Welcome to Grey Owl Paddles

As we head towards our 38th season we are pressing forward with exciting new products and re-engineering some of our older models. Over the years through trial and error we have learned the limitations and advantages of the various materials available to us for manufacturing. We have listened to the feedback and ideas from many of our followers including racers, instructors, experts and enthusiasts alike. After taking all of this knowledge and blending it together, we feel that Grey Owl now offers the premium mix of paddles available anywhere.

Please browse through our new easy to navigate website to view our fabulous array of illustrious products that will help you to enjoy and improve your paddling experience. We think you will find the design, quality and elegance of our paddles will exceed your expectations.
 


 

Read About Us in Globe and Mail – Report on Business.

Stockbrokers live by risk. But few can match Brian Dorfman’s big bet 40 years ago when he jettisoned an unfulfilling broker job at Dominion Securities to start whittling canoe paddles. He wasn’t much of a woodworker then, but he knew a market opportunity.

In the early ’70s, the movie Deliverance drew thousands of baby boomers to canoeing, and Dorfman realized manufacturers couldn’t meet the demand. “When we started doing trips to Algonquin Park and Temagami, we could never get nice paddles,” he says. “We’d rent a canoe up there and basically get a couple pieces of timber to paddle with.” In 1976, he opened his own plant—a 2,500-square-foot bay in a Cambridge, Ontario, industrial mall—and began crafting high-end paddles.

Perhaps his biggest break came in 1988, when Olympic canoeist Hugh Fisher returned from a dragon-boat race in Hong Kong, handed Dorfman a dragon-boat paddle, and said, “You should consider this; it’s going to be big some day.” Twenty-seven years later, Grey Owl Paddles is the world’s biggest manufacturer of dragon-boat paddles, pumping out around 10,000 a year. These days, Dorfman is constantly testing new prototypes at his Orillia cottage, which certainly beats life on the trading floor.

Patrick White, The Globe and Mail

 


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