Welcome To Gillespie Paddles
(currently out of paddlebags....I will advise when I get more in....but it might be awhile)
I build Outrigger paddles, Standup paddles, and Recreation/touring paddles -- and have for at least 30 years (except the SUP paddles, of course!). 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.
And, 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? That's not something you'll get with carbon fibre, or any molded paddle.
I do make hybrids, and I sell all Carbon Fibre paddles, as well as paddles with kevlar and 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!
SUP paddle info towards bottom of page.
Pro B --Lightweight, all wood, highly laminated paddle with low profile blade....
Pro B available w/ CF shaft....
Red fiberglass hybrid -- here's what I wonder: if you closed your eyes and used a nice fiberglass blade like this, and then swapped it out for a carbon fibre blade, do you really think you could tell the difference? And what difference would you be trying to notice? This paddle performs as well as a carbon fibre blade, is a little heavier (like maybe a half ounce), and has a little more flex -- and it is probably more durable. Not too many paddlers could really tell one way or the other, nor would they care. Everybody and their brother now have carbon blades -- maybe it's time to break free? But why? Well, for an imperceptible difference in feel, there is a very perceptible difference in price. $165, for one. $140 for 6 or more.....
This paddle also available in SUP version......
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SUP paddles: I make these on a limited basis, mostly wood and hybrids. Weight is from 25 -30 ounces. These are all handmade with lots of nice laminates, and a great feel. Certainly, they don't go along with the dominant carbon fibre theme, but I am a wood paddle builder -- not a mold maker, laying up gooky, smelly epoxied laminates in molds. That's just another world, and it's not quite the same as cutting, gluing and shaping great smelling wood. Building a nice wood SUP paddle is an act of skill and feel; you cut up lots of different wood, glue it together in 6-5 different steps, then begin shaping and trimming. The paddle evolves. This is an experience that a molded CF paddle doesn't go through, and why there are so many of them on the market -- the skills are in the process of molding parts and putting them together. Not so with wood. You can certainly ask me about my SUP paddles if you have questions. Since these are mostly custom made, I encourage you to do so.
I can make any of the paddles on my site into SUP paddles. For all wood paddles, I add $70 to the paddle cost, and shipping is from $35 to $45 domestically. If you want a wood blade with a carbon fibre shaft, I add $80 -- and $50 on top of that if you want a carbon fibre grip. You can contact me for pricing and order details. email@example.com
Additional shipping charges apply to SUP paddles because of length.