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Canoe paddle collectors

May 11, 2023
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Two lovely wooden paddles to add to this thread.

Left paddle is a Keith Backlund signature model. Backlund was widely known for his paddles in the whitewater community. This custom paddle was designed and made for a customer who paddled open ocean settings in Kruger boats. It is moderately lightweight and moderately durable. It has a half dynel sleeve, glassed blade, and a tip edge protector, probably epoxy or the like. The palm grip is very comfortable. big blade with an incredible spoon shape and double dihedral that is faired and not hollow. The blade shape is something else. It is a very special paddle and a treat to use, even though the balance is more blade heavy than I usually prefer. Backlund’s signature series was apparently reserved for Backlund’s top and most time consuming offerings. This one was reported to have been made in 1997, later than most of the paddles he made, according to my research.

Right paddle is from Cricket, their Hemlock cruiser model, which their old website indicated as spec’d by David Curtis. It is symmetrical and has a protective edge entirely around the blade, along with glass on the blades and half way up the sleeve. It has moderate weight and very nice balance with an interesting and semi northwoods style grip. It was listed as a small blade in the cricket line, reported to be modeled after the old blackburns and boutique paddles that followed from more known makers. I really like it, even though it is 1” shorter than my most preferred straight paddle shaft length.

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I have 2 Black Bart straight shaft 54" "troublemaker" paddles I'm thinking about selling. Are you interested?


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Apr 10, 2019
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Since this has popped up today. Thought that I would post a pic of the paddle that came with Ohio canoe. Love the logo. IMG_4013.jpegIMG_4014.jpeg

Oct 26, 2022
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North Carolina
Looks like a FoxWorx F.K.A. Camp Paddle.
Thanks for the ID. It is my favorite paddle, I'll look into them for my next.

I also need to issue a correction. The Bending Branches Viper has the same overall, or top hand bend as my other paddles from them. I think 11 degrees. The bottom hand will be presented with a greater bend, as if the bend is 16 degrees.

I like how the Viper feels in my hands, but after paddling a couple miles it feels stiff and harsh on entry. It makes sense, the recurve stiffens the shaft.
Sep 17, 2018
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Here's a few that I carved. I've made just south of a hundred. The designs feature a lot of maps, or motifs that get at the spirit of canoeing or environmental issues. I make a point of using new paddles before turning them loose (I use them in art installations) as they are just carved wood until they've been in the water. The paint is artist acrylic, which is extremely durable. Most are linseed oil finished. I don't glass anything unless it's a repair.
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