The Wooden Paddle


Novelty Paddle – How many millions of these have been sold?

Do these ever work! We have one that hangs in our motor home.

I would love to hear from all the bottoms this has roasted.


The paddle in action

In the classic position

Happy Birthday

Paddle Her Socks Off

After Effects

The Problem Solver

Looks Like a Good One To Me

Seems to have the desired effect

Public Service Announcement About Paddles

I have always liked to play with women who like a wooden paddle. Some women want nothing to do with a wood paddle. They think it’s brutal. It can be.

How a paddle feels varies dramatically. Length, width, and thickness all play a role. But, wood density plays a much larger role.  What?

Some woods have more air between the cells than others. At the extreme, Balsa, used to make toy airplanes, is one of the lightest – less dense woods.

At the other end are woods like teak, myrtlewood, mahogany, padauk, and bloodwood which are all very dense and so heavy they are not suitable for paddles in thicknesses over 1/4″. Unless you want a club.

Sadly, the most colorful woods and also the woods most easily tooled are the denser ones.

I could not locate a table showing all woods but this shows some commonly used woods used in furniture, paneling, etc.

The far-right column is the one of interest in this case. Higher numbers mean thuddier paddles. The lower numbers make for stingy paddles. Plenty of surface sting, but no deep muscle bruising. [Surface bruising is a whole other topic]

Alder, Pine and Redwood make light stingy paddles. I think they are OK up to 1/2″. These are all softwoods and do not tool well. We have several pine paddles and over time they will develop small nicks if not put down with care. Still, I think they make the best paddles. I can not recall seeing Pine paddles for sale simply because they do not have the desired professional look due to their low density. Yet, they will set any bottom on fire.

If you want a “pretty” paddle, Cherry or Maple will fit the bill, but 1/4 and 3/8 thicknesses would be best to keep it on the stingy rather than thuddy end of the scale. One caveat. A 1/4 inch paddle is prone to break. This usually thrills the receiver. So just have a backup paddle.

I will close with my opinion on holes, they are all in the mind of the user and receiver. They don’t make a paddle any more severe, except in the mind. Just be sure the holes are countersunk so they will not cut bare skin.

8 thoughts on “The Wooden Paddle”

  1. I’ve made paddles from birch. 1/4 “ is plenty for sound and effect. Birch is easy enough to work with and strong enough to last.
    I’m more into the noise the paddle makes on contact with bare skin.
    Especially in a room with bare wood floors and walls.

    1. I might be wrong, but I guess your desire to be good is short-lived. Maybe about 10 minutes after he puts the paddle down? Tell me you would not go another round with it after say an hour.

  2. This is great info thanks. I have been using NZ rimu which is a very hard wood. Anything over 1/4″ is way too intense for me. Will give a pine version a try.

    1. I would not be surprised if NZ pine is different from the common pine found in the southern US states. Perhaps it’s better wood? I faintly recall that one tree there was prized for making wooden masts for sail ships and it may have well-been pine.

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