Richard needs time to paddle too!

Richard Alan Barnhart

After accepting the challenge to canoe the Boundary Waters without any experience, to help his friend Dennis fulfill a bucket list wish, Richard Barnhart, set out to make his own paddle!  Dennis’ remark, "you cannot make a canoe paddle!" only added fuel to Richard's determination to prove his good friend wrong.  "Why should I buy a paddle when I can make one!?"


Just weeks later, Richard produced his first prototype paddle, and a short time later, he and his friend both canoed the Boundary Waters.  After 2 week long trip, Dennis agreed that Richard's handmade paddle was in far better shape than Dennis’ commercial made paddle, and he commissioned Richard to craft another paddle right away.  And so Paw Paw Paddleworks was born!


Canoeing the Boundary Waters has since become an annual event for both paddlers, who now use Paw Paw Paddleworks paddles exclusively!  


All Paw Paw Paddleworks paddles are hand made exclusively by Richard in limited numbers, because Richard "needs time to paddle too!".  Each paddle is numbered, catalogued, and engraved with RAB, paddle # and length, so that you can be sure you are investing in an authentic piece of art with a purpose.  There is never a tree cut down for a paddle.  All woods are selected carefully and re-purposed from the finest local resources.  Basswood, Cedar, Walnut, Maple, Ash, Butternut, Cherry and Jarrah woods are often used.   Other may also be available.  Please see Richard's Blog for commonly asked questions.  Contact Richard by email to start discussing your custom made paddle at