Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Switching to oiled grips

A new feature that we’re bringing to all of our paddles this year is oiled paddle grips. We’re switching over all of our designs. So I thought I’d post a bit about oiled grips.

What’s so special about oil?
If you’ve ever paddled an oiled paddle you know how silky smooth it feels in your hands. There’s a good reason for this. And I’m sure there’s some drawn-out scientific verb-age I could use to explain it, but put simply it’s the oil in your hands sliding against the oil in the grip that creates the smooth feeling.

Less Friction = Less Blisters
One problem many paddlers encounter after paddling all day, or for some even just around the pond, is the forming of painful blisters. This is caused by unnecessary friction caused at the touch points while repeatedly sliding your hand over the grip. Most folks tell me that this happens most frequently when they’re using a paddle with a very glossy varnish finish. Well, oil is here to the rescue! I’m sure it comes as no surprise that oil will help immensely when it comes to minimizing friction. For the same reason there are all kinds of uses for oil, from oiling bikes gears to oiling a cooking pan, oil on a paddle grip causes less sticking. You’ll definitely be glad if you paddle a lot when those pesky blisters don’t pop up anymore.

Warm it up!
If someone has ever spoken to you the virtues of a wooden paddle over a composite paddle you’ve heard the argument that wood warms up in your hands better than composite. And I’ve found that an oiled grip warms up even better than one that has been varnished. I’m not sure the reasons, but I’d guess it has something to do with less coating in between your hand and the wood. And on a chilly day a warming paddle grip feels so good!

Is it more work?
You might think that because it’s oil it must take more upkeep and that means more work for you. Without going into the talk about paddling gear being a labor of love, I’ll say that upkeep on an oiled grip is pretty minimal. In fact the easiest way is just to paddle all the time. If you paddle enough the oil from your hands will naturally replenish the wood keeping it sealed up nicely. But if you don’t paddle that much and the grip starts to dry a little I’d recommend reapplying the oil finish.

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

That’s it! Pretty easy, huh! You can do this as often as it takes to keep the finish up. Also you can quickly sand using a 400-600 grit wet sandpaper in between coats.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Paddle Sizing


Posted by: Zak

Just as folks come in a  bountiful array of sizes and paddles come in assorted lengths there are countless varieties of techniques and tricks for sizing someone to a paddle.

I rate a good sizing system on two criteria.

#1: Does it measure someone to the shaft length?
Too often a paddle sizing technique will size someone based on height and say that you should have a “x” length bent shaft paddle. Okay let’s say this length is 50” for you - you buy two bent shafts at 50” - one has a 18” blade and the other a 28” blade. That would mean the shaft on the first one would be 10” longer than the other. Not good! You’re hands would probably be too close together on one and too far apart on the other - making neither paddle the correct length! So that’s why in evaluating a good paddle sizing technique I always look for one that measures shaft length and then it’s as simple as adding the blade length to that measurement.

#2: Is it simple? I get plenty of calls from folks wondering how to pick the correct paddle size. And it is plain to me that a simple sizing technique that is easy to understand is best. Believe me if you’re measuring your nostril circumference or factoring in your favorite sock color when someone is fitting you to a paddle size it’s not gonna work. And unless you are a professional dragon boar racer or marathon paddling champ just a simple paddle sizing technique will do just fine.

So with those two criteria in mind here is what I use to size a paddle ~

Directions:
1. Sit on a chair with your back straight.
2. Measure from the seat to the middle of your eyeballs.
3. 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”

That’s it!

Note: No idea where this information originated, but a shout out to the folks up at Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply. Picked up this great paddle sizing technique when we were delivering some paddles to them last year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Last Giveaway of the Year!

Have you enjoyed our Paddle Giveaways this year?

Well it's December and that means, sadly, that this is the last of our "Year of the Paddle" giveaways! Sign-up here ~ http://bit.ly/ef7PCD

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Bit More About Us

I updated our “About Us” Page this morning. It needed a bit of revision and addition. It hadn’t been updated in quite some time!


Excerpt:

SANBORN CANOE COMPANY is a paddling brand concerned with fine craftsmanship, aesthetics and above all else preserving & cultivating the great paddling heritage that has been born by many over the centuries. We handcraft canoe, kayak and stand up paddles from wood - offering many customizable options. And proudly utilize non-powered tools as much as possible. Block planes, spoke shaves, chisels (our Grandpa handed down to us), wood clamps and other hand tools litter our workshop. If you’d like to see what we do come on by the shop sometime—we’d love to show you around!

