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  1. #1
    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    here's how-to info & pics about two DIY land paddles i made. i wanted to make the instructions as clear as possible, so if you find the tone patronizing, just ignore it.
    i'm European, so weight is in kg:s and measures are in mm:s and cm:s. and i use emoticons.

    the pictures show a lot of wear on the hockey pucks, which is due to braking on pavement. when using the paddle for just moving forward, i find the pucks to be quite durable. the Kahuna website says their Big Stick wheels do not wear much even when used for braking. i'm curious to know whether that's your experience. also, if you have any other ideas for wheel material, it'd be great to read about them.
    some discussion already here.



    materials

    -- a round wooden staff or dowel
    * recommended 28 mm in diameter, length to your own specifications
    * i weigh about 60 kg, with not very big hands; i find this thickness handles well and is of a suitable flexibility; if you are heavier and / or have large hands, you may want to use a thicker staff
    -- a thicker & shorter length of round wood; for the handle
    * 45 mm in diameter & 88 mm in length recommended, can try other measures
    * see pic A for reference

    pic A



    -- 2 bolts
    * 5 mm in diameter, 80 mm in length including head (78 mm shaft, exluding the head); with at least 10 mm of screw thread at the end
    * i prefer carriage bolts (domed head bolts with a short square shank, see
    Screw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    for a picture & description), but other designs will do
    * see pic B for reference

    pic B



    -- 2 nuts
    * 5 mm inside / 10 mm outside; preferably Nylok (with nylon locking ring)
    * see pic B for reference
    -- 2 standard ice hockey pucks
    * 76 mm in diameter, 25 mm in thickness
    -- 1 general purpose screw
    * with flat head that will sink in
    * preferably with an unthreaded shank below the drive head, see
    Screw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    * 5-6 mm in diameter, minimum of 55 mm in length
    -- strong glue (construction glue or similar, not supermarket superglue)
    optional:
    -- ice hockey stick grip tape (thin fabric tape)
    * tennis racquet or floorball stick grip tape not recommended
    -- finishing and / or protecting wax or varnish
    * i used one coat of Osmo Colour transparent coloured wax (shade 3168 - antique oak) for colour, and two coats of Osmo Colour TopOil for weatherproofing



    tools

    -- sanding paper and/or sanding equipment
    -- wood file
    -- drill, with wood drill bits
    -- wood saw
    -- cutting knife
    -- wood chisel
    -- access to professional wood shop tools (like band saw, upright fixed drill, stationary disc sander machine) helps, but everything here can be done with home tools



    instructions

    -- the order of the instructions is mostly optional, adjust to need
    -- read all the way though before starting
    -- finesse is not required i made my paddles with little prior woodwork experience

    -- saw the round wooden staff to a desired length
    * i am 176 cm tall, and for my first DIY land paddle (to use with an old-school longboard, standing about 12 cm off the ground) i used a staff length of 167 cm (including handle) and was happy with it; i snapped it in a nasty fall, resulting 14 cm having to be sawed off; i fixed it and will keep it as a spare; can use it if want to squat way down to get some serious leg exercise
    * for my second one i just made, to be used with a mountainboard (standing about 18 cm off the ground), i used a length of 187 cm (including handle); i've yet to use it, see if it's a suitable length
    -- saw and / or file the edges of the other end of the staff, so that the edges are straight
    * see pic C for reference

    pic C



    * the length of the straight edge should be 55 mm minimum, to leave room for the puck edges
    * the thickness of this modified end of the stick, straight edge to straight edge, should be 20 mm; any thinner than 18 mm will probably make it prone to snapping
    * it's not a problem if the two edges slant a little compared to each other; this may even improve the ground grip of the pucks, however, i have not experimented on this
    -- drill two 5-6 mm diameter holes in the straight edge
    * see pic C for reference
    * the distance between the centres of the holes should be 18-20 mm; the distance of edge of the lower hole should be at least 10 mm from the end of the staff; otherwise, the end will probably become too fragile

