Third Annual Made in the South Awards
Runners-Up: Outdoor Category
Product: Hudson Bay Axe
Made in: Lake Waccamaw, NC
Something visceral happens when you pick up the Council Tool Velvicut Premium Hudson Bay Axe. A tool like this cleared the way for voyageurs and Southern settlers alike, and human muscle seems to recognize such heritage. Founded in 1886, the family-run, North Carolina–based outfitter produces fine mauls, mattocks, bush hooks, and more, but the pride of the line is this short axe with the traditional Hudson Bay head. The steel is American made, and the twenty-four-inch handle is Appalachian hickory, slim enough to flex and stout enough to last. With a drop-forged, hand-honed, two-pound bit, it’s small enough to toss in a canoe, store under a truck seat, or strap to a pack, but brawny enough to clear the way to a tangled campsite. Swing it like you mean it. This axe can take it.
Price: $130, counciltool.com
Three Brothers Boards
Product: Stand-Up Paddleboards
Made in: Daytona Beach, FL
In 2009, R. J. Murray was disillusioned with his job as a hedge fund manager and reeling from the sudden loss of his youngest brother, Jason, who had suffered a fatal aneurysm earlier that year. Paddling a stand-up paddleboard through central Florida’s Ponce Inlet one afternoon, he had an epiphany. Throughout their Florida youth, R. J., Jason, and their middle brother, Justin, had often said they wanted to one day run a surf shop. It was time, R. J. realized, to put that plan into action—with a twist. Today, Three Brothers Boards makes some of the sweetest stand-up paddleboards on the planet. With foam cores and planks of oak, redwood, and Hawaiian koa, the throwback designs evoke the “woody” surfboards of the 1950s and 1960s.
Price: $1,200–$1,300, threebrothersboards.com
Made in: Morehead City, NC
Custom-designed and hand-built, every Shearline boat is one of a kind. But all share a common ancestry: Down East wooden boat construction with a signature Carolina bow flare and curvaceous tumblehome. Founded twelve years ago by Chip King and Mason Cox III, two high-end sportfishing designers, Shearline marries 3-D computer design with traditional craftsmanship and heavy customer involvement. From deck layout to console construction to fish box and rod holder placement, every element is tailored to suit individual needs. As a result, there’s no real catalog from which to peruse and choose. Ideal for offshore fishing, the boats range from eighteen feet to as large as a customer’s imagination—and budget—can stretch.
Price: Upon Request, shearlineboatworks.com