The folks at Shaw & Tenney didn’t invent the paddle, but—over the past century and a half—the Maine-based company has been creating impeccable implements for all manner of manual-powered vessels, and have recently begun applying the same time-honored traditions toward the growing SUP market.
You can order your custom-crafted SUP paddle in either a traditional straight blade, made from cherry or walnut, or a laminated bent shaft model, which can also be carved from sassafras or spruce, both of which tend to be a bit lighter, according to Shaw.
All of their made-to-order paddles are fully handcrafted by experts on the banks of the Penobscot River in Orono, Maine, so it could take up to three weeks for it to arrive on your doorstep. But with the company’s stated goal being nothing less than perfection, your custom SUP paddle will certainly be worth the wait. “When you take shortcuts, you get lost,” says owner Steve Holt. Just imagine the envious looks you’ll get at Horsetooth from all those store-bought-fiberglass–wielding novices.
Prices for paddles run from $309 to $449, plus about $40 shipping to Colorado. —Andrew Kensley