A Canoeist Life
Over the years, Fritz built his own wooden paddles as his designs and craft developed. He draws from this expertise to continue his journey handcrafting wooden paddles. Each wooden paddle embodies the spirit of simplicity, balance, and performance. Sculpting wooden paddles is a fulfilling trade that transforms a genuine pride from a canoeing heritage. As a craftsman, Fritz combines the aesthetics of design and the wood’s natural beauty into a lasting value of performance and art.
Fritz uses his Grandfather’s original camp logo from the Fritz Orr Club Camp School in Atlanta, Ga. for Fritz Orr Canoe. Fritz Orr Canoe is founded upon his Grandparents’ camp philosophy and faith: strength of character, steadiness of purpose, and acceptance of responsibility to which “I challenge you.”
Thank you for your interest and support. Fritz greatly appreciates your business and looks forward to sculpting your next canoe or paddle.
Select appalachian and tropical hardwoods are laminated together to complement their physical characteristics of strength, weight, flexibility and natural beauty. An elliptical shaped shaft incorporates a sculpted hollowed core laminated between hardwood bands that traverses the paddle’s length, as the core tapers through the blade and at the neck below the “T”- grip. The wood’s grain is book-matched in each blade and curved blades are steamed to capture their shape. A laminated grip is carved to a final fit for one’s control hand.
Fritz’s curved blade is a less aggressive design than a kayak curved blade placed on a canoe paddle. His curved blade secures a solid purchase during the catch and avoids lifting water through the stroke.
Attention to detail is given to sculpting the dihedral and its transition across the blade’s wings. Fritz offers the following blades: straight, curved, bent, and bent with a curve.
The foundation for his paddle designs are built upon the wooden paddles he crafted and used through his racing career. His wildwater C-1 training logged 400 plus flatwater hours and 180 whitewater days annually in preparation for Team Trails then the World Cup and the World Championships.
Wood Epoxy Composite Construction
Stewardship begins by hand selecting mature timber from sustainable managed forests.
Close attention and thought is given to each board, its grain pattern to determine the best use for artistic and performance qualities. Accurate milling through the hand sculpting process contributes to more wood going into paddles and less sawdust on the floor. Zero waste is Fritz’s leadership approach to stewardship of our natural resources.
A carefully maintained wooden paddle will enjoy a long life; an old school philosophy instead of a throw away mentality. Restoration or repair renews a wooden paddle, thus a tradition is passed-on.