A Paddle is Still a Paddle by Any Other Name

A Paddle is Still a Paddle by Any Other Name

One of the more fun tasks we had when creating our line of Badger Canoe Paddles was naming the paddle blade shapes.

We’ve been asked: Why the “Nomad” or “Digger”? And what is the difference between a “BadgerTail” and a “BadgerPaw” anyway?

Badger’s Blog digs up the answers to your queries…

Note: Images are not to scale

We’ll start with the Nomad.  The shape of this blade is based on traditional Voyageur style paddles with wide shoulders narrowing to a more tapered end.  Because, historically, Voyageurs lived a pretty nomadic lifestyle, and we were looking to honour their traditions and place in Canadian history, we named this paddle the “Nomad”.

Next is the “Digger”.  This is the widest blade shape we offer to paddlers.  It really pulls alot of water for super powerful strokes.  Badgers, the animal, are known to be extremely powerful diggers and so we called this paddle shape the “Digger” to symbolize it’s powerful digging action when being used for the power of self-propulsion on the water.

The Sliver on the otherhand is our thinest blade width.  It’s very narrow. It’s name is pretty self explanitory in that an actual sliver is a long and thin stick. The Sliver is a popular paddle for solo canoeists, especially those who like “Canadian Classic Style” where the canoe is leaned over when paddling.

The Tripper is the second most narrow blade shape Badger Paddles currently offers.  It is a smaller version of the BadgerPaw in that it is more narrow and tapers more much like a traditional modified otter tail shape.  The BadgerPaw and the Tripper are in the same family of paddle shapes in that both are ottertail blade styles.  We called this paddle the Tripper as it is an all around use or versatile blade shape for canoe trippers.

The BadgerTail and the BadgerPaw are two names that are easy to confuse except if you remember the following:  the BadgerTail is shaped more like the tail of an actual badger (the animal) or can be likened to a modified Beaver Tail paddle blade shape.  Where the BadgerPaw is shaped more like our Tripper – but a bigger blade surface.

This larger modified “otter tail” shape is designed with the very paw of the badger in mind. “American badgers are built to dig. They move dirt faster than any other mammal, including a person with a shovel! Strong shoulders, sturdy claws, and partial webbing between their front toes allow them to scoop soil out quickly.”*  This larger blade with added surface area pulls lots more water… much like the paw of the badger animal… then it’s sister the Tripper. The BadgerPaw is one of our most popular blade shapes.

The Cub is a pretty obvious one as well.  The “Cub” is a child’s paddle and because a young badger animal is called a kit or a cub, we thought the name fit perfectly.  It was also the “Cub” that inspired the “WaterColours” series as shown.  Wanting to make paddling more fun for kids (and cubs too!) we began to tint the paddles with vibrant colours – every colour of the rainbow! Thus Cub WaterColours were born!!!

After the introduction of our Cub WaterColours, we began to offer our vibrant WaterColours finishes in adult sizes too as we found out there are many paddlers who are young at heart, and were soon demanded by boaters of all ages! They also have been proven to have a practical application for Paddling Instructors.  The vibrantly coloured blades are easier for students to see when the stroke is being performed by the Instructor’s paddle underwater. Not to mention how easy it is to spot one in an emergency boating situation.  Our WaterColours come in lots of colours and can also be personalized (like Ella’s above – Ella collects & loves elephants!).  The WaterColours for adults come in Ash only.

For more information about our paddles, please visit website at www.badgerpaddles.com/

*Source: www.switcheroozoo.com/profiles/badger.htm

1 Comment
  • Mike
    Posted at 13:27h, 02 December

    Badger paddles rock no matter what name or colour….I love my Sliver for solo Canadian Style Paddling….and as an instructor, I like the idea of coloured paddles….