Welcoming Badger Ambassador @SwiftyPaddler

Welcoming Badger Ambassador @SwiftyPaddler

Going Official

Over the past decade and a half, Badger has seen the benefit of many professional friendships and unofficial ambassadors, as well as a recognized sponsorship or two. But it wasn’t until recently, after being prompted by an inquiry regarding a Badger ambassadorship, that we started seriously thinking about better organizing our customer testimonials and formalizing some of these relationships.

Looking back, our first unofficial ambassador was definitely Daniella from Carinthian Canoe Base in Austria. Not long after, more canoeists began to champion our paddles for us including Bill Swift, Hap and Andrea Wilson, Preston Ciere, Mike Ranta, Stephen Orlando, Wilbur Wong, and more. Then, a few years later, our first ever official sponsorship started with author and outdoor personality Kevin Callan a.k.a. The Happy Camper.

We are grateful to be able to say that these friendships continue to this day. And now we are thrilled to announce the start of our official Badger Ambassador list with a somewhat newly minted Badger Paddle owner, Ron Breault.

Stylized text that reads "Badger Ambassador @swiftypaddler over a wilderness waterway background

Welcoming The First Ever OFFICIAL Badger Ambassador

Actually, you may already know of Ron’s photography or follow him on instagram where he goes by the handle @SwiftyPaddler and posts some of the most incredibly beautiful canoe and wilderness themed photography. His images are truly inspiring!

So today we are extending the biggest welcome and paddles up to our very first ever official Badger Ambassador, @SwiftyPaddler!

Read what @SwiftyPaddler has to say about his experience with Badger below and discover more about this extremely talented photographer and paddler, with hopefully a few more official Badger Ambassadors to come!




As a lifelong canoeist, I’ve picked up and used more paddles than I can count over the years. In my early days, some were “wood slabs” from the neighbourhood hardware store, others hand-me-downs with questionable reliability that had their best years behind them.

Once I started to make the purchases myself, the price and shape of the paddle were more important to me than anything else; I really didn’t pay much attention to the weight, finish or type of wood used.

One day I borrowed a friend’s paddle on a trip, and immediately I could feel it it was different; it was comfortable in my hands; lightweight; and appeared “crafted” rather than mass produced.

Fast forward to 2021 when Badger Paddles donated a paddle to a charity auction. I saw the paddle and did my research. Their paddles had all the hallmarks of the crafted paddle I remembered borrowing.

I competed fiercely in the auction and won! A Badger Paddle was soon delivered to me. I chose the “Sliver” style, and opted for the oiled finish rather than varnish. When I unpacked it and held it in my hands, I had to smile; it looked and felt great! Rather than being made from several pieces of wood glued together, it was crafted from a single, solid block of wood. This means no joints to split or crack if you hit an unexpected rock (been there, done that… more than once)!

Their grip fits my hand perfectly; I really like the shape and the size. All I can say is it’s comfortable to hold; it takes almost no effort.

Their grip fits my hand perfectly; I really like the shape and the size. All I can say is it’s comfortable to hold; it takes almost no effort.

Canoe bow loaded full of gear including a custom laser engraved Badger canoe paddle with a wilderness shoreline in background

The second thing that immediately stood out was the velvety smooth finish of the entire paddle. All my other paddles are covered in varnish. My Badger Paddle is instead oiled wood.

I can’t stress enough what a difference this makes in the feel of the wood! When I paddle with varnished paddles, I always develop a blister where the shaft and throat of the paddle rub against the skin between my thumb and index finger; the varnish doesn’t really slide that well over skin.

But the oiled wood is different; it just glides across the same area. I’m sure there is some friction, but it’s at a level that just doesn’t matter.

I’m now a full on Badger Paddler! They have other styles and woods that I look forward to trying, but I know one thing: it took me a while to figure out and understand what mattered to me in a paddle, and now there’s no going back.


• Written by @SwiftyPaddler  (Ron Breault)

Selfie photo of (SwiftyPaddler) a man in hat wearing PFD, standing in front of a canoe on a forested shoreline.

@SwiftyPaddler • Ron Breault


Ron has spent most of his life in the Montreal-Toronto-Ottawa corridor, providing him with great access to some of Canada’s finest paddling destinations.

He started paddling at a young age though Scouts Canada programs, then moved on to borrowing and renting any canoe he could get his hands on until he could afford his own.  He recently purchased his second Swift Canoe, which resulted in his nickname, Swifty Paddler.

A long time photographer, Ron’s favourite subjects are landscapes, wildlife, and not surprisingly, anything involving paddling, camping, or backpacking.

In 2021, Ron stepped away from a senior management position in the software industry to pursue photography full time.  He’s now working at growing his practice.

Ron is married to the love of his life, has two adult daughters (who share his interest in the outdoors and photography), and lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Stylized text using canoe paddles for the "A" spelling out "Ambassador".

We will be working out and finalizing some of the details of our new Badger Ambassadorship program over the coming months, as well as working on a new Testimonial page. But in the meantime, if you really dig your Badger paddle and have a testimonial and some photos you would like to share with us, be sure to contact us to be included in our  Testimonials on this website!

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