The concept of Saltwood Paddles started in the late 1990s. Richard Davis and Mike Robinson were building woodstrip sea kayaks at Caretta Kayaks in Savannah, Georgia. They would debate at length the properties they were looking for in a paddle. They came to the conclusion that they wanted light, stiff composite blades partnered with the comfort, flex, and feel of a wooden shaft. After a whole lot of boating, a whole lot of bourbon, and piles of broken and rejected paddles in the corners of the workshop, they finally have the paddles they were looking for.
At first glance the shaft is what sets a Saltwood paddle apart from most others. We laminate hollow wooden shafts and then apply a thin fiberglass sleeve. This pairing of wood and glass gives us our combination of strength, weight, and flexibility, and allows us to dial in the right feel for each paddle. One piece shafts have a subtle spring action spread across the whole paddle, which creates a really lively feel while reducing some stress off shoulder and elbow joints. Richard and Mike both used wooden shafts often when they were learning to paddle. And after trying almost everything else out on the market, they never found anything that came close to duplicating the superior warmth and feel of wood.
Another unique feature to Saltwood paddles is that right and left hand indexes are standard on every shaft. We use an aggressive index for each hand that runs flush with the top of the shaft in your palm, and creates a finger groove on the bottom of the shaft. We’ve been using double indexes for years on other paddles and really love the sense of control it provides for the on-water blade.
Composite blades provide the paddles with well-balanced swing weights and stiffness where it’s needed most. The blade is ultimately the business end of the paddle and needs to have the right properties in order to effectively engage the shaft. Saltwood composite blades use carbon fiber and fiberglass laminates with a mid size balsa core. We played around with a large number of prototypes to come up with a core volume that created a nice buoyant lift at the release of the stroke, while not having so much flotation that the paddle felt awkward when reaching deep for green water.
Saltwood Limited Warranty:
Saltwood paddles are warrantied to be free from defects in material and workmanship for one year from the date of purchase. Please return your paddle, with proof of purchase, to an authorized Saltwood Dealer. After observing the damage, we may elect to repair or replace the defective merchandise. We reserve the right to not warranty products that appear to have been run over by your vehicle, eaten by your dog, or fallen prey to some other abusive misfortune.
We exclude and expressly disclaim all express and implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Our liability to you for any damage should be limited to direct damages and shall not exceed the amount you originally paid for the Saltwood Paddle.
Paddling is an inherently dangerous activity that may result in serious injury or death. No piece of equipment makes the waves less powerful, the water warmer, or the rocks softer. There is no substitute for seeking qualified instruction, managing risks, and using good judgment.