Mike Zilkowsky sent in this solution to his array of paddles strewn throughout his house. After realizing that I had an abundance of paddles that were just leaning against various walls, or buried under fishing gear in my basement, I decided I‘d build a rack to hold them all. I collected all my paddles and discovered the rack would have to be bigger than I had thought.


  • 7 boards, 1” x 6” x 5’ – I used pine, but my next one will be out of a nice hardwood.
  • 45 wood screws, 8 x 1 1/2” –3 on the end of each board, 9 along the top of the “L”(back brace and top rack) and 6 to secure the bottom 2 boards together.
  • Stain
  • 1 1/2” spade bit for all holes. This allows kayak paddles to pass through the holes and canoe paddle to rest against.
  • 7/64” drill bit for pre-drilling
  • Drill
  • Tape Measure
  • Square

Step One: Design. I wanted to store my kayak and canoe paddles and to make sure it would be usable for SUP paddles.

Step Two: Pick up materials and lay out design.

Step Three: Measure and Drill holes into 2 boards for the top and bottom rack. Pre-drill all boards with a drill bit to prevent splitting. I made my holes 1 1/2” and spaced them as follows from the right end of the board. 4 3/4”, 6 3/4″, 14 3/4″, 16 3/4″, 24 3/4″, 26 3/4″, 34 3/4″ and 36 3/4″. Alternate distance from the back of the board to stagger the paddles.

Measure twice, cut once

Holes 1, 3, 5 and 7 were 1 1/2″ from the back while 2,4,6 and 8 were 3 1/2″ from the back. Measuring off the left side on one board only, I marked a hole 1 3/4″ in from left and 1 1/2″ from back of board and repeated every 3″ until I had 6 holes marked. Measuring from the left of the board again I drew a line at 1″ then every 1 1/2″ until I had 12 lines, these would be my slots.

Optional: I used the spade bit to drill all the holes and then used a saw to cut the slots out. I smoothed all the holes and the slots with a 1/2″ round over bit and sanded the entire project down. I flipped my bottom rack over to router it so that my paddles would cross and display nicer.

Step Four: Assemble the 2 sides; 2 back braces (1 at top, 1 under top rack); 1 top rack; 1 bottom rack; 1 bottom (to stop paddles; optional). I place my bottom rack up off the floor and then fit my paddles to see where the top rack should go. This will vary depending on your paddle length.

Step Six: Stain with color of your choice.

Step Seven: Get the expert’s “thumbs up” on the project.

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Ric Burnley
“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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