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Cricket Designs
17530 W. Hwy 50
Salida, CO 81201

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We are currently making two models of canoe paddles the straight shaft Loon and bent shaft Northwoods with two new ones on the way.   The Loon was reviewed by Canoe and Kayak magazine in the October 2000 issue and described as “absolutely smooth, silky quiet.  It’s a wonderful blade.”  The Northwoods has had several very favorable reviews in the past years.  Both the Loon and Northwoods have been very popular with the ACA (American Canoe Association) Life Members.

Construction Features:  Now all canoe paddles are made with dynel edges.  The dynel makes the paddles much tougher as well as improving the already outstanding appearance..  The Loon and Northwoods are similar in  construction.  The shafts are laminated from cedar and black willow strips, three cedar and two black willow in the Loon, four cedar with a black willow compression strip on the back of the Northwoods shaft.  The blades have western cedar cores,  dynel edges and tips with our  wave-shape cherry tip covers. All paddles are epoxy sealed and  varnished with a minimum of three coats--or until they are right.

Our new  paddles: the Honey Island Cruiser SeriesAbout 15 years ago  we made two versions of the Honey Island Cruiser originally produced by Blackburn Designs.  The original freestyle paddle was the Blackburn Honey Island Cruiser.  It  had a very large, full shouldered  9”x24” blade with a modified-Tee grip.  Our new versions, made per designs from Dave Curtis of  Hemlock Canoe Works and original founder of Curtis Canoes, are the original 9”x24” blade and a smaller 8-1/2”x 22 blade which have a modified Canadian palm grips.  We also put the dynel edge on these as that is the only way to make the very thin blades survive and keep the weight and balance right. It’s fun to make these again as I can do it so much better than 10 years ago.

These paddles are best suited for cruising paddlers in efficient boat designs  that prefer the control that is available with  straight shaft paddles.

I try to keep a couple of Loons  and Northwoods in stock or partially made.  The Honey Islands will be made to order.

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I have also made specialty canoe paddles including both straight shaft and bent shaft freestyle paddles and special touring paddles for Dave Curtis at Hemlock Canoe for a sampling of these paddles link HERE.

We also have patterns from past paddles; our original -- circa 1978, a 9” wide bent shaft in either 7,10,or 14 degree configurations, and two versions of freestyle paddles.  The 10-degree paddles in a 9-inch width have been used for outrigger canoes.  We can make runs of the the outrigger paddles on request. 

We also make the Solitude freestyle on request and have made both straight- shaft and bent-shaft versions.  Due to the specially-built nature of each individual paddle I no longer try to keep any in stock.  There is quite a range of opinion on how freestyle paddles should work and each one is custom made.  I prefer to make them with a stiff blade and give some flex to the shaft just above the blade. The typical cost of a freestyle is $235.  It is interesting to try to get a good combination of flex, balance and overall weight.  Give us a phone call if you are interested, email is too impersonal for a freestyle paddle. 

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