FOUNDED: MMIX

MISSION: Our mission as paddlers and craftsmen is to cultivate passion for the proud paddling heritage. To add what we can to that heritage: honoring past traditions - fostering new connections for the paddling community - and forging new horizons for paddlers.

HERITAGE: As long as there have been waterborne craft and tools to ply them there has been the need to adorn them with artistic symbols of our heritage and folklore — be it a mermaid lunging forward the bow of a great ship to the etching of one’s name to the oar continually strapped to his hands. This is held true in the pride of our craft that has always been instilled in paddlers, from the great whale hunting Inuit paddlers of centuries past right up to the modern couple that treks into the wilderness lakes of Canada with a map, a few changes of clothing and their paddling equipment. We, as paddlers, are all bonded together by that great paddling heritage.

OUR STORY: Sanborn, at its origins, was a summer hobby by a few guys to build a cedar-strip canoe with little more knowledge than what we had gleaned from a how-to book purchased at the local bookstore. By the end of that first summer we had a sturdy canoe and a keen interest in crafting a few paddles to ply it. Learning everything the hardest way possible, it seemed, by trial and error we succeeded in carving out a few paddles. Those first paddles led to the desire to learn more and then more about paddle making until we had made more paddles than we could ever use. And curiously to us some folks liked them. Maybe not the first ones we made, although everyone was always gracious with us!

From that all-too-clich├ęd “business in our buddies garage” we earnestly set out to carve out our niche in the paddling community. This was familiar territory for us having paddled and extensively backcountry canoe camped throughout canoe country—for some of us since our early childhood. And that heritage had been bred in the early years of the 1900s(and most certainly earlier than that) through past generations of our families’ paddling in northern Minnesota and beyond. So through our history and eagerness to learn we quickly grew as a paddling brand. Honing our craft and eventually expanding to allow for us to offer our paddles to retail locations and other online ventures.

We are always searching for new ways to contribute to the paddling community through new designs, techniques and aesthetics. As well as supporting paddlers in their adventures whenever we can—be it sponsoring a couple guys paddling nearly across our country to raise support for orphans and pastors to lending our knowledge to a newbie paddle maker looking for a few pointers. Always Sanborn will be a paddling brand concerned with fine craftsmanship, aesthetics and ways to throw our hat into the fray that is our great paddling heritage.

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Little Jo Options!


Don’t know what to get that little one for Christmas? What about one of these ~
Little Jo Toddlers Paddle ~ http://bit.ly/vcGZ8c
We’ve added more models to our line of Little Jo paddles! You can now get a miniature of any regular Sanborn paddle in Little Jo size! Check ‘em out ~http://bit.ly/vcGZ8c

There’s still time left to get 20% off at sanborncanoe.com! Learn more ~http://bit.ly/tV47WS

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Paddle as Art.

INTRODUCING: PADDLE as ART. PADDLE as TRADITION. PADDLE as HERITAGE.

Check 'em out ~ http://bit.ly/rpuyyj

As long as there have been waterborne craft and tools to ply them there has been the need to adorn them with artistic symbols of our heritage and folklore — be it a mermaid lunging forward the bow of a great ship to the etching of ones name to the oar continually strapped to his hands. This is held true in the pride of our craft that has always been instilled in paddlers, from the great whale hunting Inuit paddlers of centuries past up to the modern couple that treks into the wilderness lakes of Canada with a map, a few changes of clothes and their paddling equipment. We are all bonded together by that paddling heritage. And pride in our gear.

In our painted paddle designs we continue our contribution to this great paddling heritage. With a blend of artistic design and functionality we bond a work of fine art to a craftsman's skilled form.

Art. Tradition. Heritage.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Catch the Sleigh" ~ and Get it By Christmas Sale!


DETAILS:

What: 20% off everything on the website.

How: Use the discount code “Christmas” when checking out.

When: Now until midnight on Sunday Dec. 4th.

Why: Wouldn’t a paddle look great under your Christmas tree? Yes! Yes it would! That’s why we are guaranteeing that every purchase made during this sale will be on your doorstep by Christmas. Even our custom paddles and made-to-order products!  (Sorry we can only guarantee delivery by Christmas to the US...but get your overseas order in ASAP and we’ll do our best!)

Make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter for announcements throughout the sale about more exciting things coming to Sanborn. From features about current products, unveiling of new paddle features and announcements about new products!