Use this Directory to help Choose the wood that best suits your needs
All of the woods below are wonderful for all levels of impact play. They are strong and suitable for many variations of use. The different species of wood offer not only visual interest but functional/feel as well.
For the sake of comparing some physical characteristics of the different woods, I'll abbreviate some markers:
D = the higher the number, the heavier the paddle.
N = the higher the number the harder the wood.
OAK: (Natural, Carrington, or Kona stained)
This North American medium density hardwood, provides a heavier overall paddle with more thud. Recommended for beginner users and those looking for a higher level of impact and weightier balance at a great price point. (D=42, N=4720)
A fantastic North American domestic hardwood that falls in the medium density range, like oak. This hardwood has been an American favorite since before the US was founded. Coveted for it’s chocolaty brown tones and wonderful weight, Walnut works very well for a strong & stingy paddle with a little extra oomph. (D=38, N=4490)
A wonderful African medium to high density hardwood offering a fantastic balance between thud and sting. The bright red/orange color naturally ages into a beautifully rich reddish brown over the years. More weighty than oak and walnut, this is a great paddle for those looking for a solid and colorful mix of thud and sting. (D=47. N=8760)
Found from Mexico to southern Brazil, purpleheart is a favorite in the community for its rich purple color. But did you know that its quite hard and heavy too, making it superbly balanced toward the thuddy end of the spectrum. Like many heartwoods, the brilliant purple color will fade to a dark brown with a purple tint with UV exposure. However, unlike many that you see online, we do not artificially dye or stain our purpleheart. We use the ancient, and tedious, art of Shou Sugi Ban to preserve the brilliant eggplant purple color for life! (D=56, N=11,190 !!!)
This superbly dense Mexican Ebony is perfect for those looking for serious weight and thud from an all wooden paddle. This paddle is weighty, similar to our steel paddles! And it has all of the thud to back it up. There is a TON of variation in the grain and tonal patterns of this wood. I will use my best taste to select pieces that offer the most interest. Front and back colorings are nearly always beautifully different. (D=72, N= 16260) !!!
This African beauty features a mixture of straight and interlocking grain, producing wonderful chatoyancy (a natural refracting of light) when finished. This wood has been a popular wood for everything from fine furniture to boat building around the world. As a paddle, it provides a wonderfully balanced weight in the hand, and plenty of impact on the receiving end. (D=40, N=4760)
From Mexico, Bocote is one of those woods that makes a description pointless. Just look at it...Yes, it's dense, heavy, and pretty hard. But really, just look at it, not much else matters. Unfortunately, that 'ooooh' factor also comes with a price tag almost as heavy as the wood itself. (D=53, N=8950)
This Central African wood has a fantastic grain height and texture, and although very dark and uniform in color, it still has a ton of character. Wenge is another superb paddle wood for those looking for something uniquely beautiful and elegant, in look and function. (D= 54, N=8600)
Along with Bocote, Zebrawood has such a wonderful grain it basically makes words moot. Contrasting light and dark tones in the figure give anything made with zebrawood an immediate amount of draw and character. (D=50, N=8160)
This African powerhouse is a paddle wood if there were ever one. It has an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio (D=56, N=10720), making it a great choice for those looking for a lot of strength but not as much weight as the beastly Katalox. Bubinga also features a host of stunning grain figures, such as flamed, pommele, and waterfall, which make this wood truly unique. (D=56, N=10720)