Northstar Canoes

Northstar Canoes

Welcome to the Northstar Canoe West Coast Distribution Home Page. We bring several loads of Northstars to the dealer network out West (see incoming orders, current inventory and A LOT of info below) and support through demoes and events. We love these canoes and love to share the Northstar Experience. I’ve been paddling Ted Bell/Yost designed canoes since 1996. Just give an email or a call and let’s talk canoes! It is not just about specs and weights. There is a feel to every canoe in the line and I can help shed light and help you ask the right questions to guide you to the right choice.

If you have questions or would like to learn more and be notified of opportunities to paddle and order Northstar Canoes please complete contact form:

More Vids, Tips and Reviews:

Learn about Seat Height Here

Northstar Polaris Review

Northstar Northwind 16 Review

Solo and Tandem Canoe Stroke Tips- Brace, J and C Stroke, Draw

ADK Solo “Time in Boat” with Paxton

Northstar Northwind Solo “Time in Boat” Overview


Here’s just a bit of recent fun in my Northwind Solo. Just one of the many ways a canoe can bring such bliss!

Canoes are the ultimate Family and Social Craft!


Update 4.4.2020:

Northstar is currently closed per the governor of Minnesota’s orders. They hope to be back building soon and I’m sure we will see canoes out here this summer. None of the below canoes have been built yet. These statewide closures may affect delivery date some and I’ll update as soon as I know more. If you are after a canoe for right now, please feel free to call me to discuss. I’m pretty up to speed on inventory in the stores out West and can point you in the right direction. My opinion right now is that Supply is starting to be less than Demand compared to two months ago. So…I wouldn’t snooze if you are in the hunt for a new Northstar Canoe. 

The colored text below is for my communication with Northstar to assign canoes to be built in order of priority.

Canoes delivered West must be on a dedicated specialized canoe trailer. Northstar’s trailer hauls 34-36 canoes. We bring ~ 2 of these full loads out per year and redistribute to the dealer network. Individual shipping of a canoe to the West just can’t be accomplished safely or economically. 


2020 Summer Delivery Late June 2020

26 of 34 available canoes

Additional Orders need to be in by middle to end of April 2020.

Special Orders to be Confirmed:

Trillum BlackLite E6 Carbon Combination Drops PO Cole

Reserve a Spot for your Special Order CLICK THIS LINK

Special Orders Confirmed :

1 Trillium StarLIte Alum Trim Kneeling Drops Sold PO Rybolt Confirmed Estimate 1139

1 Northwind 16 StarLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart Internal Skids PO Kennedy Estimate 1138

1 Trillium BlackLite E6 Carbon Trim Kneeling Drops SOLD Headwaters Kayak Confirmed Estimate 1114-S

1 Phoenix IXP Alum Trim Kneeling Drops PO Sowell FACTORY PICK UP Confirmed Estimate 1129

1 Firebird IXP Alum Trim Kneeling Drops – Sold Northern Lights Bozeman MT Confirmed Estimate 1114-S



Solos Confirmed Estimate 1114-S:

Northwind Solo BlackLite E6 Carbon Trim Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo IXP Alum Trim ww eyelets Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo IXP Alum Trim ww eyelets Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo BlackLite Wood Trim Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo BlackLite Wood Trim Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo StarLite Alum Trim Kneeling drops

Northwind Solo StarLite Wood Trim Kneeling drops

Phoenix IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets Kneeling drops

Magic BlackLite Wood Trim Carbon Footbrace

NEW ADK LT StarLite 10’6″ 17 lbs  Optimal load range 75-225lb $1595


Tandems (Confirmed estimate 1114-T):

Northwind 17 StarLite Alum Trim Kneeling Thwart

Northwind 17 StarLite Alum Trim Kneeling Thwart

Northwind 17 BlackLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart

Northwind 16 StarLite Alum Trim

Northwind 16 StarLite Alum Trim

Northwind 16 BlackLite Wood Trim

Polaris BlackLite E6 Carbon Kneeling Thwart

Polaris StarLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart

B17 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets

B16 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets


Accessories to be delivered with load (confirmed estimate 1114-A):

2 pairs of sitting drops w/ hardware

2 pairs of combi drops w/ hardware

2 pairs of kneeling drops w/ hardware

30 trapezoid pads

12 knee pads

1 Clamp on solo yoke w/ CVCA Pads


Current Inventory in Bend Oregon Warehouse:

Solo Canoes (9):

Phoenix WhiteGold Wood Trim Spruce Green (kneeling position, can be changed) $2595.00 SALE $2295 

1 Northwind Solo StarLite Alum Trim Sit/Kneel (combination position) Seat (Available at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe) $2495.00

