Werner Sr. began paddling in the Swiss military where he took a class in foldboat kayaking. He met his future wife Martha while recovering from an auto accident in a Swiss hospital. The Werner logo as we know it today is a combination of the first letters of both their names M & W. They immigrated to the states and became enthusiastic paddlers during their time in the Adirondacks. Werner Sr. began building boats and eventually paddles out of his garage.
They moved to the Pacific Northwest in the 60s and became actively involved in the whitewater racing scene as well as enjoying kayak surfing on the coast. The family continued to handcraft all their gear including PFDs, skirts, helmets and boats. As more and more friends of the family were asking for paddles the Furrers started a business, selling their first paddle for $17 in 1971. Werner junior was active on the whitewater race circuit and selling paddles helped to fund his passion and his travels.
Werner Sr. meanwhile was collaborating on kayak and paddle designs with Eddyline founder Tom Derrer. During a kayaking trip with Tom to British Columbia he realized that touring paddles needed a different design than the ones he’d been using for whitewater and the modern day asymmetrical touring paddle shape with a dihedral blade was born.
Today Werner continues to innovate their designs and have become a leader in stand up paddle design as well, pioneering a more slender rectangular shape that is easier on the body and allows for a faster cadence.
Here at Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe we are proud to support a company with such a rich history and contribution to the paddling lifestyle. They still make and design all of their paddles here in the states in their factory and wearhouses in Monroe, Washington. Learn more about Werner Paddles by clicking the links below and to the right. If you’re interested in something that you don’t see on these lists, please ask, we are happy to make a special order.
Our Werner Rep: Rob Yager
Rob has been coming to our Annual Paddlefest event for years and definitely become a part of the Tumalo Creek family. It’s always great to see his Sprinter decked out with the Werner logos in the parking lot. Rob has been paddling whitewater and flat water for the last eighteen years. “Paddling has been something I can identify myself with. It has provided me with a career, friends, travel and a home on my favorite whitewater river.” As the Northwest Werner Paddles Rep, he travels from paddle shop to paddling spot between Washington/Oregon and all the top 2 states east to Michigan/Indiana.
“My best friend and I did go back to college, among other reasons, so that we could have an excuse to paddle more,” Rob explained. “We chose a college that had a great play wave in town, lots of whitewater within a short radius and was located on a Lake Champlain.”