Wenonah is one of our best-selling canoes here at Tumalo Creek and we love supporting small, independent, family-owned companies like this one. They are an award-winning designer and manufacturer of high performing canoes that are sold all over the world.
Founder Mike Cichanowski grew up in Winona, Minnesota where he inherited the ethics and values of his ancestors – Polish immigrants worked the town’s lumber mills. He learned to paddle at a young age on the great upper Mississippi River and made wood-strip canoes as a teenager and even began molding his own designs from fiberglass.
Instead of heading on to college to study Wildlife Management, he bought the building he was constructing canoes out of right after high school, and learned the entrepreneurial skills that would create a successful company. As plastics, composites and carbon fibers came on the market, Mike made the jump, and Wenonah was soon producing the fastest and lightest canoes around.
The company continued to innovate with both design and materials and Wenonah is well-known for their Kevlar Ultralight models of which we carry the Heron, Aurora, Spirit II and Champlain.
1999, Wenonah purchased a majority ownership in Current Designs and moved its headquarters to Minnesota in 2004. Wenonah/CD only sells to 400 specialty dealers around the world, and they choose their dealers because we are experts in our field and know the lakes and rivers in our area’s like the back of our hand. And most importantly because we know our customers and how to find them the right boat.
Wenonah/CD rep Kurt Renner is one of our favorites here at Tumalo Creek, and he has developed a reputation throughout the west for his dry sense of humor and verbose commentary on all things paddling from training regimens to hull shape to materials, to the best hot springs in Montana. Kurt is one of the organizers of Paddle Oregon, a five-day supported paddle through the Willamette River Water Trail.