Wooden spanking paddles and why we use the materials we do.

Wooden spanking paddles and why we use the materials we do.

BDSM wooden spanking paddle the home page of Gratefulpain

Isn’t wood all the same?

Well yes and know is the short answer. Wood all grows in trees and is harvested in a similar way but all timbers differ. All have there own uses and properties which makes them good for that job or properties that make them exceptional for tasks.  Oak, for instance, it a great structural timber and has been used to create grand country houses for hundreds of years and before that used to make mighty ships such as the Mary Rose. The properties that make oak so good for structural strength make it hard and non-flexible think of it as the steel of the wood world.

So why not use oak for a spanking paddle?

Well, you can and we have made some over the years out of oak. but we don’t use it as a base timber for our paddles on a regular basis because for one cost. Oak is twice the cost as say ash and has none of the benefits for a spanking paddle as Ash does.  other reasons include its weight nearly twice the weight as an Ash spanking paddle. Finish Oak can take on a dirty look when finished not the ideal look for a new sex toy. We could go into the reasons behind every wood we don’t use within the range of Spanking paddle blades but we would be here for years. We would also much rather tell you about why we use the timber we use so you can make a better choice for your chosen spanking paddle.

With the background in furniture making and Joinery. We have a good understanding of wood and what to use it for. Wooden spanking paddles need to be flexible yet firm and have a high strength. The following post should give you more of an insight into what material you would like for your wooden spanking paddle.


How we get the timber for all of our BDSM spanking paddles and other kinky bondage gear.

All of our timber comes from two places and we are inherently proud of this. The first place we get timber from is FFC saw mills two to be exact we chose these from years of dealing timber in our other business. We think it is important that the timber we use to create our spanking paddles be ethical. Trees supply our oxygen for us to breath removing toxins from the air and cleaning it so we can live. The other source is the tree yes there tree.

We work with many local forestry companies to purchase trees that have to be removed due to building or health and safety. this may seem contradictory to the first point but if we don’t use the trees they will only get turned in to chips or firewood. With us buying the tree we can make sure the tree lives on in at least one form. As well as being able to give the tree a second life as a spanking paddle or a set of bondage stocks we also get to chose where the timber is cut this gives us ultimate control on the grain pattern and structural integrity of the wood.

Now the timber is not ready for use we have to take the time and effort to get it ready for use. From a tree, we take around a day to process two trees into planks. this is then stacked with gaps between the planks to allow for air movement. This is then left for around 1-2 years to lose some of the free water and sap contained within the timber it also allows the timber to relax. Once the timber has reached around 25- 15% moister content it then moves on to our kiln to bring the moisture content down to below 8% this is the industry standard for kiln dried timber. The timber is then brought back to the workshop some is used for furniture while other boards are destined for kinky ends.



Ash is strong and durable used in making many items you would not think of such as frames for world warplanes as well as car chassis even to this day. The timber its self is light and great at absorbing shock. Not something you think would be good for a spanking paddle but the properties that make it absorbs shock also work the other way. This allows more of the force to be sent to the submissives bottom.

Being generally cream in color it works well many other timbers to create a contrasting color. Ash is also found to have beutiful figure. The wood from older trees is also darker referred to as olive ash as it resembles olive wood. The timber also is easy to care for. Soft to the touch it can be cleaned with a soft cloth in both its raw state as well as finished.


Ash wooden spanking paddle

Robinia, False acacia

Acacia is very hard and tough, and very strong but not brittle. A similar grain structure to that of Ash it is also flexible with the same shock absorbing properties.  The timber its self is a Yellowish green when first cut or sanded but over time turns a Sandy yellow. Of a similar weight to Ash but feels a little denser. The timber finishes exceptionally well taking a finish well absorbing it deep in tot he fibers. This gives a longer lasting more durable finish. Perfect for heavy spanking.

Certain countries in northern Africa burn the wood as incense and it is believed that the type of acacia that they burn will help prevent fever as well as easing joint pain. Ironic for our use 🙂


The grain in Maple is tight and close giving this paddle a hard surface. This gives the paddle a harder sting with less give than the Ash or Acacia. The timber is light in color and can be sanded to a high polish easily. Being a food safe timber it is extremely. Being a tightly grained timber it weighs more than an open grained timber suck as ash. This is something to take into account when buying a paddle.

Maple being tightly grained offers its self up for more intricate carving and is perfect for laser engraving and CNC work. The wood is a little hard for hand carving.


Birch has many roots in corporal punishment and spanking being used in schools and prisons in Victorian times. The Timber from the birch is light in color and weight softer than the other timber we use. This gives the spank a softer warmer finish. This said it still packs a punch.

