Ash makes a very tough, durable paddle. Ash is probably the most flexible as well as durable woods for paddle making and is ideal for trip paddles. We tend to buy Quarter cut planks so the grain runs tip to butt in a parallel pattern resulting in a more durable paddle. Due to Emerald Beatles, Ash is starting to become more and more scarce and may become hard to come by in a few years.
Maple is strong, flexible and results in a clean vibrant paddle. The wood is ideal for paddle making and the trials and tribulations paddles go through in their lives. With the lighter colour wood the wood grain tends to be less prominent.
Cherry is the most popular choice of wood for a canoe paddle. What makes cherry so popular is its ability to be both strong and light and aesthetically pleasing. Cherry paddles tend to have interesting grain pattern and at times fine lines of black sap running through it. Cherry boards cut near the bark also offer up multi tone patterns. Over time cherry will darken with sunlight to a deep rich colour.