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Red Tail paddles

Discussion in 'Paddles and Paddle Making' started by Rod Tait (Orca Boats), Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Has anyone had any experience with Red Tail paddles. The company just does not seem to respond to inquiries either by phone or internet. They look like great products, but I wonder if anyone has had the same experience.
     
  2. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    I've never tried to contact them, but my cherry one-piece RedTail beavertail has been a favorite for many years. After several rounds of repairs on the blade, it's now semi-retired, with a crack in the shaft. It's still repairable, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Too many boats to fix...
     
  3. thirsty

    thirsty #8111

    It has been couple of years since I've contacted them. As I remember correspondence was slow but worth the wait. We have a few Red Tail pieces, my favorite is a deep walnut yoke, very nice. Although communication was slow, everything was delivered when promised.
    Dave
     
  4. Douglas Ingram

    Douglas Ingram Red River Canoe & Paddle

    I have never tried to contact them, but they are pretty decent, though ordinary, paddles. Kind of like Grey Owl.
     
  5. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    About 4 months ago I ordered several items from John at Redtail Paddles in Ontario. Since then I have left several messages but have not been able to directly contact them or get a reply. Have they gone out of business?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    I too again ordered a few paddles for a customer who wanted them a month or so ago. I faxed in my order, emailed it as well and then phoned. Left several messages and at one time actually spoke to John Bell who told me he would call back the next day. After several weeks, I emailed him to tell him to cancel any order I placed and informed him that I could no longer recommend his business and would never place an order again. He never got back to me.

    Shame. I do believe me makes a nice paddle, but something is definelty amiss with his business practices. Good luck.
     
  7. bluedcanoed

    bluedcanoed LOVES Wooden Canoes

    I was in Hastings Ontario yesterday. The door was ajar and machinery running in the back, but no one came to the office.

    Bob
     

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  8. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Seven months and many verbal promises from John @ Redtail plus many unanswered messages leave me to wonder why a this company doesn't want my business? The order I placed is quite substantial. When I manage to speak with John he is always very pleasant and promises the order will be shipped promptly within days but it never happens. Most frustrating to say the least.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Yup. Been there, done that, but never again. I can't run a business and rely on a supplier that does not deliver. Makes me look bad and John is not the one that has to explain it to the customer. In fact, he can never be found.
     
  10. Roger Young

    Roger Young display sample collector

    And, yet, several Red Tail paddles brought very strong prices at the Kirk Wipper estate auction yesterday, just outside Peterborough, ON. They were mostly new, mint condition, beautiful looking items that drew lots of bidding interest. Certainly looked nice!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Maybe that is John's business model. Drive up the prices with no supply and some demand. Why didn't they just go to Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) and buy a new one. They carry Red Tail paddles. Maybe that is where all John's paddles are going and he does not have enough time to deliver any one elses. If he is putting all his eggs in one basket, he had better keep MEC happy, otherwise they may drop him and then what?
     
  12. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I just don't know what to believe. I actually managed to contact John @ Red Tail Paddles on Tues., July 31st. by phone. He was pleasant as always and stated that my order was sent 3 days prior by UPS. Still no charges showing on my Visa account and no shipment has arrived to date. Maybe next week, next month, next year or after I'm gone? Will let you know--- if I am able! Unfortunately MEC doesn't carry all of Red Tail's products like the 8 paddle storage rack, birds eye maple paddles and special yokes. I don't care much for the Grey Owl products.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
  13. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    All the more reason to make your own! I know, spare time project....:)
     
  14. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    What spare time?
     
  15. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    The same spare time I have, of course! Heck, I've been working on this one paddle since October... I'm still hoping it'll take me less than a year!
     
  16. davelanthier

    davelanthier Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    IT HAPPENED! It really happened. My order from Red Tail Paddles just arrived. It is here, YIPPI! Must say that I am very happy with the price and quality of their products. I may even place another order with them in the future.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Well that is good news. Now, any chance you planning on selling those paddles?:)
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Rod Tait (Orca Boats)

    Rod Tait (Orca Boats) Designer/Builder

    Decided to try WhiskeyJack paddles out of Montana. Called them, placed an order and they had the paddles here in five days. No way John could match that.
    A little pricier than RedTail, but these paddles are also reinforced with a light layer of fiberglass. Will look nice at the Wooden Boat festival in the new canoe that I just finished.
     
  19. woodcanoenut

    woodcanoenut 1914 Old Town Charles River

    We have a bent shaft Whiskey Jack and love it! It is so light! they make great paddles and other neat items.
     
  20. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    A friend of mine had a WJ paddle... I got a call about repairing a broken shaft. The grain in the shaft ran our rather severely in the middle of the shaft, and there were many cracks in it, besides the one that broke through. The only way to repair it would be to cut off the blade "wings", & put in a new shaft. I'm not sure how often they have that brain cramp, but I don't know why a commercial vendor would do this... or why they wouldn't stand by their product, & replace it. Buyer beware!
     

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