Land Paddling: Making Your Own Big Stick Land Paddle
My recent aventures in long boarding have brought me to land paddling. The concept of land paddling is actually quite simple. Using a large paddle with rubber on the bottom to propel yourself on your long board, much like stand up paddle boarding. I have really come to love long boarding and I am much more of a cruiser than a downhill skater. One of my biggest challenges is speed control. With practice I am sure I will begin to get comfortable with sliding and speed checks, but I don’t want that to stop me from carving some more significant hills.
In the area I long board in I also have another problem, stop signs. My North Jersey suburban town is bustling and can get congested on intersections. Again I am faced with the issue of stopping quickly so I don’t get hit by a car. Enter the land paddle. Benefits I see from the land paddle include, an alternative way to propel myself while cruising, a very easy and quick way to have speed control and finally it is one intense work out.
In my efforts to cope out the best way to try out land paddling my search leads me to one place Kahuna Creations Big Stick, the only land paddle on the market. This thing is awesome but also comes with a hefty price tag of nearly $90 for the cheapest model. Before I commit to one of these I needed to make sure this was something I was going to get into. So I decided to build m own.
So here are what I believe is the internets’ maybe only if not one of very few instructions on how to build your own land paddle for between $50 & $60 max.
What you will need:
- Stand up paddle board paddle or long canoe paddle
- Old set of long board/rollerblade/scooter wheels- Old bike tire- 3 1/2”
- 4” quarter inch hex head bolt- matching fender washers and wing nut- rubber washers
- drill & appropriate bit- socket wrench and pliers
- Hack saw
- knife to cut tire
You may need to modify some of the components to make this work for you. The idea is to make this land paddle work efficiently and make it cheap.
I used a Jimmy Styx stand-up paddle board paddle for $50. It has interchangeable handles for gripping, is light weight, well balanced and is a tubular metal. My original intention was to use a 6 ft wood paddle, but when I found this it fit perfect. Again you may be able to get something out of your garage or from an old boat if you have access to equipment like that. Remember you will want the paddle to measure in height, somewhere between your nose and eyebrows when you stand on the board. I have about a 6ft long paddle and I am 5’9”.
First I cut the fin off the paddle. Then I drilled a hole about 3/4” of an inch from the bottom of the paddle where I cut the fin off. I was given a set of old Kryptonic razor scooter wheels which were going to be my fixed rubber on the bottom to propel me. Depending on what wheels you find or have, will depend on where you drill your hole on the bottom of the paddle. You want the wheels to be stable but have the most possible exposure to the ground. Try and get the softest, biggest skate wheels you can dig up. I then used a combination of rubber washers on the inside and the fender washers on the outside of the wheels and then tightened the wheels down against the paddle as hard as possible so they wouldn’t move. The key is to use the rubber washers to help create friction against the wheels and the paddle.
After a couple test runs I realized that my scooter wheels were not quite soft enough and slid sometimes while paddling hard. I then cut up an old bike tire, wrapped the wheels with it and used some hex head tech screws to fix the tire to the scooter wheels. Now I am ready to paddle. I think my design is pretty solid and it has been working great for a week or so now of pretty regular and hard cruising. I have made little or no tweaks since I added the bike tire.
I think that down the line when I have some more money I will ultimately get a Kahuna Big Stick but for now I am set to land paddle and it is freaking awesome.