1 Northwind Solo BlackLite E6 Carbon Trim Combi Drops $3395.00

1 Northwind Solo IXP Wood Trim Sit/Kneel (combination position) Seat $2895.00 Demo pricing available.


1 Magic StarLite Wood Trim w Carbon Footbrace $2980.00

1 Northwind Solo BlackLite E6 Mid Height Seat (combination) Drops $3395.00 (pics below) NOW MINE/DEMO


1 Northwind Solo StarLite Wood Kneeling Drops $2895.00

1 Trillium StarLite E6 Carbon Trim Combi drops $2995.00 test paddled once, gently!

1 Firebird StarLite Wood Kneeling Drops $2895.00

Tandem Canoes (5):

1 Northwind 16 Starlite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart (Available at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe) $3280.00

1 B16 BlackLite Wood Trim Internal Skids $3815.00 (Available at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe)


1 B17 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets Kneeling Thwart $2830.00

1 Polaris White Gold Green Alum Trim w Kneeling Thwart $2555 (Available at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe)

In Current Demo and Used Inventory Bend OR (5):

Firebird Whitegold Ruby Red Alum Trim Demo/Used (Kneeling position, can be changed) $1899.00

B17 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets Demo/Used $2490.00

Phoenix IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets, Outfitted. Demo/Used FOR SALE HERE

Northwind 16 WhiteGold Alum Trim Color Spuce Green kneeling thwart (on sale for $1600) *see here for pics. Demo/Used $1600.00

Magic BlackLite Wood Trim Alum Footbrace Demo/Used $2850.00

ADK Solo StarLite Alum Trim Demo/Used $1400


Bell Canoe Works Wildfire BlackGold Wood Trim: Great condition $2100 OBO

Bell Canoe Works BlackGold FlashFire Wood Trim: Mint Condition $2100 OBO

Received and Delivered 10/1/19. Support your local dealer and have them show you Northstar:

Notes in Red = Sold Units, Call Store listed to see if in inventory or presold.      

Trailhead, Missoula MT

1 B16 IXP Alum Trim Whitewater Eyelets Installed Available at Trailhead PO#NS PRE20

1 B17 BlackLite Alum Trim Available at Trailhead PO#NS PRE20

1 B17 IXP Alum Trim Whitewater Eyelets Installed Available at Trailhead PO#NS PRE20

1 Phoenix IXP Alum Trim Whitewater Eyelets Available at Trailhead PO#NS PRE20

Northern Lights/The Barn, Bozeman MT

1 Northwind Solo IXP Alum Carbon Footbrace Kneeling Drops (Sold to customer Northern Lights)

1 Northwind Solo BlackLite E6 Kneeling Drops (Available Northern Lights)

1 Northwind 16 BlackLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart (Available Northern Lights)

1 Northwind 16 StarLite Alum Trim (Available Northern Lights)

1 B16 BlackLite Wood Trim  (1 Available Northern Lights)

1 B16 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets (1 Available Northern Lights)

1 B17 IXP Alum Trim WW Eyelets KT (Available Northern Lights)


Headwaters Kayak, Lodi CA

1 Trillium StarLite Alum Trim Combi drops Carbon Footbrace (Sold Headwaters Kayak Replacement)

Trillium StarLite Alum Trim Carbon Footbrace Sitting Position (Headwaters Kayak for Logwood Estimate 1016)

Northwind 16 White Gold Emerald Green Alum Trim Kneeling Thwart (Headwaters Kayak)

Northwind 16 BlackLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart (Headwaters Kayak)

Polaris White Gold Green Alum Trim Kneeling Thwart (Headwaters Kayak) (Not delivered yet)

Polaris StarLite Wood Trim Kneeling Thwart (Headwaters Kayak)

Northwind 17 BlackLite Alum Trim (Headwaters Kayak)

Northwind Solo BlackLite E6 Carbon Combination Sit/Kneel Position (Headwaters Kayak) Change to Northwind Solo BlackLite Alum Trim WW Eyelets, Kneeling Drops

Magic StarLite Wood Trim Carbon Footbrace (Headwaters Kayaks)

Northwind Solo White Gold Alum Trim Ruby Red Combination Sit/Kneel Position (Headwaters Kayak)

Firebird White Gold Ruby Red Alum Trim White Water Eyelets Kneeling Position (Headwaters Kayak)


Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe

1 Northwind 16 StarLite Wood Trim Kneeling Sold Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe

1 Northwind 17 StarLite Alum Trim Kneeling Sold Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe


Price Sheet (click below image to enlarge to full size)