    -- drill one 5-6 mm diameter hole in the middle of both hockey pucks, and four to eight 5-6 mm diameter holes more or less evenly around the central holes
    * see pic D for reference

    pic D



    * use wood drill bits, the pucks are surprisingly tricky to drill; having a fixed upright drill helps a lot
    * the distance between the centres of the middle hole & other holes should be 18-20 mm; make sure it's the same distance as with the holes in the staff
    * 5 mm holes make the bolt fit more snugly, but you'll probably need a hand tool (like wrench or pliers) to remove the bolt when changing the puck position
    * 6 mm holes make removing the bolt easier, and yet do not leave the parts too loose
    -- if using bolts with a square base, make plus-shaped cuts to the edges of the holes on one side of one puck, to make room for the bolt base & keep it from turning
    * see pic D for reference
    * you can also round the edges of the holes, like i did earlier (see pic E for reference), but this will make tightening the nuts harder, as the head of the bolt will be able to turn; in this case, you need to press hard on the pucks when tightening the nuts

    (( pic E ))



    -- having many holes enables you to change the position of the pucks when they get worn; the wear shown on these pictures is due to braking on pavement. when using the paddle for just moving forward, i find the pucks to be quite durable. if you have other ideas for wheel material, lemme know!

    -- you can now fix the pucks to the staff, or leave it until later if you plan to use varnish on the wood

    -- saw, file and / or sand the short & thick piece of wood into the shape of a handle
    * 88 mm x 45 mm x 30 mm recommended, but find out what measures best fit the palm of your hand
    * see pic F for reference

    pic F



    -- drill a 4 mm diameter hole through the middle of the handle
    -- on the top side of the handle, round the edges of the hole slightly, so the screw head will fully sink in and be out of the way
    * see pic G for reference

    pic G



    -- this is probably the only tricky part of the project: to make a more or less crude mortise and tenon joint
    make a square-ish hole on the bottom side of the handle, about 10-15 mm deep; the sides can be slanted, no need to keep them absolutely straight
    * i don't have a picture, since i did not document the whole making process
    * this i found easiest to do with a chisel and a hammer or mallet
    * be careful not to split or otherwise damage the handle
    (* you can also make a round hole (see pic H for reference) first and then "sharpen" the edges)

    (( pic H ))



    * this is needed to firmly attach the handle to the shaft; even a rough square shape will work better than a round hole, to avoid letting the shaft turn when screwing the handle in place
    * just a round hole will do as well, but you may have a hard time getting the handle screwed in tight enough

    -- drill a 4 mm diameter hole into the middle of the other end of the staff
    * try to keep it straight, but it does not matter if the hole slants a little bit as long as it does not get too close to the side
    * the hole should be deep enough to make enough room for the length of the screw
    -- after drilling the hole, shape the edges of the end of the staff to a slanted square shape, to fit the hole in the bottom of the handle
    * if you do the shaping before the drilling, it may make the drilling more difficult
    * don't worry, even a rough fit will do, as long as the staff keeps from turning when tightening the screw
    Last edited by Whalebone; 04-06-2010 at 12:35 PM.


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  3. #2
    Addicted Cruiser Big Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    You must have felt the same way as I did - not willing to pony up a big chunk of coin for one of Kahuna's Big Sticks.

    A good friend of mine got me out on a paddleboard last time I visited FLA, and I had a great time on it paddling around in the Intercoastal. It's a good workout for sure. I naturally thought about getting a "paddle" for one of my longboards, until I saw how much they cost.

    So I got me a stout oak rake handle from Lowes. Nice stiff flex, and has a metal socket riveted on the end that makes wheel mounting easier. A PVC fitting made the Tee handle. And some roadie bar tape from the bike shop to cover it with for good grip. The handle was the easy part.

    My first "foot" attempt was the softest old skateboard wheel I had in my hoard. Real soft, like definitely mid-70's durometer. But not soft enough, it would slip under hard paddling, especially at the end of the stroke.

    Attempt #2 was a piece of 2" PVC pipe about 2" wide, with a section of MTB tire screwed/epoxied to the outside of the pipe. This worked a little better, but it would still slip at the end of a hard stroke.

    I was at the point where I was just gonna hit up Kahuna for a pair of replacement wheels, but I never thought of hockey pucks. Would'nt be too expensive to try a couple I guess.

    I'm thinkin' hockey pucks would also be too hard. How are they working out for you?

