The highest bidder in today’s eBay showdown will walk away with a whitewater paddle used by canoeing legend Bill Mason, widely recognized as the grandfather of modern canoeing.
. . . canoeing legend Bill Mason, widely recognized as the grandfather of modern canoeing. During the 70’s and 80’s the Canadian canoeing icon produced a series of instructional books and videos (Path of the Paddle, Song of the Paddle) that have since become bibles of the sport.
. . . . Mason used a rotating cast of Clements . . . .
I have one, the shaft is oversized because it is softwood. It was the standard tripping paddle for many of us "way back when". My mentor was so attached to his that he had multiple layers of fiberglass on the blade, the thing was a battle axe by the end.
To get back to this original OP question, my guess is that it was probably intended for whitewater, given that it is laminated for strength, has a reinforced tip, and seems wider than Mason's soft wood flat water Clement.