I found some 20" wood salad spoons at Target for $8. They are thick(don't bend) and work great.
If you do not have a proper mash paddle it takes all of the fun out of mashing in. it really does.
Here's my new mash paddle. I ordered it through Sysco (I'm a Chef), but I'm sure you can get one at any restaurant supply store. It was $9. Time to break out the drill and saw, it needs some holes.