but first... the grip
The grip is sanded to smooth perfection so that it is comfortable to hold for many hours of canoeing.
Bruce also carves a secondary grip below the top grip. This unique feature was introduced by Bruce in the 1970’s. Besides being decorative, canoeists have found it very useful in one handed solo-paddling manoeuvres like running and standing pry. Historically, many First Nations people used some form of this grip alone (without the top grip). It provides the opportunity to push from this grip, using the paddle as a fulcrum.
the bruce smith classic
The Bruce Smith design is a classic multi-purpose paddle, popular with canoe instructors. It is a blend of the Ottertail and Stern with the greatest percentage of surface area in the middle of the blade. This efficient design is excellent for long days of trip paddling but also style paddling in a variety of settings.
Designed for solo paddling, lake travel, general tripping
The Beavertail is a traditional paddle that harkens back to childhood camps and family cottages. It has a greater surface area near the bottom of the blade, enabling it to move larger amounts of water when necessary, but also requiring a little more strength to do so. Fun to use around the lake or on a quiet river.
Designed for light, recreational use
The Ottertail has been quite popular since the 1970’s. Like the Voyageur, this blade is wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, but is generally more rounded. This allows it to slice the water easily, performing dynamically in the water.
Designed for solo paddling, style manoeuvring
the modified ottertail
The modifed Ottertail, as its name suggests, takes the features of the regular Ottertail, and widens more at the top and tapers more at the bottom. It is a popular custom order due to the fact that the width and taper can be adjusted to preference.
Many find it an elegant looking paddle.
Designed for solo paddling, style manoeuvring and deep water paddling
The Tripper, like the Bruce Smith Classic, is also a multi-purpose paddle, but with a fuller configuration. This allows it to pull more water especially in rougher, windier weather situations. Very good all-round design for canoe trips.
Designed for general tripping
The Voyageur, as its name suggests, was historically used by the voyageurs. Its long, narrow blade, widest at the top, pulls the water extremely efficiently without placing excessive strain on the paddler.
Designed for distance lake travel
The Passamaquoddy was originally an East Coast First Nations design. Bruce's version has less taper on the blade to add a little more strength to the tip. It is a very attractive design and also an efficient paddle, especially in deep water.
Designed for deep water paddling