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    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 2

    (continued)

    -- IMPORTANT: make sure you know in which position you want the handle to be fixed, in relation to the pucks !
    * i want mine to be almost exactly in the same direction, so i can push with both pucks, but you may want to f.e. push with the edge of one puck at a time
    -- apply glue according to glue instructions, and screw the handle in place (see pic I for reference)
    * wipe off excess glue, and allow glue to dry properly

    pic I



    -- if you want to, you can use a wax or varnish to apply colour to the wood and / or for weatherproofing
    * before waxing, you may want to sand the wood to a smooth surface

    -- if you want to, you can apply grip tape to handle and shaft
    * the handle is tricky to tape, you may need to use smaller pieces of tape, and cut off and / or replace worn pieces later
    * tennis racquet or floorball stick grip tape are not recommended; they're too thick, and do not last long with this type of wear

    -- NOTE: it's important to get the balance right with bolt length and width of the shaft at the puck end. you don't want too much of the screw thread coming through the nut, or you might scrape your leg on it
    * if you file down the screw thread part showing through the nut, you may make it hard or impossible to remove the nut
    * using closed domed head nuts would help, but again they would have to fit the bolt length to be able to get them tight enough; these i haven't found yet


    - here's a couple of pictures of the repaired old paddle, the wax on the new one is not dry yet







    Last edited by Whalebone; 04-06-2010 at 12:30 PM.

  5. #4
    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    You must have felt the same way as I did - not willing to pony up a big chunk of coin for one of Kahuna's Big Sticks.
    yeah, i suppose Kahuna sticks are worth the investment, but the p&p to Europe would probably have doubled the price. plus i like to make stuff, or at least try.


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    So I got me a stout oak rake handle from Lowes. Nice stiff flex, and has a metal socket riveted on the end that makes wheel mounting easier. A PVC fitting made the Tee handle.
    oak sounds solid & durable. i don't even know the material of mine, pine or birch i guess. the wax makes it look so much more stylish


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    I never thought of hockey pucks. Would'nt be too expensive to try a couple I guess.
    I'm thinkin' hockey pucks would also be too hard. How are they working out for you?
    yeah, the pucks are quite hard. i mainly just cruise from A to B, and for that sort of easy-paced paddling along the grip is fine. i'm also of quite light build, and tend not to lean that much on the paddle. i'd love to get / make wheels where i could completely depend on the grip.
    i got the idea of using pucks from a Finnish forum where some old school skaters reminisced about using pucks for building tailbones and just about anything else back in the 80's.

  6. #5
    Addicted Cruiser Big Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Whalebone View Post
    yeah, i suppose Kahuna sticks are worth the investment, but the p&p to Europe would probably have doubled the price. plus i like to make stuff, or at least try.
    Yep, I'm the same way. Why buy it when you can make it?

    I should have made my T handle fatter like yours, it looks more comfortable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Whalebone View Post
    i'd love to get / make wheels where i could completely depend on the grip.
    That is my goal, a "foot" that you can utterly depend on to not slip. Braking has been very manageable, it's hard acceleration that is not working. Mine have worked ok until I really need to make some power, then they slip on me. Right at the end of a stroke when my balance is most compromised usually!

    I guess I'm spoiled from water SUP'ing first, with a paddle in the water you're making horsepower, period. No "slip" until the blade is leaving the water...

  7. #6
    Addicted Cruiser Ilikecheese's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Wouldn't a steel tube (broom or mop handle) and a tennis ball be easier and cheaper to make? Not trying to kill this thread as I am sure your version is much sturdier and will last longer with braking etc. but I think that as a budget thing a broom handle and tennis ball would work best.
    Quote Originally Posted by GrassDiver View Post
    Longboarding is for people who live outside the box.

    Most people get on little treadmills, and accept their little food pellets, and have no imagination, and don't understand life is passing them by, they just assimilate and accept the system, and wake up one day an old man, and have never really lived - it's kinda sad.

    Make every day count, it's a beautiful world out there, and it will all be over before you know it.

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    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilikecheese View Post
    Wouldn't a steel tube (broom or mop handle) and a tennis ball be easier and cheaper to make? Not trying to kill this thread as I am sure your version is much sturdier and will last longer with braking etc. but I think that as a budget thing a broom handle and tennis ball would work best.
    a steel tube would probably weigh a lot, and not sure about tennis ball (felt on rubber?) to pavement grip.
    mine's pretty much a budget thing anyway, i don't think the materials cost more than $20. the loving work put into it don't count
    plus, i'm waiting for a mountainboard to arrive in the post, so i had to occupy myself somehow ... the streets & pavement here in Finland are still full of grit & sand even though the snow's mostly gone, so skateboard wheels can't handle the terrain yet.

