Northwood

Paddles in this special shape were for decades the most important tools of professional guides in the Northwoods (extensive forests in Maine). They needed a paddle that could be used both standing and sitting and that worked on calm lakes as well as in rocky rivers. So a paddle that was long, stable and yet relatively light.

My Northwood model has a long beavertail blade. The transition from the shaft to the blade ends in the lower third, where the thinnest part is located. Towards the tip the blade becomes thicker, because that is where the greatest stress occurs. To save weight and to distribute the elasticity over the whole paddle, the shaft is only 25 mm in diameter. The size of the blade is adjusted to the overall length of the paddle.

The special Northwood handle allows different grip positions, where the length of the paddle can be changed as needed. Different variations (e.g. straight sides or troughs) or lengths are possible, I decided here for a somewhat shorter version, which nevertheless offers enough possibilities. The sideways grasping of the handle takes some getting used to in the beginning, but most people will see it as a comfortable alternative to the conventional technique after some time.

Blade length 70 cm
Blade width 16 cm
Weight 800-900 g