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Sanborn Canoe Company

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This product is made-to-order. Verify estimated lead time in the product options.
18.00 Ounces
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The younger sibling to our bestselling Gunflint paddle, the Gillis was designed in collaboration with Rutabaga Paddlesports’ own Darren Bush. Designed with his wife in mind,  the main features stay the same between the Gillis and Gunflint, however the blade is reduced in size by about 10%. The result is a paddle that is still tremendously versatile but a bit more elegant; less about brute strength and more about efficiency and elegance. While this makes it particularly popular for women, it’s also very well suited to any flat-water bow paddlers and anyone else looking at longer days of paddling without the need to fight against stronger wind or currents.

The Gillis is available in both straight and bent shaft options. Straight shafts are typically preferred for stern paddlers (the rear of the canoe) for more subtle steering strokes, whereas the 12° bent shaft option will typically be preferred by bow paddlers (the front of the canoe) who are looking to maximize forward propulsion. 

Both options feature unvarnished grips. An oiled grip feels warmer and smoother in the hands and is less prone to cause blistering. On the bent shaft paddles is an asymmetrical palm grip; its forward lean helps ensure a secure grip while the soft curves still allow for comfortable rotation in the hand, easing the rotation needed for corrective strokes in the water. The straight shaft grip is symmetrical, and the soft curves make rotation for corrective and steering strokes effortless.


Paddle Stats:

Blade Length: 17”

Blade Width: 7.5”

Approximate Weight: 22 oz.

Wood Type:
Red Alder, Aspen or Basswood, & Walnut
Blade Reinforcement:
Fiberglass + Fiberglass-reinforced Epoxy Rock Guard
Shaft and Blade are Epoxied, Varnished and the Grip is Bare
Blade Length (Tip to Throat):
Blade Width (Widest Point):

3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Courtney on Jan 5th 2022

    Beautifully crafted paddle. Very lightweight and comfortable to use. I love it!

  • 5
    Gillis Paddle

    Posted by Matt on Sep 10th 2020

    The Gillis is the perfect size for me at my age. Thanks for making the special requests on the grip and shaft size, it worked out perfectly for my pack canoe!

  • 5
    Gillis Paddle

    Posted by David on Aug 12th 2020

    Great and beautiful paddle. Took it out for its inaugural use on the Missouri River in Montana for a 130 mile paddle. Great feel, good power, light and strong. I was only in the bow and the river is not challenging through the Breaks section where we were. I am excited to get this into some other waters and into the stern as well. It hangs on my wall as a piece of art when not in the water. Thanks Sanborn!

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