*KT: Kneeling Thwart $60.00 Upgrade




BUY HERE: Western US Northstar Canoe Retailers:

Sequim Canoe & Kayak
213 E. Washington Street Suite #3
Sequim, WA 98382
(360) 912-5729
Instagram: @sequimkayak

Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe (Portland OR) 

Kent’s Canoe and Kayak (Spokane WA) 509-328-0239

Inventory as of 8.3.19:


1     Northwind StarLite WD Trim

1     Magic        StarLite WD Trim Alum footbrace


1    Northwind 16 WhiteGold Spruce WD Trim KT

2    Northwind 16 StarLite AL Trim KT

5    Northwind 16 StarLite WD Trim KT

1    Northwind 16 BlackLite AL Trim KT

1    Northwind 16 BlackLite WD Trim KT

1    Northwind 17 WhiteGold Spruce AL Trim

1    Northwind 17 WhiteGold Almond AL Trim

2    Northwind 17 StarLite AL Trim KT

4    Northwind 17 StarLite WD Trim KT

Headwaters Kayak (Lodi CA)

Back of Beyond Winslow WA (Bainbridge Island)

Ebersold Distribution (Bend OR) 503.572.3848 (the distributor to all these dealers)

Canoe Deposit Payment Link

Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe

Northern Lights Rivers Lakes and Ocean/The Barn (Bozeman MT and Kalispell MT)

Trailhead Missoula MT

Jefferson State Adventure Hub Redding CA  (530) 768-5055

Please also don’t hesitate to call or email Ethan, who loves talking anything canoes, directly at 503.572.3848 or email


Introducing Private Northstar Demonstration Experiences: 2 Hours $100.00

Requested by several aspiring owners, we’ve created the most catered experience for trying a Northstar Canoe. Give us a list of models you are interested in and we’ll make our fleet available in our hometown of Bend OR. Make a weekend of it and come visit Central Oregon! (travel available upon request and additional cost).

We’ll work with you out on the water to show you some hints and skills that will improve your analysis and take advantage of these great designs. Think of it as a big yummy burrito of Demo/Class/Outing with the finest canoes available. No crowds. Just Ethan and you (and paddling partner) in one of the most beautiful paddling towns in the West.

  • Any of the Northstars in our demo fleet: Polaris, Northwind 16/17, Magic, Northwind Solo, Trillium Solo, Phoenix Solo, ADK Solo
  • Use and demo of Bending Branches line-up of paddles. You’ll try paddles that are hard to find in western retailers and even some of our personal favorites from Bending Branches and others. Learn the best size and blade for your personal style.
  • PFDs by Stohlquist WaterWear– paddle wear also available for your comfort.
  • Assistance and consultation to help in the purchase of your new Northstar should you fall in love!
  • Call 503.572.3848 or email Ethan at to find a time that works best.
  • Once date and time determined use payment link:


Learn more about the new IXP Lamination HERE.

Educational Videos and Learning about Northstar Canoes

Thanks to Headwaters Kayak (a five star Northstar dealer in Lodi CA) for the vids. Check them out and learn more about Northstar Canoes at:


What is the deal with Northstar Canoes?

I think this email I received from a recent purchase of a Northwind 16 Starlight Wood Trim w/ Kneeling thwart sums it all up:

“Ethan: In approximate order from mission-critical to mission-perfected, here are impressions of our first paddle in our Northstar Northwind 16, StarLite, wood trim (after having spent an enjoyable summer in the same boat with aluminum trim and white gold layup and the year before that in a much heavier, older canoe):
1. It floats.
2. It does not leak.
3. The wood trim is comfortable when a leg leans against it or a hand touches it while paddling.
4. It is fast and very responsive.
5. The sense of secondary stability in a Northwind 16 is incredible — like the difference between a ski that knows how to arc a fast turn and one that doesn’t have a clue.
6. The lower weight isn’t just easier to carry — I believe we also feel it on the water in responsiveness.
7. Very subjective, but it seems like the wood trim gives the boat a more natural feel for the water.  I don’t know what that means, but I am pretty sure it is true.
8. The bow and stern decks are stunning.  For example, for the bow paddler, it’s hard to see the point of taking a picture of the river without having the bow deck included. “Photobomb” design, I would say.
9. While we will be storing this (with care) outside, I am half tempted to hang it from the ceiling in our living room as art.
10.Despite its gorgeous looks, the whole package just screams “Stop staring and get me onto the waternow!”  That’s why we played hooky from work yesterday and did so!”

Here is another more simply put testimonial with picture from Fall ’16:

“What could be better than this? I love my canoes!” (Nwind 17 white gold, Magic Starlite)


“The Seamline”

Your Northstar canoe is not made in two pieces. The seam line is simply showing the process of how they build this canoe. Essentially the seam line is the bellybutton of a Northstar canoe that has high shoulder tumblehome. 

