2 piece GP

How hard is it to make one out of an existing paddle?

I recently drove to the keys and did a 9 mile trip with a euro blade i thankfully had in the trunk as I simply forgot my GP’s. Kinda reinforces that it would be good to have a spare two piece GP in the car for my absent-mindedness?


(had heard there were some strength and structural issues with the attachments to the ferrule?)

Don Beale makes 'em…
… and claims they work great.


Mine failed
I made one with a carbon ferrule from CLC http://clcboats.com/paddles.php

It was for a friend who wanted a really light weight paddle. Though I warned him that the light board I found for him would not be as strong - and that the paddle might not be up to rolling, he rolled and it snapped at the ferrule. That said, I think making one from a normal piece of wood should be OK. I’ve cleaned out that ferrule and will try it with one of my other paddles. I’d think that a laminated blank, with something like a strip of ash in the middle, would be good for this use.

The ferrule took a good bit of time to fit to the paddle, but it worked well. Don Beale gave me some advice - it was nice of him to be free with building advice, since he does this as a business. Contact me back channel and I can tell you what he advised.

Cheers, Alan

has a 2 piece made for them. I had one and did not like it nearly as much as my Beale. I think it is 225cm with a 19" loom.


I recently contacted Mitchell paddles about doing one of their Black Magic paddles (ok, not a GP) as a TAP paddle. They mentioned that the cedar in the shaft makes it too weak in regards to the ferrule so this is in line with another comment above. I think it would have to do with the type of wood in the shaft, not to mention the thickness as well.

As to snapping a TAP GP while rolling - your rolls are too good to worry about that as you don’t even need the paddle so very little force is exerted against the ferrule. However, for heavier use in conditions or the occasional contact with the bottom or rocks while paddling then the shaft strength would be suspect.

So what is is with forgetting GPs at home when you go paddling? I have done that THREE times already!! I NEVER used to forget my Euro paddles…

(hint: bring two narsaqs to use as paddles)



cricket also makes a two part GP

whoa there!
“your rolls are too good to worry about that as you don’t even need the paddle so very little force is exerted against the ferrule.”

Are you taking medication? Just because I have a couple of hand rolls does not mean that I have any finesse or don’t need the paddle for some of the rolls. forward finishing rolls especially require some force and while ultimately it wil all come from me, I do use the paddle and do put strain on the paddle somewhat still.

will look into this two piece paddle a little more. Last thing I would want is to forget my regular gp’s and use this one just to hae it break.


Thats right!
Maybe we can get Singalong2 to chime in here, as he showed up last weekend with one of these paddles.

I also have a Cricket paddle as my main GP (until I get my Beale)and never thought it could be a TAP as its so light and flexible.

Bob - can you add to this discussion?


Cricket TAP
Hey Scott…here I am.

I have a Cricket GP that I purchasesd used. It was somewhat damaged, so I decided to send it to the Cricket folks (don’t recall their name at the moment…they are GREAT to work with). They turned the GP into a TAP.

I have not used it to roll yet, so I cannot attest to it’s strength. I am rather sure that Cricket built TAP’s for a number of Americans who flew to Greenland for competition (eg Mark & Becky Molina). So, I suspect the TAP’s received plenty of action there.

The only problem I had, was when I cut my GP in half in preparation for mailing to Cricket. Have to admit I had to wince a tad. I will begin using it soon to do some rolling…will let you know if I run into problems.

I cannot compare it any others yet, but at this point I like the Cricket. Having said that, I plan to build one of my own using Brian Nytsrom’s book as a guide.


Planning stages right now.
A breakdown GP with adjustable length AND FEATHER ANGLE .

Will have a much more lively feel and sensitivity / feedback to paddler than the other composite GP out there… and not cost 400.00

Spoken like a true wing paddler!

– Last Updated: Sep-21-06 2:27 PM EST –

Without doubt you make sweet paddles Pat. Innovative designs and fine craftsmanship.

I have to assume a large part of this success is due to you actually paddling, and naturally having an intimate connection with, and understanding of, what works.

So, I have to ask: How many miles/hours to you have paddling and rolling with composite and/or wood GPs?

With a couple thousand miles and several hundred hours on them I still consider myself a GP novice. I'm still learning from, and gaining respect for, the wisdom of the basic design. Moving to a narrower lower SOF (what GPs were designed to propel) is showing me yet another level of performance from the paddles.

OK - it's just a paddle - but there's a lot more to the design than meets the eye. This can really only be discovered through a LOT of time using them, and trying a variety of them along the way.

