Paddle 1: Wooden paddle

Parts list
· Wood I use a 1x6 or 1x8 hardwood like Oak or Alder [but you can use anything like]
· Sand paper 80, 100. 150 grit
· Steel wool OOOO size
· Stain [I use a wiping stain so I can control the color]
· Finish urethane or something similar [I use a all in 1 finish from mini wax and it works fine]
· Wax [optional]
· Rags [for stain]
· Brushes for finish
· Vinyl gloves [for handling the finishes]
Tool list
· Saber/jig saw
· Tri-square
· Tape measure
· Clamps 
· Sander [if you have one]
· Router and bits [if you have one]

· Drill [if you have one]

[Note: the only tools you will really need is a saw and the tape the rest you can do my hand, it will take a bit longer, but it still will come as nice.]
Measure and mark your piece of lumber to the shape you want. [I usually buy a 6 to 8 foot length of lumber so I can make more than one at the same time] 
[For the handles I like them to be anywhere from 1¼ to 1¾ wide and 6 to 18 inches long it depends on your hand and how long you make your paddle and what kind of balance you want
The nice thing about making your own paddle is you get to play with size, weight and color also the shape too. Any of a number of options like fur or sandpaper on the face to carvings are open be creative]
Clamp down your board and start cutting [to keep the clamps from making marks you can put another piece of wood between the clamp and your board I have even used a old paper back as a shield] the cleaner the cut the less you have to sand so take your time.
Now that that is done if you have one router all the edges and corners too, I start on the corners first. You will have to clamp down you paddle to do this safely moving the clamps as needed. Dill any hole in it at this time and any countering sinking too. 
If you don't have a router start sanding [router everything first so the grit from the sand paper doesn't dull your router bit] I would take the edges off first and than work on taking off all the saw/tool marks start with the bigger grit first. 
Steel wool all the surfaces like you would sanding it. This will give it a smoother feel and more shine when you stain and finish it.
[If you have a hole in the handle for a thong use that with a wire to hang it while the stain and finish dries]
You can leave it raw [unfinished] if you like and it will darken with use from skin oils. But if you do this make sure you steel wool it real good so there will be no splinters or burrs on it. 
Read how to apply the finish, like with stain apply let stand and wipe off and repeat for a darker/ richer color. Let dry completely before you urethane it. [You can also do more that one coat of urethane by lightly steel wooling between coats] The finishing process is the part that takes the most time so don't rust it. 
[After it has dried a few days I use tree wax floor polish [the stuff in the yellow can] so it will not be so slick to he touch  [follow the directions on the can this is optional] 
Now go out and spank someone…..

Note: the type of wood you use will determine how dense and heavy it is also how hard it is. The denser the wood the harder it hits so you may want to stay away from some of the exotic's till you have tried say oak, poplar or maple first. Also the real dense woods can be a lot harder to work too.