Of Badgers and Portageurs :: Canoecopia 2013

Of Badgers and Portageurs :: Canoecopia 2013

Badger® WaterColours at Canoecopia 2013
Photo by attendee Stephanie Rochon

Our second year at Canoecopia was another whirlwind of sales and smiles. Mike was happy to see all the familiar faces as well as many new ones too. Without Fiona, who stays home with Makobe (but really hopes to be able to attend next year if Badger is invited back again!), Mike is all alone in the booth for the entirety of the show. Thankfully, both this year and last, popular blogger Preston (from Portageur.ca) attended as well – offering to help out so that Mike was able to catch a break here and there while Preston closed sales and made himself otherwise available to people for questions and conversation (about canoeing and portaging, what else?!).

The calm before the storm –
the booth is ready for Canoecopia 2013.

At first, there was some confusion about our paddle shapes. Mike hadn’t had a chance to review the Canoecopia Gazette/Show Guide but realized something was up when people were coming into the booth looking for the bigger bladed paddles. Thankfully Mike had brought some Diggers with him so those really hoping for the larger blade surface, over our more traditional shapes, were satisfied and left with an ash or cherry paddle of their preference. He later realized that the mention of a paddle that was a “tad larger” (in the show guide) had gotten everyone a bit confused but he was able to match up paddles to people’s preferences without a problem once he knew what they were.

Mike, as it happens, was really excited for this show as both the Badger-Tripper and the BadgerTail were NEWLY redesigned this year for a more fluid paddling experience.

BadgerTail (top)
Badger-Tripper (bottom)

The BADGER-TRIPPER, a very effective and popular canoe tripping paddle, is based on our “slicy” modified ottertails. A hybrid paddle, we have taken our favourite aspects from the original BadgerPaw and Tripper designs and combined them into one. The result is an extremely fluid, quiet, and aesthetically pleasing paddle. This design is definitely a top choice for trippers – or those who spend most of their day in the canoe.

The BADGERTAIL paddle has a deep and wide blade with a lot of surface area to move large amounts of water but still sits deep enough to be a very effective rudder. Based on a traditional beavertail, the Tail is also great for prying strokes. By redistributing the volume of the blade, we have created a smoother paddling experience. With the bulk of the blade’s volume pulling in the deeper, more still waters – instead of higher up where the water is bubbling and gurgling from your stroke – the paddler’s energy is conserved.

Mike was also excited to meet and see everyone again and to talk paddles and paddling. But there was another subject on his mind as well this year as he had brought with him a blue scarf from The Six Degree Project – which aims to get celebrities to wear their scarves in the name of autism awareness. We had already approached Kevin Callan – The Happy Camper (and Hap Wilson!) who (both!) agreed to help bring awareness and attention to autism for the next little while as totally willing participants.

Author and popular outdoor celebrity Kevin Callan wearing
a Six Degree Project Scarf in the name of Autism Awareness
in honour of Makobe & people living with autism every where!
photo credit: Portageur.ca

So this is where Portageur.ca comes in again as he was asked in an *urgent* message pleading with him to photograph Kevin wearing the scarf as he was running around the show. Preston, always a trooper, came thru with a flying spectrum of colours and tracked Kevin down for a shot and included Mike (Kevin’s connection to autism is through Makobe) in a great photo. Thanks to Kevin Callan (The Happy Camper) and to our portage loving friend, for helping to bring autism awareness to Canoecopia this year!

A happy portageur and a happy paddler too.
Thanks for being such a great salesman Preston!

On Sunday, Mike was excited again to be able to present our Maple Pancake Pitch to those he shared breakfast with. Last year Mike brought down some Bow Jam with him but this year, the Canoe Trippers’ Syrup proved to be really popular with the pancake eating paddlers.

Prepared by Yummies in a Jar located right here in Muskoka, we were more than delighted with the flavour of our specially made “pancake glue”.

Our Maple Syrup was a favourite
at breakfast this year!

We only made up a few bottles of this novel, but very delicious Canadian pure maple syrup, however we are definitely going to be getting more soon due to it’s deliciousness and popular demand (we got a more than a few private inquiries from family and friends who would like to try it after seeing it posted on Facebook and those who did try it want MORE!).

If you are are wanting to try some yourself, send us an email or drop us a line via our Facebook page.

At the end of the breakfast, full of pancakes, Mike was ready to greet the last day of the show and was soon on his way home. But not before he made lots of new friends and made sure that many of his Badgers had found new paddling families.

Copy of the label on our (imaginative) Maple Pancake Pitch.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make Canoecopia 2013 another great success for Mike and Badger Paddles. We were even honoured by Canoe & Kayak Magazine by being picked for their Best In Show list (we just found out ourselves!). So thanks to you all for helping us become the Badgers we are today. Paws up to everyone! And paddles up to everyone too!

Badger® WaterColours make Canoe & Kayak’s Best In Show list!

Special thanks to Preston (Portageur), Stephanie, Kevin Callan, Darren & family, Roch, Scott, David, Seaward Kayaks,  Jerry Vandiver, Jeff Fitch and his very lovely wife, the very happy lady paddlers Donna and Joan, as well as Lou,  and the Kayak Sailors, and the nice lady who let Preston make a sale –  plus many more who helped to make Canoecopia so much fun for Mike again this year. Hope to see you all next year (when I hope to be able to come too)! ~ Fiona

  • Margaret Bourne
    Posted at 13:17h, 15 March

    What a great post! So glad to hear that everything went well and you ended up on the Best in Show list.

  • BADGER® Paddles
    Posted at 14:06h, 15 March

    Thanks Margaret! We were pretty excited when we found out we had made the list!! Thanks for all your support over the past few years… we couldn't have come as far without people and paddlers like you helping to put us on the map. :o)