Prevent the Dent
My Paddles are mostly made of Western Red Cedar, which has many properties that make it especially desirable:
Great Strength to Weight Ratio
Outstanding Bending Strength
Excellent Dimensional Stability
Great Durability and Decay Resistance
Beautiful Color Variation
This amazing combination of properties comes with just one trade-off. Western Red Cedar is fairly soft, so it is susceptible to denting. So, a little reasonable care will minimize damage which mostly happens in transport, on portages, in camp and on contact with canoe gunwales.
Well, what to do?
1. Transport your Paddle in a good paddle bag which protects it from the rest of your gear.
2. Carry your Paddle in your canoe on portages. Use Velcro or bungies to secure your Paddle to seats
3. Same thing in camp: your Paddle should stay in the canoe. Paddles leaning against a tree often end up
on the ground where they get stepped on.
4. Avoid contact with the gunwales.
Oh, one more thing: your Paddle is not a cutting board. Clean that Trophy Trout on something else.