I remember my first experience paddling a 10' boat. My paddling skills were limited and it was a very windy day! At first I was nervous from the waves breaking over the bow but soon became comfortable with the boat and was able to catch up with the others.
At the time, I was only a weekend helper, but building the boat and paddling something I helped to create really put a smile on my face.
I don’t think at the time I knew where it was going to lead me, but it was the beginning of a life journey of canoeing and boat building.
It changed my life. It started me down a new road. I knew I wanted to keep building boats and paddle them.
This was really my first canoe adventure. The experience opened up more options for me in life, and made me respect boat building as a career rather than just a hobby or a weekend job.
I found a love for both canoeing and boat building that day.
To this day working on canoes is fun for me and not “work” because I know what joy they can bring to someone’s life.
When I was in third grade my teacher was Pete Hornbeck. We got along well and he decided to give me a boat for my ninth birthday.
I don’t know what the back story is as far as if my parents engineered this gift or if Pete went to them and offered the canoe.
But for my ninth birthday, I received a Nine Footer. A copy of the Rushton Sairy Gamp that Pete had built. I was thrilled. And so began a love of paddling and water sport.
Once the water thawed, I learned to paddle my new boat and to love the water and traveling over it. I felt like I was taking on a whole new world.
Having a canoe as a kid was fantastic. I was able to take my boat on my own and have adventures.
Water and paddling force people to learn to deal with the immediate present and discover how they as people react and deal with situations.
Much like life.
Simon Gardner and Chad Smith have over 25 years combined experience in light weight boat building. Having been fortunate to grow up in the Adirondacks around canoes and also work in a canoe building shop since their late teens, Simon and Chad started Adirondack Canoe Company to create light weight, durable and efficient canoes to take people on their own adventures.
Currently Adirondack Canoe Company has three designs in production, a 10'6" and 12' solo pack canoe, and a 16' tandem canoe. Future plans anticipate designing more boats, and developing the niche market for our friends and families need for adventure and paddling experiences! To obtain the light weight durable hulls, Chad and Simon build primarily with Kevlar and carbon fiber.
Much of the water in the Adirondacks is remote - many lakes, ponds and rivers aren't conveniently located right next to an access road. A short hike through the woods often leads to those special ponds, hidden lakes and Adirondack gems. Put-ins and take-outs can range from sand, to rocks to mud, and of course the carry (portage) routes come in many lengths and a wide array of elevation and footing. Adirondack waters also range dramatically in size which means seaworthiness and paddle-ability cannot be sacrificed for weight.
Our canoes are designed to hold up and perform in these varied environments and provide you the platform needed to create your own adventures – from the Adirondacks, to the Boundary Waters, or the spring fed streams of Florida - whether by yourself, or with your family and friends.