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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gun Socks ≠ Paddle Socks

paddle 1 |ˈpadl|nounshort pole with a broad blade at one or both ends, used without an oarlock to move a small boat or canoe through the water.

sock |säk|nouna garment, typically knitted from wool, cotton, polyester or nylon.

Paddle Bag or Paddle Sock?
There are many paddle bags on the market that are referred to as "paddle socks" but most are made of fleece, canvas, etc. and are really more bag then sock. They aren't technically a sock (in the knitted traditional sense of the word), and usually are paddle specific. Paddle bags are also pretty expensive starting at any where from $30 for most and even over $100 for some. They can be really heavy and bulky too.

When we first started looking for a way to transport our paddles we needed a bag that could be used time and time again for paddles of different lengths and varying blade shapes that was quick and easy to put on and take off. We started making our own from recycled hockey socks.  We would actually take two (or three - depending on the length needed) old hockey socks and hand-sew them together to make one long sock - with one end sewn closed and the other left open like a sleeve.

This worked temporarily but they were much, much, too loose (forever falling down) and we really wanted something we could easily cinch closed and that looked a bit more aesthetic then Poppa Badger's retired (mix-matched) hockey socks. So we went on the look-out for a knitter/manufacturer to give us the same style stretch as the hockey sock provided (quickly slipping on and off the paddle with little to no "grand production") but a closer knit that we could make Badger Paddle Socks from.

Machine knitted like socks are now known to be, our Badger Paddle Sock
works and feels much like a real sock does.

We found a some-what local fella who made and distributed central vacuum hose covers. Always open to other applications for his product (including Baseball Bat Covers, Golf Ball & Club bags, Gun Socs [gun sock], and more), he agreed to sell us what we needed. Thus, the Badger Paddle Sock was born. The first of it's kind, the Badger Paddle Sock will fit almost any canoe paddle up to 65" long!

Gun Socks are NOT Paddle Socks:
But please, for the health of your wooden paddle, DO NOT substitute a "Gun Sock" for a "Paddle Sock", whether it be a "Badger Paddle Sock" or not! Gun Socks are not only too short for most traditional canoe paddles, but - more importantly - most Guns Socks are actually impregnated with silicone which will not only help hold moisture in the sock - but anywhere the silicone touches bare wood or an area that the finish has worn thin, there could be a real problem when you go to maintain it. The silicone will make it difficult for your oil or varnish to adhere properly to the wood.

According to the Sporting Clays ~ The Wingshooters Magazine forum, gun owners have even been warning others about the effects of a silicone impregnated gun sock on wood:

"Be aware that if you have any scratches exposing bare wood or worn areas on the gun, that the finish is worn off. This silicone will get into the pores of the wood and if and when you would ever get the gun refinished, the finish will not stick to these areas. I had just thought you could sand it out but according to this gun refinisher, it is very hard to get any finish to stick to these affected areas. So silicone on metal only keep it off of the wood."

So while Badger Paddle Socks are made in a similar way to many gun socks (and maybe check your hose cover for your central-vac - it be could material made from the same guy who made your paddle sock too!) obviously our socks are meant for paddles and DO NOT have any silicone or rust-prohibiting chemicals impregnated into the material. So your wooden paddle and finish is definitely safe with us!

And while we aren't foolish enough to think we have the "original" paddle sock (as people have been unofficially referring to paddle bags as "socks" for over a decade), we are pretty sure that we have the first (really sock-like) one-size-fits-most paddle bag priced less then the popular bags or "socks" of the past. You can buy our Paddle Socks individually but the best deal you can get on a Badger Paddle Sock is when you buy a Badger Paddle... 'cause each paddle comes with a Badger Paddle Sock for free!

For more information about our Paddle Socks, visit

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