Paddle Templates & Building Notes

Three classic designs for paddlers who prefer Canadian style paddling.
Ottertail, Beavertail and Guide



Printed Plans – $15 USD


Making a Canoe Paddle

Can You Do It  | Choosing a Design | Ordering Plans | Step by Step | A Traditional Finish


These paddle templates represent the three most popular styles of blades and grips used by traditional paddlers who prefer a Canadian style stroke. I’ve gone into more depth about each design on the page, Choosing a Paddle Design, so those who’d like to dive deeper into the pros and cons of each design might wish to take a detour there. Otherwise, you may wish to simply download the templates and take a look at the dimensions and design notes included on the PDF. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


Choosing a Paddle Design

Customer Photos

Canoe Paddle Templates
Notes about this Edition.

The shapes offered here are a second iteration of our first templates offered in February of 2016. The first edition was downloaded by thousands of builders in more than 30 countries. In the years since we first made them available Ashes also carved many custom units for customers who came through our Stratford shop, found us online, or wandered past our Art in the Park exhibit. Some of those who found us went on to build their own canoes or commission one from us.

Through it, we learned what worked best and what we wanted to change. This 2nd edition was the result. So what’s different about them?

  • We’ve softened the shoulders of each model, effectively moving the center of effort lower on the blade, making them slightly more efficient for the same surface area.
  • I’ve hardened the corners a tad making them catch a little earlier and release a little later, giving the paddler a tad more control.
  • The grips have been widened and lengthened providing more feel and finesse on one hand, and more options for palm and finger placement on the other hand.
  • The file has been cleaned up considerably as at some point in the last bit the original was corrupted and the occasional printed file would come back wonky.
  • And lastly, to my eye, they’re much much prettier.

This edition, the 3rd addresses some nagging issues I had with the grip sizes which always felt a tad too large for some folks. To remedy that I’ve drawn narrower widths which will suit smaller hands. Start larger if unsure and reduce to fit. You’ll know when you get it right because it will feel right. Right?

What You Get

When you download the file you will receive immediate access to a 24″ x 36″ pdf which, when printed, will contain properly scaled templates for each blade and recommended grip. Many shipping outlets, business supply outlets, and quick-print shops will print the pdf for two or three dollars. In Canada we pay $3.75 sheet. If you’re being asked to pay more, make a phone call or two!

If you’ve chosen to order print plans, we’ll print and send the pdf to you in a 9″ x 12″ envelope via Canada Post onto your national postal carrier. Typically we send each order the next business day.

In either case, the templates come with building and sizing notes that will help you determine shaft length, blade thickness, and best blade for your paddling style.

Enjoy making your paddle and send us pictures send us pictures when you’re done!


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Printed Plans – $15 USD

Canoe Plans from Ashes Still Water Boats

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 13 feet x 28 inches
25 pounds


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The Tandem Trip


17 feet by 33 inches
45 pounds


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The Angler’s Day


 15 feet x 34 inches
40 pounds



Choosing Which Canoe to Build | Why Choose a Design from Ashes | What Your Plans Include