Gary Coursey joined Joplin Kayak and Canoe around seven months ago and has been sharing some wonderful photos of a cedar strip canoe he was building. This prompted me to send Gary an invite to display his wonderful craftsmanship at our last Kayak Demo Swap. He not only showed up with the beautiful canoe he built but also many handcrafted paddles.
Gary runs and operates Halfway Paddle Company out of Halfway, Missouri. Mr. Coursey has been building kayak and canoe paddles for over two years in his shop. It all started when Gary was searching for a beavertail paddle. Not able to find one locally, and wanting to avoid the cost of having one sent from Canada, Gary decided he would build his own. With the paddle being such a huge success he started Halfway Paddle Company and more. These handcrafted paddles run between $125.00 to $250.00, with many featuring custom painted logos or nature scenes.
Gary’s most recent build was his 12’6″ cedar strip canoe. I had the pleasure of seeing this canoe up close and enjoyed studying the amazing craftsmanship. Mr. Coursey says the project took him a little over six months of build time to complete. He currently has his eyes set on a new project; a 15′ skin-on kayak that he will also build in his shop out of Halfway, Missouri.
If you are interested in purchasing a custom paddle or following some of Mr. Courseys builds, check out his facebook page Halfway Paddle Company and More.