Here is a recent project of mine –a wooden kayak paddle. The shaft is white cedar and the blade is cherry,basswood,and walnut. I added the ferrule later. I love it –in addition to looking great,it is light and a good size for me.
I built it using plans from The Strip-Built Sea Kayak by Nick Shade. The plans are pretty good,though Nick has you build the paddle as a one-piece unit with a permanent feather. I would recommend NOT going this route. First of all,having a paddle you can break down is awfully convenient,especially when traveling with the whole family for a vacation. Second,Nick’s method of creating this joint involves some sketchy table saw work,as far as I could tell (I ended up figuring it out with a band saw) and it isn’t clear where exactly to attach the two pieces to make an even shaft. This fairly key piece is the one part that could be beefed up a bit. Again,however,don’t bother. You can get carbon fiber ferrules from Chesapeake Light Craft that work great and are much easier to implement.