Welcome to Gillespie Paddles, premier builder of handmade wooden and hybrid Outrigger canoe -- and touring paddles.
This is the place to come to when you want hands-on paddlebuilding, as well as answering your calls and emails; I am it -- there aren't any machines cloning blades and shafts here/ it is all done with my hands -- using small machinery, like sanders and routers --( and, if for some reason I haven't responded to your email, please email with 'paddle' in subject, or call; I get a ton of spam, and do miss some legit emails>)
I'm a hands on builder; I don't farm out my work -- I frankly like doing it too much> Wood paddles that are made by hand have a lot to offer that cloned, composite, carbon fibre, hybrids just cannot have -- the feeling of having been made and shaped by hand/
New: Ps Sam! -- double angle Samoan style blade -- $185
Ask about club and highschool discounts--- this is the time of year to ask -- just because the price is better!
I do make double angles; I make them for pretty much any design paddle on my site -- and I also make a lot of special custom paddles> contact me with any questions>
Gillespie Carbonfibre hybrids..$220 group discounts avail.... Approx 17 ounces very light, very durable--- check out the hybrid link/
I've been building Outrigger paddles and touring canoe paddles for around 30 years. I got my start making flatwater racing paddles -- about a year after angled paddles were created by Eugene Jensen. So I've gone through every phase of the angled paddle evolution.
I am mostly about wood paddles, since there is something about cutting, gluing and shaping wood that just has it all over molding glass and fiber.....it is nowhere near as icky, and smells good to boot...
PS Standard -- a slightly lighter, spiffed up, Standard!
I do make the paddles, personally. I just don't design them and source out the work to another larger paddlebuilder, then put my logo on it.
I've stuck with wood because that's what I love making. Wood is fantastic, a wonderful medium for making paddles! It has all the lovely stuff that carbon fibre does not have: warmth, natural beauty, natural anything, flex, strength, lots of variety in lots of different woods that all do different things in the makeup of a wood paddle! And durability? A well made wood paddle is very durable, and resilient, and repairable -- try repairing a carbon fibre paddle. And, wood costs less. A lightweight wood paddle can be made very durable also. When I make really lightweight paddles, I encase the blade in epoxied 2 ounce cloth with reinforcements wherever I think necessary. The entire blade is edged in double bandings of red maple. The tip is a laminated red maple, phenolic laminate, embedded into the powerface of the blade. I dip the paddle 4-5 times in hi-gloss polyurethane.
And you know what is trully wonderful about wood paddles (at least the ones I make), you can actually tell your's from someone else's! Try that with carbon fibre. Don't you want a little 'you' in your paddle?
I do make hybrids, and I sell all Carbon Fibre paddles, as well as paddles with kevlarand fiberglass blades that are great paddles, and some of them are quite colorful. These are also quite unique in that the blade is quite lightweight and super functional, and comes with a handmade wood shaft and grip -- and I mean handmade, not cloned by machines. So what's in your hands is made by hands!