Leather paddles can be one or two layered. The two layered versions are more common and are made of two equal pieces of leather that are sewn together. Some of these have a spine of a different material, e.g. metal, for additional stiffness. The handle of a leather paddle can be from the same material as the rest (especially in double-layered paddles with a spine), or the leather is fixed into a wooden handle which provides a better grip.
Leather padddles are similar to straps, but they are typically stiffer and their shape widens whereas a strap is just straight. Also, straps are rarely double-layered. The paddle shape can be rounded or angular. Some leather paddles come with holes to reduce the air resistance, as in some wooden paddles.
A type of leather paddle that was used historically to administer punishment in schools and prisons is the Knoppler paddle.
- Knoppler paddle
- A ca 1930 Spokane Washington High School Paddle (with photos, scroll down halfway the page)