This timber makes excellent wooden spanking paddles customizing as it carves extremely well and leaves a fantastic finish. Care must be taken with this timber when swinging near hard objects as it bruises and dints easily.

Birchwood is believed to ward off evil, banish fears and build courage. Associated with beauty and tolerance,


Hazle is an extremely flexible timber making it an exception timber for all manner of impact toys. The timber is easily sourced for smaller spanking canes and whips.  A rare wood in larger sizes. The wooden spanking paddles from this timber is hard and imparts a deep thud to the spank leaving its mark easy.

Hazel has a reputation as a magical tree. A hazel rod is supposed to protect against evil spirits, as well as being used as a wand and for water-divining. In some parts of England, hazelnuts were carried as charms and/or held to ward off rheumatism. In Ireland hazel was known as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’, and in medieval times it was a symbol of fertility. “woodland trust”

Hazle will only come up in our One off section and when its gone it’s gone.


Yew is one of my favorite timbers to work with. The colors of this timber are amazing Predominantly orange and white, There can often be bright vivid purple this is caused when the tree is growing and iron comes in to contact with it. The grain is often wild and irregular which makes it harder to work with but the results make the effort worth it. With the timber being priced in history for longbows its flexibility ay dividends to spanking increasing the force from the swing upon impact.

A dense hard timber it is not a timber I would hand carve. The density of the timber makes the wooden spanking paddles made from it in a world of there own.

Spanking paddle handles

Now the timber for the handles is mainly chosen for its looks as there is no impact upon it. This means we do not have to look at timbers that structurally and up to the task of spanking a submissives bottom. We do try and keep the balance of the paddle so it will not pull your wrist while you are spanking. Saying this we are able to add counterweight to the handles if you need a heaver handles spanking paddle. Simply contact us to find out more.

We will not go into depth in the properties of the wood now as there are hundreds of wood species we could use. Instead, we will list a few of the more popular one along with there weight. This will give you an overall feel for how heavy the Spanking paddle will be.


Ash / Olive Ash





Burr Elm

Burr Oak



Wrap up

Hopefully, you will have a little insight on why we use what woods we use as well as being able to choose the correct wood for you. Use the weights here as a guide as every piece is unique and will vary in weight. Please note the timber in the photos is only there as a guide. Timber is extremely varied and will differ from paddle to paddle. We always select our timber for the best in looks and function.

Spanking paddles this way

Spanking Paddle designs and shapes

Spanking paddle designs and shapes

So many variations the choice is yours


With many variations in Spanking paddle designs and shapes and additions the possibility to have your paddle just the right way for your particular BDSM style. Here at Gratefulpain, we have tried to come up with so truly amazing and versatile styles of fetish spanking paddles.

Below we have tried to cover some of the more common design features on our paddles. With both their pro and cons to help you make a more informed decision on which one to purchase first.



Holes in Spanking paddle


There are many theories floating around the internet BDSM community about were holes in Spanking paddle originally came from. So even after scouring the internet for many many hours, we have still not found a definitive answer to the origins of the holes in paddles. One of the biggest reasons for drilling holes in the blade of a Spanking paddle is to give the user less air resistance on the swing. With the paddle having less surface area the pressure is distributed over a smaller area giving more sting. Some people also say that the holes allow the cushion of air to be released from in front of the paddle also increasing the pressure per square inch of the impact.

“less surface area + force = more fun per square inch”

An interesting alternative to the whole debate is is it better to have through holes or “blind holes”. With our knowledge of wood and its strengths and weaknesses drilling a hole through the Spanking paddle blade would, in fact, reduce the weight and increase the speed of travel but would weaken the structure of the blade making it easier to break and split. With a blind hole not penetrating the wood keeping more of the strength intact.

The theory i found for blind holes is that the skin of the spankee would get pushed into the blind holes creating a small amount of suction making the paddle stick slightly creating a better sensation. Some blind holes can have a small through hole in the center to relieve some pressure.

Blind Holes – Tapered sides

Regular Holes – Straight sides


Spanking paddle end shapes


It is possible to cut the ends of any of our Spanking paddle to virtually any shape possible as a standard we only offer square and rounded. Where we can cut the paddles in to elaborate shapes these Spanking paddle then become useless as an actual play toy as the ends will become too weak and sharp with the possibility to do a lot of permanent halm to a person. That said there are shapes we will never have thought of so feel free to contact us to discuss any ideas you may have.


“smaller Spanking paddle work better on the naked buttocks.”


The round end paddle is perfect acacia paddle round end and olive ash handlefor anyone the rounded shape to the end of the paddle reduces the risk of the corner hitting your partner and breaking the skin. This would be the one we would recommend as a first paddle for anyone entering the wonderful world of BDSM and impact play.






