Which paddle is right for you

Fequently Asked questions

All custom ordered paddles are built to order.  The manufacturing process takes up to 3 weeks depending on how busy we are.  Shipping takes 4-6 days.  If you need your paddle by a specific date please indicate so in the ‘Special Instructions For Greg’ section of your cart.

If you’re shopping during the holiday season (late Nov, Dec) we usually can guarantee all custom orders be delivered by Dec 24th if the order was placed by Dec 1st. If you’re shopping after Dec 1st, call or text Greg to see what he can do for you. He stocks plenty of paddles, so give him a call.

For Ottertails, Modified Ottertails, Modified Specials and Ray Specials, measure the distance between the floor and your nose. This will provide the length you will need. If we dont offer that specific length in the model you're looking at, you can simply round up or down to the nearest size. Keep in mind if the paddler is still growing, its fine to order 1 to 2 inches longer so they can grow into it.

Alternatively you can consult the sizing charts in each paddle product.

Quills are designed for Canadian Style Solo Paddling, best sized by determining the shaft length the solo paddler needs. To do so, take your current solo paddle for Canadian style paddling and see how much you choke up on it. Measure where your lower hand pinky lies to the top of the grip and add 1" in length. This will get you the best shaft length needed.

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, 'fishellpaddles@outlook.com' to your address book.

The woods we use change on occasion.  Typically, we always carry Cherry, Maple, and Ash.  At times, we have offer Walnut in specific models.  Do not hesitate to ask, we can always check with our supplier and quote you a price.  For more details on the woods we offer click here <link>

Yes, we do. Use our Canadian website fishellpaddles.com

Definitely!  When ordering please indicate in the ‘Special Instructions For Greg’ section in your cart 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. ****Names are not warranted as they are a free service we offer to help customers easier identify their paddles.****

Fishell Paddles are offering the same styles Ray Kettlewell offered with his paddles. These shapes 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, click here <link>

“Fish + Shell” = Fishell

Hence the logo

When ordering your paddle, you can indicate in the ‘Special Instructions For Greg’ 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.

Most likely.  We do have the means to create and produce custom logos. We have the ability to laser engrave a logo on the paddle. Only once we have seen the logo can we determine our ability to deliver. Please fill out a Custom Request form to send us a high resolution image or logo. 

Both oil and varnish are durable and ideal for paddles.  Varnish results in a high gloss finish while oil has a matte look and feel. 

Varnish: Provides a completely sealed paddle and ready for first use. It's high gloss finish allows the grain and colours to stand out unlike any other. Varnish finish will hold up to a beating much better than oil finish will. Re-varnishing your paddle is slightly more complex than re-oiling but only needs to happen once a year or maybe once every 2 years depending on use. We use the highest grade marine varnish on the market...Epifanes. There is a reason why Ray Kettlewell (our founder) only offered varnish. ;)

Oil: Provides what we call a matte feel to the paddle. For our oil finish we use a boiled linseed oil. Please be aware, an oil finish requires a much higher level of maintenance. We ask you to re-oil the paddle at regular intervals, including prior to its first use. We recommend oiling your paddle once a week for a month, once a month for a year and twice a year for the rest of its life.

In both cases the finish can be touched up and made to look like new.  So in the end it really comes down to the paddlers preference and how much they are willing to take on to keep their paddle prestine.

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.

Yes, definitely.  Re-finishing your paddle is an easy and fairly simple task.

Here are the supplies we recommend purchasing - Finishing Supplies

Varnish Finish:

First use a 220 grit sandpaper to scuff up your paddle. Use light pressure and be sure to only dull the shine, not remove the existing varnish (Only remove exisiting varnish that is flaking off the paddle). Wipe the paddle clean by removing all dust and particulates with a rag. We only recommend Epifanes* varnish for our paddles. Use paint thinner or varsol to top off the new can of epifanes varnish, close the can and shake for 1 min. Use a china brissle brush to apply your first coat. Dip the brush halfway into the can, starting with covering the blade, then apply on the grip and work your way down the shaft (one half dip is enough to cover your first coat). Hang your freshly varnish paddle by the grip between 2 nails ~2" apart.

If required apply a second coat, but be sure to sand 220 grit and remove dust before applying your next coat. DO NOT OVER BRUSH, IT WILL SHOW BRUSH STROKES ONCE DRIED.

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

Have further questions? Call Greg 714-482-7493, he will walk you through the process. He hopes to have a easy to follow youtube video on how to refinish your paddle by 2023.

Oil Finish:

Using boiled linseed oil, apply a small amount to a rag and vigorously rub into your paddle until there is no residue. Use a clean rag to immediately wipe off any excess oil. Let dry over night and repeat process at least once.

We recommend re-oiling your paddle with the above steps twice a year.

Be sure to dispose of used oily rags properly. It is known that they can catch fire spontaneously. Best to let oily rags soak for 24-48hrs in a bucket of water, then hang dry and reuse or dispose. 

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. It is our signature that the paddle was made by a Fishell.

Leather is primarily for those paddlers who tend to pry off the gunwhale of the canoe with their J-stroke. The leather protects the paddle shaft and canoe against wear and tear. Leather will come in whatever colour we have in stock at the time, typically brown or black.

further questions?

Email Greg here!

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