Sanborn Canoe Co, Made in USA


Sandborn Canoe Paddles are hand crafted in Winona, MN by true outdoorsmen who are carry on a long tradition. And that like us, have a passion for products made in America! It all started as a hobby. A hobby focused on building a cedar-strip canoe with little or no knowledge, but with a keen interest-- and a how-to book, purchased at the local bookstore. By the end of summer, with a sturdy canoe in hand, a new interest developed. Crafting the paddles they'd use to navigate it. Learning everything the hardest way possible, they succeeded in carving out a few paddles and this led to a desire to learn more. And curiously to them, folks liked what they were creating. Paddles made from the best materials, by hand and with the closest attention to detail, and a Made in USA distinction. 

Sanborn earnestly set out to carve a niche in the paddling community. A familiar territory for them, having paddled through canoe country-- since early childhood. That heritage had been bred in the early years of the 1900s, through past generations of family paddling in northern Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. So through their history and eagerness to learn, they quickly grew as a paddling brand. They honed their craft and in time offered their paddles to retail locations, and to the variable masses via the internet.




There are a number of ways to size your paddle. And folks tend to have different ways of doing so. We like to keep it simple.

1. Sit on a chair with your back straight.
2. Measure from the seat to the middle of your eyeballs.
3. Determine the shaft. Straight or bent?

  • For 10-14 degree bent shaft: Add the length of the blade.
  • For 5-10 degree bent shaft: Add length of blade plus 2-4”
  • For straight shaft: Add length of blade plus 4-6”



CABIN CRUISER CLASS: Not recommended for the rigorous paddling adventures, since they don't have fiberglass reinforced blades or epoxy tip guards. They are instead a perfect choice for cruising around the lake, or for relaxing day trips. They also look great hanging on the wall of your cabin. These paddles are a combination of hardwood and Western Red Cedar laminated together and have a heavy varnish finish.

WILDERNESS CLASS I: These paddles are extremely lightweight and made entirely of Western Red Cedar. Each blade is fiber-glassed and attached with an epoxy blade tip to protect agains rock swipes. While these paddles top the list when it comes being light weight, they are mid-range when it comes to durability. While hearty enough for any wilderness trip, some caution while navigating through the rocks is recommended as Cedar is a naturally a soft wood. In summary, these paddles are lightweight and quite durable, but some care while paddling is required.

WILDERNESS CLASS II: Designed to take you deep into the wilderness and get you through the most rigorous of paddling. Each is a combination of Western Red Cedar with various hardwoods added for extra strength and durability. Each shaft is edged in hardwood to protect against damage form rubbing agains the gunwales. The blades are reinforced with fiber-glass and attached with an epoxy blade tip to protect agains rock swipes. These paddles are the best of the best.



All Sanborn wilderness class canoe paddles have oiled paddle grips. Here's why:

For most paddlers, blisters are common. Most folks attribute this to using a paddle with a glossy varnish finish. One way to remedy this is through the use of oil. Oil will help immensely when it comes to minimizing friction. 

If you paddle enough, the oil from your hands will naturally replenish the wood, keeping it sealed and protected. But if you don’t paddle that much and/or the grip starts to dry a little I’d recommend reapplying the oil finish.

What you need to do:

1. Wipe on penetrating oil finish (linseed/tung/etc.)
2. Wait 10 min.
3. Wipe off excess oil

Do this as often as it takes to keep the finish up. Try sanding with a 400-600 grit wet sandpaper in between coats for an even smoother finish.