Our Paddle Making Philosophy...
Our aim is to give you the best native style paddles possible. We are paddlers ourselves and so we will only sell paddles that we ourselves would use.
The Wisdom of Native Design
All our paddles closely follow native designs. These native paddle designs were not so much invented as they were evolved and adapted to conditions that native paddlers had to deal with. These paddles were working paddles; they were used day in and day out for hunting and travel and had to work in both good weather and bad. In other words, these paddles had to be versatile and were not specialty paddles designed for a single use such as racing. And since a paddler might find himself on the water all day, or in a storm, even longer, the paddles had to make the most efficient use of the paddler's strength.
In our opinion, native paddles embody a lot of wisdom and evolution that many contemporary designers of recreational paddles are ignoring.
How Are Native Paddles Different from Contemporary Designs
Native paddles were meant to be used all day in all kinds of sea and weather conditions. Consequently, efficient use of the paddler's energy was one of their prime considerations. Native paddles typically seem to have a little less bite on the water than many recreational paddles.
Paddling cadence of paddlers using native paddles is higher than that of paddlers using modern recreational designs. Higher cadence with less resistance in the water is more efficient over a longer period of time. While many recreational paddlers develop enough strength and stamina to paddle their modern paddles efficiently, many paddlers are underpowered for the size of their paddles. You can see them out on the water, ponderously slogging along, one stroke every few seconds.
Test Criteria for Our Paddles
All our paddle designs are thoroughly tested on the water. While we follow traditional native designs in making our paddles, paddles are very subtle creatures and any given design must be fine tuned to the materials it is made out of and the conditions it is used under.
Any time we make a new paddle design, we take it out on the water and test it.
As we are using the paddle, we ask a number of questions of the paddle:
- Is it light enough?
- Is it flexible enough?
- Does it feel good moving through the water?
- Does the loom feel comfortable or does it give me blisters after an hour of paddling?
- Does it give me the right amount of a bite on the water, or not enough or too much?
- Is it the right length?
- Does it fatigue me to use it for any length of time?
- Can I scull with it?
- Can I brace with it?
- Can I roll with it?
Before we will sell a paddle, it has to answer all these questions satisfactorally.
All our paddles are made of quarter sawn western red cedar (WRC) and we use hardwood tips.
The reason we use quarter sawn WRC is so that our paddles are strong and flex. Flexing allows the paddle to absorb the shock instead of your wrists or arms.
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