Paddles by W Bruce Smith

Blend over 50 years of intimate knowledge of both canoeing and carving wood - and you will find paddles described as the place "Where Art Meets Water".

I fell in love with wilderness canoeing at a young age, then started figuring out how to make the best quality "tools" to take me there. My career as a wood shop and outdoor education teacher helped me to keep perfecting my craft through the years.

Unlike most paddles on the market every one of my paddles is actually carved by hand from start to finish. No CNC machines or copy lathes are used at any stage. The result is a custom paddle every time, accommodating the differences in each piece of wood.

I use only the finest Ontario hardwoods suited for paddles. This is mostly Black Cherry, but also Black Walnut, Hard, Curly & Bird's Eye Maples... and sometimes Ash and European Larch.

Each paddle blank is cut out individually; carved and shaped with rasps and spokeshaves; sanded to silky smoothness; then finished with many coats of oil or an oil/varnish mix. Every paddle has fine edges, a flexible yet strong blade, a strong shaft, a proprietary secondary grip (based on historical designs) and perfect overall balance.

People tell me all the time that my paddles treat them to both luxury and performance on the water.

My paddles come in a number of designs and are individually priced starting at $230 (+hst).

I use as much leftover wood as possible to create various sized paddle hangers and paddle-shaped charcuterie boards, priced from $25-$55 (+hst).  

I also teach popular one-day paddle carving workshops in Fergus priced at $180 (+hst)

Video courtesy of Joshua See



Bruce Smith

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