Beginning with the WWII Raider Battalions, canoe paddles have a rich tradition within the military. These Marines were issued a rifle, knife, fins, diving mask, and paddle, which they were to carry with them throughout all aspects of their reconnaissance training. "The paddle becomes worn and scarred as the marine does throughout the process of training," said Major Bradford Carr, the commanding officer of Force Reconnaissance Company. After refinishing and garnishing with adornments to remember the recipient's service, fellow Marines present the paddle to a Marine who has left active duty or is killed in action. Although in today’s reconnaissance training Marines are issued ropes instead of paddles, these paddles still hold a significant place in the traditions of reconnaissance Marines and are awarded to individuals who have served their country in an exceptional way.
Making paddles for our military men and women wasn't something we set out to do when we started Winnebago Paddles. As fate may have it, however, it's now one of our favorite types of paddles to make. What an honor it has been to be a part of commemorating our fine men and women in the military who bravely risk their lives for the cause of freedom.
We've done quite a few of these paddles, and we have a ton of flexibility to satisfy your needs or interests. Most customers find designs from our gallery, and we're happy to adapt your ideas to bring a paddle to life. Feel free to contact us with any inquiries!
We created the following custom order information sheet to help you with some of the details and to make the process easier.