There are plenty of lovely paddles to choose from in the shops, but I quickly became curious about nearby Chester based paddle maker Lance Mitchell. Having worked with relatives Dave & Peggy making paddles in the USA, Lance returned to Chester in 2002 to set up his own company, 'Mitchell Blades'. I like to support local small businesses so I got in touch with Lance and before I knew it I had placed an order.
When I arrived at the modest-sized workshop, Lance was applying the finishing touches to my paddle. He is fanatical about attention to detail and proud of his unique manufacturing techniques. Before I left Lance talked me through the manufacturing process and gave me a quick guided tour.
All that remains is for me to get my new paddles wet!