Every bit of the form is functional and integrated. Hulls are really no more complex - and many are simpler. They're definitely not just long skinny paddles.

In use the Greenland design eliminates need for - or benefit from - feathering. Feather angle would actually impede proper grip and technique - paddling OR rolling (and everything in between).

I REALLY hate to sound this dogmatic - or come off as being against experimentation/innovation. That's certainly not my intent. I'm a Product Designer and tinkerer by nature. I analyze and rethink everything. Still, I've been unable to come up with a single improvement to the basic design. Changes sure, that's easy, but none that would make it significantly better. I cannot think of any other product I can say this about.

GPs have no doubt distorted my perceptions. Mine got me to switch from SOTs to SINKs, taught me to roll, and pushed me to build them a decent qajaq. This tool is so good at what it does that I would design boats around it to take full advantage of it before I would make any major changes to it.

Of course I'm sure we'd all be happy to test paddle any prototypes you generate. I seriously doubt you would make something that wasn't at least good/functional and interesting.

I am a bit curious what "more lively" means in a paddle - and how you could possibly improve it's sensitivity. Feedback is 100% already. Claims sounds a bit like ad copy. Have you been taking Marketing classes? *L*

Look forward to seeing whatever comes of this. I enjoy seeing all your efforts/designs/products. Someday I hope to be foolish enough to attempt some paddling equipment development/marketing myself.

Adjustable length, eh?

That would be VERY interesting. I have even less GP experience than the last poster, but am sensitive to the length of the loom (between the blades). Making it longer or shorter might make this paddle useful to another person who wants to borrow it, but would really not make it more useable for me.

Now, that being said, if you could take my 87 inch GP with 20 inch loom, and then allow me to turn it into a 74 inch GP with a 7 inch loom, THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!! Turn my GP into a STORM paddle!!! COOOOOOOOOOOOL !!!

Just a thought.


NOT trying to reinvent the wheel.

– Last Updated: Sep-21-06 3:58 PM EST –

Taking a if it ain't broke, don't fix it approach on blade design .... as probably any GP enthusiast would say.
Basic design remains unchanged for a long time for good reason and I can tell why.

Still plenty of room to work with that. Especially in an open minded users head.

Feather option is a biproduct of TAP so why not experiment .... I see nothing to be afraid of there. I like things that have more than one use per their function. I can already see some folks getting their feathers rustled by this. So far, I have aready been able to tell that the ability to offset the blades a few degrees is a good thing.

"Feedback" is the sensitive, subtle feel a paddle gives to you. i like paddles which have the ability to 'talk back '

IMHO the other composte GP out there while wonderfully done just does not have this "lively" feel to it as compared to wood. Sure it does what it is supposed to but I am not feeling it's soul. I think it needs a tiny bit more flex to it and that is something that can be done.

You gotta' describe it somehow.

Perfect products can be improved by making them easier for folks to get their hands on them ...... I can say this alot easier than I can do it ..... sigh.

I see the Zaveral Canoe Paddles as near perfect products...... but I like my shaft shape better.

Oops forgot,

To answer original question .... YES one can make a TAP from just about anything .... you are welcome to call me Paul for some tips.

Fitting a ferrule, next step
Relatively speaking, I don’t have a lot of experience with GPs. Mimi Clifton got me started with them a few years ago. I made my first one at Delmarva in 2004, and didn’t like it well at all. It was stubby and too short for me. In winter 04-05, I made my second paddle to the ergonomic guidelines. I have large hands, and the guidelines suggested a 4.5" blade width, and that’s what I made. I called it “the plank”. It had plenty of bite, too much actually, and I couldn’t turn a stroke rate that was as comfortable as when I borrowed the paddles of others. In winter 05-06, I trimmed the plank down to 3.5" width and flattened one face of the blade. Overall thickness and weight were reduced, and I really like the way it feels. Very lively, as described by another poster, with a snap at the end of the stroke.

I like to use both a euro and the not-plank GP. On longer trips, I like to switch from one to the other to change the stroke and the muscles used. Storing the GP while I am using the euro is inconvenient, and has motivated me to add a ferrule.

What’s stopping me at this point is that I couldn’t figure out a way to reduce my oval loom to the smaller and circular dimension of the ferrule. I figured if I cut the paddle in two, then trimmed and rounded the loom, after I glue the ferrules on the paddle, the loom will no longer line up in a straight line, because I couldn’t see how I could perfectly align the trimming and rounding. I figured I should start a new paddle, two piece from the start, and machine the ends (loom-to-be) to ferrule diameter before I started shaping the blades and the hand-gripping portion of the loom. I’m thinking this will be something for winter 06-07.