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    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    Yep, I'm the same way. Why buy it when you can make it?

    I should have made my T handle fatter like yours, it looks more comfortable.
    a matter of usage, i think. i've got small hands, so i can only cup this handle with the top hand, not fully grab it. that's perfect for cruising, but i suppose for other moves a slimmer handle will be, well, handier.


    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    I guess I'm spoiled from water SUP'ing first, with a paddle in the water you're making horsepower, period. No "slip" until the blade is leaving the water...
    here in Finland there's literally 1000's of lakes, but hardly any surf. water SUP'ing sounds like fun. do you combine it with surfing, or just go paddling? don't be offended, what i'm trying to ask is, is water SUP'ing enjoyable without the surf? in other words, would it make sense doing it on a relatively calm lake?

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    Addicted Cruiser TioEmm's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Here's an alternate design with no need to work out how to attach the T-handle:

    [ame=http://www.vimeo.com/7942545]PioEllie w/ VoiceOver on Vimeo[/ame]

  11. #10
    Stoked! pandabox's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    thats weird voice 1

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    Addicted Cruiser Hmann's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Kicking is easier and Free.
    Blue stickers are only given to the select few people to suck adam coltons balls, and do it skillfully enough to give him blue balls. Thus resulting in the giving of the rare Blue Loaded Sticker.

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    Addicted Cruiser Roysan's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    In all seriousness, are these supposed to be fun? I can't imagine it

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    Addicted Cruiser Big Mike's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Whats up with that video? Was that a long piece of yard waste with rubber balls on the ends? You ain't generating any power with that.

    And what's with Mr. Weird Voice hackin' on people for pushin' mongo? Some people just push that way (like me) So what? Does it really matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whalebone View Post
    here in Finland there's literally 1000's of lakes, but hardly any surf. water SUP'ing sounds like fun. do you combine it with surfing, or just go paddling? don't be offended, what i'm trying to ask is, is water SUP'ing enjoyable without the surf? in other words, would it make sense doing it on a relatively calm lake?
    My friends who are good at it definitely go out in the ocean and surf the waves (what waves there are in Florida anyway. It kicks up once in a while) I have only done it on flat, calm water. Yea, you could paddle all over a lake, why not? It's not quite as entertaining, but it would be a good workout. It would be easier to handle and transport than a boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hmann View Post
    Kicking is easier and Free.
    That is a valid point, and pretty funny to boot

    Quote Originally Posted by Roysan View Post
    In all seriousness, are these supposed to be fun? I can't imagine it
    Yea, this definitely ain't for everyone. I can see the young ripper types bagging on it and to be totally honest 20 years ago I'd have been right there laughin' along with you.

    Nowadays I find land-paddling to be a less than totally boring way to get a little upper body exercise while I skate...

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    Addicted Cruiser TioEmm's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    Whats up with that video? Was that a long piece of yard waste with rubber balls on the ends? You ain't generating any power with that.

    And what's with Mr. Weird Voice hackin' on people for pushin' mongo? Some people just push that way (like me) So what? Does it really matter?
    Long piece of yard waste: yes
    Rubber balls on the ends: rubber cane tips
    Generating power: not much
    Mr. Weird Voice: my son + lots of audio processing
    Big Mike pushes mongo: me too

  16. #15
    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by TioEmm View Post
    Long piece of yard waste: yes
    Rubber balls on the ends: rubber cane tips
    Generating power: not much
    Mr. Weird Voice: my son + lots of audio processing
    Big Mike pushes mongo: me too
    ha, i'm warming to that design! an idea: some kind of handles to grip or stoppers to keep your hands in place, so they don't slide along the pole when you try to push harder.

    whipping along with that at a faster speed would scare the heck out of other road users within range, and/or give them a laugh.

  17. #16
    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Mike View Post
    My friends who are good [water SUP'ing] definitely go out in the ocean and surf the waves (what waves there are in Florida anyway. It kicks up once in a while) I have only done it on flat, calm water. Yea, you could paddle all over a lake, why not? It's not quite as entertaining, but it would be a good workout. It would be easier to handle and transport than a boat.
    thanks for the info! definitely made me want to try it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hmann View Post
    Kicking is easier and Free.
    for most people i guess. got not-quite-arthritic-but-almost-there joints that can't take much impact-wise without flaring up. it's been easier to learn to paddle smoothly than kick smoothly. also, not having to kick all the time means i can kick some of the time without having to give it up completely.

