Trekking: Sanborn paddles are as functional as they are handsome

Sanborn

Man isn’t meant to stay indoors — our weekly “Trekking” column can attest to that. It’s a column dedicated to the adventurer inside of all of us, the one pining to ditch the office humdrum for a quick surf session or seven-week jaunt in the Grand Tetons. One day we may highlight an ultra-light stove and the next a set of handmade canoe paddles. Life doesn’t just happen inside the workplace, so get outside and live it.

Nostalgia is a funny thing, particularly when it goes directly against convenience and practicality. However, although aluminum canoe paddles might win when it comes to durability and artificial plastics when it comes to sheer weight, there’s something that’s just right about skimming over a glossy lake in the wee hours of the morning with nothing but a dog by your side and a wooden paddle in your hand. Fortunately, the Minnesota-based Sanborn Canoe Company hand crafts some of the best around.

Related: Norquayco’s paddles let you skim with style

Sanborn is no stranger to making paddles, either. Cousins Zak Fellman and Todd Randall have been putting out their elegant wears from a small woodshop on Fellman’s family land for more than six years, continuing to capitalize on a venture that once began as a mere hobby between buddies in a garage. The company’s line of artisan-painted paddles make use of a traditional blade shape, one representing a laminated combination of western red cedar, aspen, and black walnut. Fellman and another local artist hand paint each offering to reflect the heritage of the surrounding region and that of the canoe, and afterward, finish each with a durable varnish dip for longevity. The sheer variety of the designs only compliment the quality.

Last year, Sanborn Canoe Co. even partnered with the folks at Jack Daniels to release a limited line of paddles salvaged from spent bourbon barrels. It may seem like a bit of a gimmick, sure, but the white oak used in the aging process remains one of the most resilient hardwoods in all of existence. Now, if only we could muster the courage to tear the gorgeous paddles from the wall and actually use them as intended.

Check out Sanborn’s line of artisan paddles online to make a purchase ($180), or to peruse the company’s excellent selection of knives, apparel, and other outdoor goods.

Living

Take a Peek Inside a Contemporary Home in South Africa’s Wine Country

The simplistic style of Benguela Cove House ensures that the beautiful South African landscape remains the star of the show.
Food & Drink

Keep Oktoberfest Going Year-Round with Jaegerschnitzel

Just because Oktoberfest only lasts for a few weeks doesn’t mean you should stop eating and drinking like it's over.
Auto

Porsche’s Rebirthed 935 is Ready to Devour Racetracks Whole

The 935 Clubsport has racing air jacks that can pop the car up, and slam it back down, for when you need to pit quickly.
Food & Drink

Dancing With the Green Fairy: 10 Absinthes to Try Right Now

Whatever you’re looking for in an absinthe, these ten spirits are a great place to start expanding your knowledge (and palate)!
Food & Drink

10 Best Beef Jerky Brands to Try Before You Die

Do your tastebuds a favor and chow down on each of these beef jerkies.
Living

Into the Wild is a Tiny Cabin that Let’s You Edit Your Views of the Forest

You’ve heard of choose your own adventure books, this is a choose your own view cabin.
Living

Be a Rebel Without a Cause and Buy James Dean’s Old Hollywood Hills Digs

This restored and reimagined 1920s Spanish-style home is up for sale for just shy of $4 million.
Living

The 10 Best Adventure Dog Breeds for the Active Outdoorsman

Find your perfect canine companion.
Living

No Strings Attached with the Best Wireless Charging Pads

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where there were no cords at all? These wireless charging pads are a good start.
Travel

The Woodman’s Treehouse Has Everything You Want, Including a Pizza Oven

The ultimate escape for a weekend of reliving your childhood, there’s also hammocks, a slide, and a rooftop hot tub.
Living

How to Winterize Your House and Yard Before the Cold Weather Comes

With just a few weekends of work, you'll be sitting pretty (and warm) in your newly winterized home.
Outdoors

The Best First Aid Kits for the Home, Car, Hiking, and More

Accident, injuries, burns, bug bites, and worse can strike at any time. Be prepared.
Living

A Passive House That’s Big on Style While Saving the Planet

Passive Houses, are not just saving the planet and reducing energy costs, they’re stylish as hell.
Living

The Complete Guide to Kitchen Knives and Their Uses

You could be missing out on the perfect utensil for making sushi, slicing ribs, or creating radish roses and not even know it.