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Canoe paddle collectors

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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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

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.
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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These are ours from when the children were smaller - about 4 and 6. They are now 10 and 13 and have larger ones, but this picture always makes me smile :)
I've been paddling recently with a club ottertail, grey owl guide. I think I need an ottertail, I just love how it slices back through the water - it's fantastic!

A Lutra Pro 2.5S blade paddle, number 145 with a 31” shaft, essentially new old stock. This one is 22oz, sold and shipped last week to a gentleman in New York. I love how well balanced these paddles are, with the blade giving up some ruggedness to weight. I have two lutras left now, consecutive number paddles 247 and 248 with 31” and 32” shafts, respectively. Ive seen some numbers in the low 300s sequence that had hardwood edging around the blade and up to the throat of the shafts. I wonder how many Lutras were made in total.


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a lovely otter tail paddle made by Douglas Ingram in 1994. Cherry and his classic voyager grip. The shaft was delightfully slim and the balance was incredible. Alas, too long for me, 61.5” long with 33.5” of shaft, so sold a couple of weeks ago to a paddler/collector who has a cottage in the Winneboujou Club along the Bois Brule River in NW Wisconsin. I would be excited to find one with a shaft length that worked for me.IMG_4550.jpegIMG_4552.jpegIMG_4547.jpeg
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Here is a Blackburn Designs honey island cruiser. This was the shorter of a pair I acquired several years back.
55” overall length and 33” shaft.
A great, classic paddle, reasonably light weight and reasonably well balanced. IMG_7448.jpegIMG_7446.jpegIMG_7445.jpeg
Just sold my last canoe. I have given away all of my utilitarian paddles. All that is left are two I made and a few fancy laminated Sawyer paddles I bought from the factory in Oregon. Now I am into oars. I have some Cataract carbon fiber oars with counterweights. They cost around $550 a set.
i found this unique ball grip paddle on an voyageur style blade at an antique store. Someone told me that it was used as the "sneak" paddle, used by the back seater client, called the "sport", in an Adirondack guide boat.
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