Ash Our workhorse hardwood, ash is extremely durable and tough, and well suited to a wide variety of paddling and rowing conditions. A heavier wood with moderate flex, ash holds up well to whitewater and rocky conditions. Open grain of the wood makes for a very attractive paddle or oar.
Spruce Our lightest and only softwood, spruce is an excellent choice for an all-around, every day paddle and almost all rowing oars. We don’t recommend spruce for whitewater, or for conditions where the paddle or oars comes in contact with rocks and other obstacles. Spruce is only available in a varnish finish.
Soft Maple A durable, closed grained hardwood with a moderate flex, soft maple is usually slightly lighter than ash, and therefore excellent in a wide variety of conditions.
Cherry Few woods rival the beauty and characteristics of cherry. A deep red, closed grained hardwood, cherry is strong and durable for virtually every paddling condition. Reasonably light, with very nice flex, cherry is one of our favorites.
Bird's Eye Maple With strength and flex attributes nearly identical to curly maple, bird’s eye maple features a distinctive pattern that resembles tiny, swirling eyes. And like walnut, bird’s eye maple boasts a beautiful visual appeal both on and off the water.
Curly Maple Sometimes called tiger or ribbon maple, curly maple features a translucence that can only be described as radiant. Grown here, in Maine, curly maple is also a hard wood — often lighter than ash, and often more flexible. A durable option, curly maple is only available in a varnish finish.
Mahogany An imported hardwood well suited for boathooks and inlaid tips on oars and double blade paddles. Most often selected when your boat is trimmed in Mahogany
Walnut Similar to cherry in its weight and flex, walnut’s deep chocolate brown, with beautiful grain, make it an attractive choice both on and off the water.
Sassafras Favored most by the paddling craftsmen at Shaw & Tenney, sassafras is nearly as light as spruce, but as a hardwood, is far more resilient. Valued for its wonderful flex, sassafras continually darkens over time, and always maintains its beautiful patina.