.  Place one in each gap between the laminated pieces until the outline for the blade that you drew on the gluing board is covered.

Edge glue all of the pieces together with Gorilla Glue, epoxy or waterproof wood glue.  Clamp the pieces together and clamp them flat to the gluing board until the glue has dried.

Now on to Step 5 - Shaping the Blade

© Gary Mastry II 2013