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The Paddler's Christmas Wishlist

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

The holiday season is upon us and with Black Friday only days away I thought it would be a good time to lay out some great gift ideas for the paddler in your life. whether you are looking to go for a big ticket item or just a stocking stuffer, we have options in all different price ranges for the racer that can never have enough carbon fiber or quick drying apparel.

The Gift that he/she will never forget!!!

So you are shopping for a canoe racer, what better gift than a new canoe! The smell of fresh from the mold carbon fiber is sure to send your special someone jumping with joy when they realize they will be hitting the water this next season in a new, super fast, light and sleek vessel. Now that I have you excited to be the best gift giver out there what canoe should you choose? Below are a couple of great options to choose from.

C1 Pro Concept - by GRB Newman Designs - $2895

The concept is a C1 that you will be seeing more of every year. This boat is light, fast, and really cheap when compared to other C1's of this caliber and construction type. The only thing that has held this boat back has been that it does not meet the traditional USCA 4x32 C1 specifications. I have a feeling as though this might change in the upcoming years as New York is already discussing spec changes in the C1 category to incorporate these newer designs and there are already plenty of racers in New York that have these boats. Outside of specification discussion, this boat is a pleasure to paddle and is for anyone that wants a user friendly, fast and effecient craft. I did a full review on my youtube channel that you can find here.

To Order a C1 Pro Concept email

C2 Monarch - by GRB Newman Designs - $3395

Maybe you want to get a C2 so you and your present recipient can paddle together? Then maybe a stock boat might fit the bill. This is a great option as it can be used both for racing and for general touring and camping trips so the versatility of this boat is what it makes it truly shine. GRB also has the capability to customize the boat with a number of different options so that you can get a boat that can meet your specific needs.

To Order a C1 Pro Concept email

USED Boats - $500-$5000

Another great option for boats is to get a used one. Especially if you are new into the sport this can be a great way to get a really good deal on a boat that will mostly likely maintain almost all of its value if you take good care of it. This is a good way to try a different boat before making as big of a commitment as ordering a brand new boat. You can find used boats for as little as $500 and upwards of $5000 depending on age and condition. If this is your first boat I would suggest reaching out to Jeff Pederson at Southern Tier Canoe by email at . If you are more confident in what you are looking for the marathon canoe racing for sale page on facebook is a great resource.

Don't be Up a Creek without a Paddle!

If a canoe might be outside of the budget this holiday season but you are still looking for a really top notch gift to give the special paddler on your list a paddle is definitely the way to go. No paddler can ever have enough paddles. Every paddler should have at least 2 paddles, one to be the main paddle and another as a back up if the main paddle gets dropped or broken. Carbon fiber paddles will sometimes break especially if slammed onto a rock that is just below the waters surface. Now if your special someone paddles both C1 and C2 they will generally use a slightly longer paddle in the C1. If they want to take a C2 out with someone new it also helps if they have additional paddles to help bring new people into the sport. Now you can see the benefits for more paddles. I personally like to keep at least 4 paddles with me during the season so I have enough to get me through most situations that will come up.

Power Surge Medium - by ZRE- $289.95

The power Surge paddle is by far the most common paddle design when it comes to canoe racing paddles. The team at ZRE really came out with a great design that is used by most of the top teams at many of the major races across North America. There are multiple options when it comes to this paddle in regards to weight and length but the medium paddle that weighs roughly 10oz should be light enough for most paddlers and will also be stiff enough to be a more robust paddle. If you would like to get one ordered we ask you support Southern Tier Canoe by purchasing HERE

Curved Blade Paddle - by GRB Newman Designs - $225

The curved blade paddle by GRB Newman designs is another great option when looking for a paddle. The design of the paddle is a little bit different than that of the Power Surge but they both weigh in the same range. This paddle also comes with a lower price point. I did a full review on this paddle below.

To purchase a GRB Curved blade paddle just fill out the form found HERE

Electronics for paddlers

Electronics are always pretty hot items for the Christmas season and there are definitely some good options for the canoe racing world. I actually started a electronics page on the website already that you can find here. Below are my top electronics picks for this Christmas season.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 - $150ish

Garmin just recently came out with the latest iteration of their vivoactive fitness tracking watch which has sent the price of this watch way down. By far this is the best value for a GPS watch for paddling, period. This watch can track all of your major data including speed/distance, HR(more accurate with chest strap, see below), stroke rate, and DPS. This watch can automatically upload to Garmin connect, Strava and Training Peaks for post workout analysis also. Pretty much just a great option for most paddlers.

Garmin eTrex 30x - $150ish

Some paddlers will have a need for a mapping GPS unit for some of the bigger races. I personally use one for the ARCM but there are also other big races in the Yukon and on other rivers where following a track on one of these units would be helpful. I picked this unit because it is small, light with a great price point.

Garmin HR Strap - $50ish

Looking for something a bit cheaper but also something they could really get a lot of use out of? If your paddler already has a garmin GPS watch like the vivoactive HR or vivoactive 3 listed above they could also probably use a chest strap to pair with it. Unfortunately the wrist based HR sensors are not very accurate while paddling compared to a chest strap. This one is Garmin's most basic version but is my personal preference due to comfort and price.

Stocking Stuffers!

Most of the items thus far have been bigger ticket items but that doesn't mean that there are not any good gifts that are smaller and cheaper. These items are great items that most of us will use throughout the paddling season and some are good to just have some extras lying around as you will never know when you will need one.

Boat Straps by NRS - $12

Every paddler needs a way to secure their boat to the top of their vehicle when they go to transport their canoe to practices and races and these are truly the tried and true best straps out there.

Drink Tube Hose by Southern Tier Canoe - $3.50 (5ft length)

You Staying hydrated is super important to ensure good performance and we all need to take actions to prevent de-hydration. Well if you have to take your hands off the paddle you will be losing speed. That why it is important to have a drinking system where you can continue to paddle. All you need is some of this drink tube and a 2 liter soda bottle and you have a hydration system that good to go!

Boat Guard by Southern Tier Canoe - $17

Protecting your fancy carbon fiber race canoe will ensure it will last you for many years. One of the best things to help preserve the longevity of your canoe is to regularly apply boat guard. This is a UV protectant and helps protect your boat against the damaging effects of the sun. One bottle will last for multiple applications and in terms of the price of the boat is a very small investment to keep your boat looking new for a very long time.

Seat Clamps by Southern Tier Canoe - $6

These clamps help with the adjustment of your seat. These wrap around the seat tube and tighten to prevent the seat from sliding back past the clamp. Although most people have these already in their boat I personally have had a number of occasions where I needed one of these and didn't have one. This is something that is a good idea to have extras of. These can also be used to hold foot straps to your foot-brace.

Snap on Paddle Clip by Southern Tier Canoe - $5

Securing your extra paddle to the canoe is important because if you end up taking an accidental swim you do not want your paddle floating down the river. This paddle clip just easily snaps on to a thwart or a seat tube so that you can clip the shaft of the paddle to it. A great way to keep that paddle secure.


This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase items through these links it helps us be able to provide more content at no extra cost to you. We may receive a small commission but this does not affect the price of your goods.

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