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Sanborn Canoe Co. Gunflint

photo: Sanborn Canoe Co. Gunflint canoe paddle


Price MSRP: $135.00
Reviewers Paid: $135.00
Weight 19-20 oz
Blade Dimensions 8.5 x 18 in


2 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

I am not easily impressed. I have had numerous paddles over the 25 years I have toured the BWCAW. After lending my favorite paddle to a friend who lost it (yes, I know I should not have lent it.) I ordered a pair of Sanborn Gunflint paddles. A bent one for the bow and long straight for the stern. I like them even better than the one I lost.


  • Strong
  • Lightweight
  • Efficient
  • Excellent hand grip


  • I haven't found them yet, but I'll let you know.
  • Maybe a slightly longer straight (although unconventional)

I did much research before choosing and am thankful I did. Great craftsmanship, and beautiful. They are a little more beat up now, but I use my paddles... really use them.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $135 per paddle

The Gunflint looks great, is very comfortable in hand, and is really powerful. Goes out in the canoe every time I do.


  • Fairly lightweight
  • Looks awesome
  • Comfortable hold
  • Tons of power


  • Not an UL paddle

Full disclosure: I received my paddle from Sanborn as a gift for some photos I did for them, and I had also used them prior to that. 

I have a Gunflint with the 14° bend from the blade to shaft. The weight is not ideal for an ultralighter, but it's still really comfortable, and definitely better than the cheaper paddles I've used. I really like the oiled grip. Seems to chafe less than a fully finished grip.

Seems pretty sturdy; I push off from rocks and so on with it without feeling nervous about it. It's not indestructible, but normal considerations have been enough for the few years I've had mine. 

The paddle definitely has loads of power. I've paddled a few miles against the current in the Mississippi River by myself (with a wife and grouchy baby in the front of the canoe) and while it was extremely tiring, I still made a pretty good pace, and with the other budget paddles I've used previously, we definitely would have given up and gone back. 

Mine is an unpainted paddle, but natural cedar looks great. 

I've only had mine a couple years, and it has a few scratches and dings but overall is in great shape. No idea if it'll last another 5 years or 50 years, but so far so good. 

Overall I love it. I can't compare it to other high end paddles out there, but compared to various plastic and cheaper wood paddles, it's blown them away.

Source: I received my paddle from Sanborn as a gift for some photos I did for them

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