All canoes with aggressive high shoulder tumblehome have to be built in a two-piece mold. This means that they laminate the kevlar/carbon/glass/resin materials into the mold (all one piece) and after the boat has cured, the mold has to open up to remove the canoe.

Northstar uses a thin seam tape to cover the seam in the mold so that resin doesn’t leak through this crack. A finished Northstar canoe tells the story line similar to how a fossil tells the reflection of an animal that rested against the now fossilized material. There is no structural downfall to this feature. It is essentially just a different texture because the seam line tape texture is different than the rest of the fiberglass mold’s texture. Northstar Canoe’s are hand built and reflect the process of how these craftsman have developed the process. Hopefully you’ll come to appreciate this little feature that tells a wonderful story and offers unmatched performance. I find it kinda unique and cute like a belly button. 


This canoe mold has two parting lines.My Bell Northshore with two seamlines

Want to learn more about this “seamline”? Here is a such a great write-up from Northstar Canoe’s Bear Paulson (who is a Canoe Voyager in every sense of the term):

“Let me explain why our boats have a seam line. There are a couple ways to build the seating area of a solo canoe. Historically solo canoes were built with tumblehome in the center. The original Bell Canoes, built 25 years ago were built with tumblehome – these boats – the original Merlin, Traveller, etc, have been long since retired. Tumblehome means that the widest part of the canoe is only a couple inches above the waterline. From that point the canoe gets narrower up to the gunwales – it tumbles home. Tumblehome allows a canoe to be made wide enough at the waterline to have good initial stability and carrying capacity, while also being narrow enough at the gunwales so that the paddler doesn’t have to reach over a wide canoe or bang their hands on the gunwales. Sounds great, right? The problem with it is two-fold. First, when a wave hits the side of a canoe with tumblehome, the water tumbles home – it follows the tumblehome right into your lap – it makes for a wet canoe. Second, having the canoe begin narrowing just above the waterline creates a canoe with poor secondary stability. The best way to create secondary stability is by flaring the canoe all the way to the gunwales. The most stable canoes are those that constantly flare – they keep getting wider. This is because when leaned over due to rough conditions a canoe with flare keeps getting wider, more stable and therefore more resistant to capsize. The rougher the conditions the more stable a flared canoe becomes.

For years designers knew tumblehome wasn’t the perfect solution for solo canoes, but they couldn’t come up with anything better. Then David Yost and Bell Canoe created shouldered flare. Every Bell built since ~1995 and every Northstar that can be paddled solo is built with shouldered flare. Shouldered flare creates the driest solo canoes available. This is because the flare is carried almost to the gunwales. The widest part of one of our canoes with shouldered flare is right where the shoulder begins. If you look at one of our shouldered canoes from the bow or stern, the last few inches below the gunwale look like the profile of a human shoulder (very from front or back, the gunwale being a couple inches up your neck). Effectively what we managed to do is create a canoe with the benefits of both flare (dry, great secondary stability) and tumblehome (comfortable to paddle).

Now, on to your specific question. Canoes with shouldered flare require a complicated and expensive two piece mold. We build canoes in female molds. Prior to building the canoe we put clay in the seam between the two halves of the mold. When it’s time to remove the canoe from the mold, a canoe with shouldered flare requires the mold to be separated to get the canoe out. We build the canoe in one piece and then separate the mold to remove it, because it’s such a complex shape. The seam line that you see and Ethan referred to is the result of the clay and the two piece mold. Think of the seam line as a mark of the most advanced canoe design available.

Lastly, for many years at Bell we built molds with longitudinal seams – running the length of the keel line. Then we came up with transverse seams – splitting the mold across the width of the canoe. The two advantages to transverse seams became readily apparent. First, the seam line on a solo canoe is about 5 ft long, instead of 17 ft. Second, as we built new molds in the last few years of Bell in Minnesota, we noticed that our oldest molds with longitudinal seams had sagged very slightly. In essence the canoes were getting less arched, flatter, as the molds sagged. Molds with 17 ft seams created weakness that allowed the mold to slightly sag. Going to a transverse seam made for molds with much greater structure, no chance of sagging. That allows us to produce consistent canoe throughout the life of a mold.
Thank you for choosing a Northstar. There’s a few reasons paddlers love our solo canoes and one of those is shouldered flare.”

Here is a picture of the 2 piece mold discussed above. You can see where the seam line is created from the tape/clay placement within the mold when building the high shouldered models:

2 piece mold pic