Customer Profile: Chris from Massachusetts

We love hearing from our customers! Encouragement from them gives us the gumption to keep doing what we love to do—produce the best paddles on the market. Then they can keep doing what they love to do—paddle!

We recently caught up with Bending Branches’ customer, Chris Gill, from Springfield, Massachusetts. Here’s what we learned from Chris:

customer profile chris from massachusetts

BB: What do you do?

CG: I’m the president of a family business. We’ve been manufacturing handcuffs for over 100 years in Springfield, Massachusetts. I know it’s kind of a unique product, but we’re proud of what we make and even more proud of our employees. There seem to be fewer and fewer companies still making things in the U.S. while hiring American workers.

(Seems we have that in common with Chris!)

And I am now a board member for the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

BB: What’s your current paddle of choice?

CG: Espresso—plus a few others!!

(NOTE: We no longer make the Espresso paddle. The Java took it’s place.)

BB: When did you first go paddling?

CG: I started paddling at summer camp in the mid 60s. We paddled on New England lakes in handcrafted fir and canvas Old Town Canoes. I’ve paddle off and on through the 70s and 80s but really started again 16 years ago when I was looking for something adventurous I could do with my young children.

ready for a canoe trip

BB: Where and in which seasons to do you like to paddle?

CG: I’ve paddled the whole Northern Forest Canoe Trail, all 740 miles of it. The St. John and Allagash Rivers in Maine were memorable trips. A couple of years ago three of us paddled the East Branch of the Penobscot River following the same route done by Henry David Thoreau, 160 years ago. It’s pretty much the same now as it was back then.

BB: Do you like paddling with others? Whom?

CG: My wife and I paddle together the most. In fact, we started with one Bending Branches paddle, and she kept taking it from me. We’re now up to 4!

BB: Any last words?

CG: Our Bending Branches paddles have been great. They’re light, very durable and have enough flex to be easy on our aging shoulders. They’re also pretty darn good looking. We touch them up and finish them every spring and I’ve never found a crack or flaw.

Thanks again for the hard work and attention to detail and quality. We really do appreciate the effort that goes into making these paddles.

canoeing the rapids

You can follow Chris on Instagram here.

(All photos courtesy of Chris Gill)

Want to share your paddling story with us? Email our Customer Service Team today!

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