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FAQs

How do I determine the right Paddle Length?

For Ottertails and Modified Ottertails, measure the distance between the floor and your nose.  This will provide the approximate length you will need.  Keep in mind if the paddler is still growing, its fine to order one that is 1 to 2 inches longer so they can grow into it.

For Specials and Modified Specials please refer to the chart below:

For Quills please specify the length of the shaft as well as the blade at the time of ordering.

I never received an Email response or notification for my Order?

Please check you Spam folders.  We have found with Gmail accounts as well as others, our emails get automatically routed to the 'Spam' folder.  To avoid this happening, please add our email address, 'contact@fishellpaddles.com' to your address book.

Do you ship to the States?

Yes, we do.  Our website automatically supports this.  Shipping to the US typically cost approximately $45.

Can I get my name on the paddle?

Definitely.  When ordering please indicate in the ‘Special Instruction’ section what you would like written on the paddle.  Please indicate the exact spelling you would want.  Please be aware we are paddle makers not calligraphers.  The writing is done by hand in a printed block format and will appear above our logo.

What makes Fishell Paddles different?

The goal of Fishell Paddles is produce the single best quality paddle on the market. To do this we only use a single piece of wood for each paddle and take advantage of the characteristics of the wood to ensure the best quality paddle. All our paddles are balanced and shaved down to an exact thickness right for the piece of wood being used. This way a light flexible piece of wood does not become too thin of a blade resulting in a ‘whippy’ inefficient paddle . Alternatively a heavier stiffer board is trimmed to be flexible rather than stiff and unresponsive. Although the variance in thickness between whippy paddle and stiff paddle can be a matter of a few millimeters in thickness, it makes a world of difference.

Most other paddle makes make their paddles from 1" stock to save money, we use 5/4" stock ensuring we have enough wood to work with to craft the perfect paddle.  1" stock typically results in a paddle with too much flex and 'whippy' response in the water.

Do you offer the sames Styles as Ray did?

Fishell Paddles are offering the same styles Ray Kettlewell offered with his paddles. This means all blades have a maximum width of 6 inches.   These blades were designed to be efficient and maximize the paddler’s efforts. As a canoeist you need to be able to feel the water against the blade and sense the slightest pressure changes.

To see all the Styles we offer go to the following <link>

What woods do Fishell Paddles come in?

The woods we use change on occasion.  Typically, we always carry Cherry, Maple, Ash and African Mahogany.  At times, we have offered more exotic woods such as Walnut.  Do not hesitate to ask, we can always check with our supplier and quote you a price.  For more details on woods offer go to the following <link>

What is the difference between the woods offered?

Go to this <link> to see the different woods and their characteristics.

Can I get Curly Cherry, Birdseye Maple or Tiger Maple for my paddle?

When ordering your paddle, you can indicate in the ‘Special Instruction’ section you would like a Curly Cherry or a Tiger Maple paddle.  There is no guarantee we can actually provide these specialty grains but we will do our best.  When we come across one of these boards we pull them aside for these types of orders, but it’s not always available.

Birdseye Maple is not something we offer at this time.

Can I get a custom logo on my paddle?

Most likely.  We do have the means to create and produce custom logos.  We create vinyl die-cut decals which we apply to the wood and varnish over for a professional look and feel. We will require a vector file of the logo or a high-resolution JPG file.  Only once we have seen the logo can we determine our ability to deliver.

Prior to placing your order, please email us your artwork so we can determine if we are able to reproduce your logo and provide a cost estimate. Please contact us direct at contact@fishellpaddles.com.

To view some examples of custom logos we have done, click on the <link>

What's the difference between a Varnish finish and Oil finish?

Both oil and varnish are durable and ideal for paddles.  Varnish results in a high glossy finish while oil is matted.  Some people like the feel of polished wood they get with an oil finish, it provides what we call a 'warm' feel to the paddle. For our oil finish we use a double boiled linseed oil. For our Varnish finish we use the highest grade marine varnish on the market.

In both cases the finish can be touched up and made to look like new.  So in the end it really comes down to preference.

For some paddlers they choose to only oil the shaft and still have the blade varnished.

We do not offer Oil as an option for Ash paddles due to its open grain. You can use oil on Ash but it takes an extensive effort to do so. If you are interested in an oil finish on an ash paddle, please contact us first prior to ordering.

Do you make paddles for kids?

Yes we do. We have introduced a kid's size Ottertail with a 5" wide blade. These paddles are designed and sized for small children with lesser blade but with the same quality and design of our high end paddles. These paddles comes in sizes ranging from 44", 47", 50" and 54".

Is it possible to refinish my paddle?

Yes, definitely.  To refreshing the finish on your paddle is an easy and quick task.

Varnish Finish:

  1. First use a fine sandpaper or steel wool to lightly dull the shine of your paddle. Use light pressure and be sure to only dull the shine, not remove the existing varnish.
  2. Wipe clean the paddle removing all dust and particulates.
  3. Re-varnish with a high quality oil-based marine spar varnish*. Use long brush strokes and apply only a thin layer of varnish. If required apply a second coat.

  * Warning: DO NOT USE Urethane-based or Water-based varnishes, they will not bond to the existing finish

Oil Finish:

  1. First use a fine sandpaper or steel wool to lightly dull the shine of your paddle. Use light pressure and be sure to only dull the shine, not remove the existing varnish.
  2. Wipe clean the paddle removing all dust and particulates.
  3. Using double boiled linseed oil, soak a rag and vigorously rub into your paddle until there is no residue. Repeat process at least once.
Can I get Ray Kettlewell’s logo on my paddle?

Unfortunately, no this is not an option.  This is Ray’s intellectual property and can only be provided by him.  Ray feels very strongly that only paddles made by him will carry his logo.  We feel the same way about our paddles and logo.

How long will it take to get my Paddle?

All our paddles are custom made.  The manufacturing process takes 1-2 weeks depending on how busy we are.  Shipping 99% of the time arrives in 3 days of being shipped.  If you need your paddle by a specific date please indicate so in the  ‘Special Instruction’ section of the order form.

What is the purpose for a Leather Wrap on a paddle?

Leather wraps for the paddle's lower shaft comes in a thin high quality Black leather. This is primarily for those paddlers who tend to rub their paddle against the gunwale. The leather protects the paddle shaft against wear and tear and ensures the integrity of the paddle. Choose to have your paddle finished with hand rubbed linseed oil. An oil finish is smooth and feels like polished wood. It provides what we call a 'warm' finish to the paddle. For some paddlers they choose to only oil the shaft and still have the blade varnished.