  18. #17
    Fresh Fish DClongskate's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Has anyone tried a long hockey stick?? It seems the lightness would be a plus, and as durable as anything as a hockey stick is designed to flex and snap back (ex. slap shot), ebb and flow if you will.

    Also does anyone have any pictures of the use of a lacrosse ball on the bottom of the paddle? What different techniques have you guys used to attach said lacrosse ball? I was thinking of honing the bottom of my dowel slightly, drilling a matching hole in the ball and using glue, Maybe a countersink nut and bolt. To be honest I have never seen a lacrosse ball.

  19. #18
    Concrete Kahuna AATTYYRR's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by DClongskate View Post
    Has anyone tried a long hockey stick?? It seems the lightness would be a plus, and as durable as anything as a hockey stick is designed to flex and snap back (ex. slap shot), ebb and flow if you will.

    Also does anyone have any pictures of the use of a lacrosse ball on the bottom of the paddle? What different techniques have you guys used to attach said lacrosse ball? I was thinking of honing the bottom of my dowel slightly, drilling a matching hole in the ball and using glue, Maybe a countersink nut and bolt. To be honest I have never seen a lacrosse ball.
    Search DIY Land Paddle and there'll be another post other than this one, where the OP's idea was the lacrosse ball, and there's pics there.
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    Fresh Fish Whalebone's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Quote Originally Posted by DClongskate View Post
    Has anyone tried a long hockey stick?? It seems the lightness would be a plus, and as durable as anything as a hockey stick is designed to flex and snap back (ex. slap shot), ebb and flow if you will.
    a hockey stick would probably be great for handling shape, flex & durability, and the oblong / square shape would make it easier to attach the wheels & make a joint for the handle.

    don't know how much lighter than a dowel it would be, must investigate.

    finding a long enough hockey stick might be a problem. i'm 5 feet 9.3 inches tall, and i use a 6-foot (shaft, add a couple of inches for wheels & handle) paddle. in my experience, it's just the right length for my height, any shorther would not be practical. i'm using it on a mountainboard on which you stand 5.1 - 5.9 inches off the ground, but the difference to a basic topmounted longboard is not THAT much.
    lemme know if you find a hockey stick long enough!

    [a modding idea for the mountainboard: attaching the trucks to the top of the board instead of the bottom, making the ride much lower.]


    Quote Originally Posted by DClongskate View Post
    Also does anyone have any pictures of the use of a lacrosse ball on the bottom of the paddle? What different techniques have you guys used to attach said lacrosse ball? I was thinking of honing the bottom of my dowel slightly, drilling a matching hole in the ball and using glue, Maybe a countersink nut and bolt. To be honest I have never seen a lacrosse ball.
    the other thread mentioned by AATTYYRR is here.

    i'd also be interested in hearing details about experiences with other "wheel" materials, DIY, Big Kahuna or other. as said earlier, hockey pucks are pretty hard, definitely not the ideal. i can push okay, but i won't trust putting much weight onto them.
    Last edited by Whalebone; 04-21-2010 at 04:40 AM.

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    Fresh Fish DClongskate's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to make a DIY land paddle pt. 1

    Got a lacrosse ball last night for $1.99us. It seems it to do the trick. I did spend some time sitting on my porch Whittling business end of my paddle (Pine closet rod) by hand with a knife and sand paper. Incidentally, I was listening to an old Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album. And chewing tobacco. And wearing a straw hat. And I grew a Beard. (it looked odd with my flip flops and board shorts.)

    My closet rod is about 1.5- 1.75inches thick, and the diameter of the lacrosse ball is about 2.5inces thick I feel honing the shaft down a little is the right route… so we don’t break the ball and it seems to be the best way to keep the integrity of the pine shaft.

    When I was out getting a lacrosse ball last night I looked at hockey sticks… I was surprised at two things; 1. hockey stick are way more expensive than they were 13 years ago(last time I bought a hockey stick) and 2. They are not long enough. I seem to remember back in the day that defender sticks could be and were as tall as me with skates on. Close to 6 feet with shaft. I did not see any this long and I am looking in Minnesota USA, they take there hockey seriously up here in the nord. (I am not from here!)

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