Birch Paddle with yew handle profileThe square end has more of a traditional look of a spanking paddle and can still be used by anyone the square corners can break the skin if they come into contact with the skin of your submissive or play partner. But the square end will stand far better on a floor keeping it within easy reach of any dominatrix or dominant male. You should never spank and paddle with the edge piece of BDSM equipment.



Length and width

Large + short = thuddy

Small + thin = stingy

With our Spanking paddle, we tend to make the wider ones shorter in length and the thinner and narrower ones longer. This said there is nothing to say it has to be like that for you. Were a long thin narrow paddle such as our Stinger will give a very sharp stinging bite. The best way to describe the feeling is a burning heat felt on the surface of the skin. Extremely pleasurable but the feeling can be short-lived. The thinner the paddle the more lines and marks will be left with to some are worn as badges of honor for days later a reminder of their grateful pain the received.


We have spent many years trying to work out a rule to calculate a length to width ratio but nothing seems to work as different doms use paddles in different ways, as well as the difference between a male and females build and strength. This can be changed by simple things like if the spanker has a past injury or perhaps they play tennis instead of golfing it all just goes to show that no two people will swing the same.

As a rule, a longer paddle tends to flow through the air slower. The wider paddle will put the force of the swing over a greater area giving the impact a deeper thud a deep penetrating blow, felt deep in the muscle, and less so in the skin


“Mastering the thud and sting will improve your impact play technique.”


We are always happy to alter lengths of paddles making them longer or shorter to suit your needs the only exception to this is the Stinger we can’t actually make it any longer.



Texture and material

Texture can be added in many ways to any object. But a Spanking paddle needs to be secure, not sharp in any way and easy to clean and sterilize in case if does puncture the skin. We have used many materials and objects to gain texture on our paddles and increase the pleasure variety of the feelings.  


“Wood is where it all started for us”


Wood :

The product we use the most different woods produces different stings and thuds. But as explained in the lengths and width category. So many things can alter and change the type of pleasure felt by the submissive.


Traditionally a timber used in handles as well as the framework in the Morgan sports car. This is due to its fantastic ability to absorb and reduce vibrations. So why to use this for a piece of BDSM equipment let alone a paddle. When used in a paddle yes it soaks up vibrations but this means your fun can last longer and you will get more of the pleasurable deep muscular feelings.


It is also a fantastic timber to look at able to be stained with a variety of colors and finishes to a hick flawless finish.



Traditionally Birching was a form of corporal punishment using a bundle of fresh cut birch twigs as a spanking implement. Where you can’t use birch twigs as a Spanking paddle the timber from the trunk to produce some fine close-grained paddles. Taking a traditional material to the next stage.


Hazle, sycamore, yew, laburnum, are among some of the other timbers we use. They both great blades and the handles for our fantastic BDSM paddles. Please see our caring for your wooden Fetish and BDSM items guide.



The leather is a wonderfully sensual material quickly warming up to body temperature. Some leather paddles have a core of thin plywood this is to give the material some spring and structure. Others like the ones we make are two pieces of leather sewn together then the handles are wrapped in custom turned wooden handles. These give a great feeling and can be used with either a soft or hard swing. Over time the leather will bed in an take on its own partner and become softer. Please see our leather care guide for how to care for your leather BDSM equipment.



Rubber is a real pain giver so these items are not for the novice BDSM players. Typically 6-13mm thick they can be relatively thick and ungiving. The pain is high and extremely thuddy and deep sensation. Not for the faint-hearted. This is one of the few items we make in limited runs.  


Kevlar, carbon fiber and Lexan

We have not seen many Spanking paddle made from these materials. Being bulletproof you really can give this item some stick able to give thud or a sting. With the limited runs of Kevlar and carbon fiber paddles. We make using the best timbers and handmade resin to create one of a kind paddles.

All of these materials have little to no shock absorbing properties so will land a great sting.



An extremely lightweight material with little to no flex will deliver sweet tingly spanks with a loud audible tone. This material like the rubber is not for the faint-hearted but for the serious players. Giving a perfect prolonged play time to your BDSM scene.


Hanging/wrist  straps

We offer wrist or hanging straps as an optional extra on our paddle designs and shapes. Offering this as an extra offers maximum flexibility to you the user. This is a personal thing so whether you like them or hate them there as an option.



  • Extra security prevents paddle leaving your hand
  • Makes hanging your strap easy
  • Can be used as a small flogger


  • Can get in the way
  • Reduces some movement
  • Can get caught on buckles and hooks

Shop now

We have tried to cover all of the paddle designs and shapes options. As time goes on I’m sure we will develop more ideas and will update this list. If you feel we have some misinformation or you have something to add please feel free to Send us a email or comment below.