An Authentic Paddle Sock History

When Mike & Fiona, the owners of Badger Paddles*, started their business in 2009, they immediately began looking for a superior transport and storage solution for the paddles they made. 

Wanting to get away from single-use plastic for shipping, and tired of big bulky, highly priced paddle bags with features specific to only one paddle style, Mike decided it was time to produce a product that was stretchy, inexpensive, light weight, and compact.  He also wanted quick and easy paddle protection that could be used with a number of different paddles and paddle styles.  Thus, the authentic BADGER® Paddle Sock was envisioned. The first prototype was actually two of Poppa Badger’s old hockey socks just sewn together with one end sewn shut, but that’s another story....

In 2010, Mike looked for a knitter and made contact with a Toronto company (who were the producers of central vacuum hose covers) and a new product was born. It was at the same time the decision was made to include a paddle sock with every BADGER® Canoe Paddle (excluding our little Cubs - canoe paddles for children). This helped to immediately cut back on the use of plastic bags by the hundreds - as instead of shipping out paddles in plastic, each paddle was shipped in its own re-usable BADGER® Paddle Sock.

The original BADGER® Paddle Sock of 2010 was a stretchable, knitted sleeve that was easy to slip over a canoe paddle. The open end was easily cinched tight with some cord and a plastic drawstring closure. The BADGER® logo was screened onto each sock. It was 100% polyester. Not completely satisfied with the design or the fact that the socks actually ended up being manufactured in China, Mike and Fiona kept looking for a Canadian-made, plastic-free solution.

At the end of 2013, Fiona finally was able to find a Canadian manufacturer that seemed to be the answer and contact was made. Knitted right here in Canada, BADGER® is proud to introduce the newly modified BADGER® Paddle Sock**!

The first official BADGER® Paddle Sock with plastic barrel closure.

Gone is the plastic closure and elastic drawstring cord - as time had proven that they were not needed. Instead, the new paddle sock fits by stretching the material over the blade and folding the sock back down, over itself, to hold it in place. Just pull, twist, and flip - it’s that easy! What hasn’t changed though, is the stretchiness of the material that allows it to fit just about any traditional canoe paddle up to 66”. But it does fit other blade sizes too, including 2 piece kayak paddles and more! So slip a sock onto your paddle and give it a try.... But we forewarned that these socks are made for those who really dig their gear.

Our NEW Paddle Socks in black (with grey cuff) are free of any unneeded plastic and now MADE IN CANADA. Note: This is not the final sock design, per se, as we will continue to work with our new sock knitter to innovate and improve upon our original idea. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with all the BADGER® news!

From a thin solo paddle like the Sliver to a wide bladed paddle like the Digger and even all the way to a bent-shaft or 2 piece kayak paddle - BADGER® Paddle Socks will be sure to fit and protect your paddles for years to come.

While the cost of the new paddle socks are greater than the socks that were manufactured in China, Mike and Fiona have long held the belief that cheaper is not better and supporting Canadian manufactures is an important part of the BADGER® business plan. BADGER® is now also able to explore more material choices and options for the future when working with folks so close to the BADGER® sett. An important issue for Mike and Fiona as they wish to continue to innovate and improve upon the original idea.

Want to see our new BADGER® Paddle sock? Just click here to see how it all works...

It’s a legging.  It’s a bag.  It’s a BADGER® Paddle Sock!
BADGER® Paddle Socks... for those who dig their paddle!

* BADGER® Paddles are the makers of hand-crafted solid wood canoe paddles offering unique premium finishes.  Located in the heart of Ontario Canada’s cottage country, Badger Paddles are hand-finished, hand-rubbed and hand-painted.  For more information please contact us or visit the official Badger Paddles website

** In Fact, these socks are so new that the label design is still being finalized before printing! So... Yeah... Labeled socks are coming soon!