Sanborn Canoe Company Taps into Local Heritage with their New Line of Painted Paddles

Wednesday, 30 November 2011
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Sanborn Canoe Company is a small paddle manufacture based out of Winona, Minnesota that has really embraced the heritage of canoeing.

The Wapasha by Sanborn Canoe Company

For a while now they have been building paddle designs based on the local canoeing tradition. Just looking at them, you would think that they were once hanging over the mantel of the local hunting lodge or the dining hall at a kid’s camp.

Paddlers who want to tap even more into the rich history of canoeing the lakes ofMinnesotawill be interested in their new line of painted paddles. For $35 extra, buyers can have a painted shaft design added to any canoe paddle in the line-up.

 Sanborn Canoe Company Painted Paddles

Of the four designs available I think my two favourites are the “Dorothy” (named for Dorothy Molter who was the last person to live permanently within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area) and the “Nessmuk”; which is in honour of author George Washington Sears who wrote for Field and Stream in the 1880’s and an early pioneer for lightweight canoeing/camping.

In the world of advertising there is that classic phrase, “You are not selling the steak; you are selling the sizzle.”

The reality is that anybody can make a paddle so the trick is how to figure out what sets you apart from the guy down the street. Nostalgia is very powerful andMinnesotahas a very long traditional canoeing heritage so why not tap into it? If you can do it right you will be successful. Heck, L.L. Bean has been selling their products that way for almost 100 years and look where they are?

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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