413 words • Brands

Sanborn Canoe Co.

Maker brands with Sanborn Canoe Co. - artisan, handmade canoes and painted paddles.

By Scott Mathson, Makerviews

Makerviews exists to share the stories of and advice from a variety of talented makers, designers, and artists.

Follow Makerviews

During the Summer of 2009, two cousins started building a cedar strip canoe, unknowingly forming a bond and paving the path for what is now the iconic Sanborn Canoe Co.

Zak Fellman and Todd Randall draw inspiration from their Grandfather, who inspired them with stories of his canoe building days. These makers focus on authenticity and adventure, designing and creating products and telling stories through visuals on Instagram that truly inspire.

Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota headquarters

Sanborn Canoe Co. bandsaw cutting paddles

Some of their story —

At the beginning Sanborn Canoe Co. was a summer project with a few buddies to craft a cedar-strip canoe to take on our annual canoe trips. Our dreams lay more in open waters and camaraderie in building something together than ever starting a business. It took us that entire summer, working on nights and weekends to finish the canoe. With some of the extra cedar we crafted a few paddles and hit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for our fall trip. The canoe didn’t sink and we really enjoyed using paddles that we had crafted ourselves.

Over the past few years we’ve begun the journey to fill out an explorer’s line of goods crafted around the culture of the Canoeist. Each of our gear items has both feet firmly planted in the canoe world with a beckoning hand or two introducing new folks to our world of canoeing as well.

Sanborn Canoe Co. handmade painted paddles

"I've always been a craftsman of some sort, an artist. I'm always trying to make things. I've always had that in me...to make something." — Zak, Sanborn Canoe Co.

Sanborn Canoe Co. painted paddle

Sanborn Canoe Co. Minnesota paddle

The Minnesota Paddle - Akin to the taste of maple syrup and five card poker, our Minnesota model is built to stand the test of time. It is constructed of beautiful Cherry along the shaft, sturdy Ash edging the blade and western red cedar in between. Wanting a paddle that pushes a lot of water, but still graciously slips into and out of the water, led us to design the Minnesota…

Sanborn Canoe Co. handmade canoes and paddles


Certain text content and photos via makers: Sanborn Canoe Co.

chevronLeft icon Previous Next chevronRight icon
Category: Brands | Tags: Outdoors

More from the blog

I'm a Maker Because...with Caleb Wojcik | 13 Dec 2018

I'm a Maker Because...with Sadie Mae John | 13 Dec 2018

I'm a Maker Because...with Ben Stafford | 13 Dec 2018