Out paddling one recent evening, I had another idea, which is to just reduce the loom to fit the ferrule while it is still a one piece paddle. After it is carved down to fit in the ferrule, I could cut the paddle in two and attach the ferrules. With this approach, it shouldn’t matter if the ferrules are mounted at a bit of an angle away from the true centerline of the paddle. When pieced together, the overall line of the paddle should be true, because it was true when the “ferrule-fit” was carved.

Any thoughts and recommendations on that?

My GP is cedar. Above conversation seems to indicate cedar may be too soft to ferrulize. Did I get that right?

I plan to use the stainless ferrules, since the CF ferrules are longer and consume almost the length of entire loom. With the CF, there isn’t enough loom left to gradually transition from blade shoulders to ferrule diameter.

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD

feathered and adjustable length huh?
You make nice wing paddles…maybe you should stick to those rather than bastardize the Greenland paddles.

Length and such
On a first GP - might be nice to play with lengths - but the various sizing methods get it mostly right beyond some minor personal preferences (like Maigiaq’s propensity for lightly longer than “average” looms).

Problem with adjustable has always been the way it’s created interruptions and forced changes to loom shape - mostly to the default round shaft. Such limits can be designed around of course.

I saw pictures of a beautifully done TAP that maintained the rounded rectangular loom (round ferule was embedded) and had a recessed release button. Very nicely executed. Can’t recall maker or find link. Anyone?

Pat wrote: “I like things that have more than one use per their function”

Mutli-use is always a double edged sword. Consider sofa beds. Bad sofas, even worse beds.

The thing about GPs is they already do pretty much everything. Every millimeter is already a balance/compromise squeezing out every drop of functionality.

Sure there’s room to experiment - and lots of people do (including me) - but you’ll have to give something up.

When I say I can’t find anything to improve - I should be more specific and say there aren’t any qualities I’m willing to trade off to improve any others - beyond minor tweaks to suit various needs (none of mine are identical).

As I said before - I consider my satisfaction level with the GP to be a quite rare occurrence - and not generally in my nature regarding much of anything. if I sound fanatic - it’s 100% earned on the water.

Wood/carbon - flex/stiff is a matter for preference. Quite a bit of on-line discussion on this. Stiff delivers power better and gives more direct feedback IMO (carbon also giving rather amazing acoustic feedback besides the tactile). Wood has something special that’s less easy to articulate (and highly variable). I like and use both (and there’s only a one ounce difference between my CF and WRC paddles of same length). All the flex of the wood tells me is that I’m overpowering the blade and need to adjust my technique to stop wasting that energy (my wood paddle’s flexier than the CF, but still pretty stiff). Carbon tells me that too, in other ways.

If you want and example of composite construction GP with some flex that splits the difference check this (probably already seen it, no?):


I find exploring material/production methods more interesting on these than increasing the gizmo factor

Remember - such gizmology - generating “new” stuff for consumption - is where I have my training and make my living - just not paddling stuff - yet. Should I ever get there, Pat will probably get a few good laughs at the crazy junk I’d want to peddle to the paddlers.

GP on-deck storage
How are you storing yours?

I’m guessing either you have a short kayak and/or haven’t added loops with beads near bow and stern.

I find GPs IMMENSELY easier to stow and retrieve than Euros (on my sea kayak with bungees - or my SOF with leather deck lines).

“Easy” as in one handed, while inverted - eyes closed even.

I keep them on fore deck mostly (quicker access, much quicker/more stable stow, and I like to be able to see my spare) but nearly the same level of ease stowing on aft deck.

Appreciate your input …

– Last Updated: Sep-21-06 8:19 PM EST –

feathers flying already ...... guess I shouldn't move any further along. Where is the imagination and curiosity ?

When they come out, don't look.

Like I said
Like I said…you seem to do a good job on Wing paddles…you no doubt know your stuff there. On Greenalnd paddles though, you are clearly out of your element. Don’t take it as an insult because it is not. Re-read Greyaks posts too when you get a chance.

Adjustable length GP? NOT!

One good thing…
…: at least he’s not long winded like me!

Best thing I can probably suggest to you Pat it to consider who would buy these? Very weird market - lots of opinionated characters… L

GP interest IS growing, so maybe you’re not crazy to pursue it - but you have SOOOOO many other things on the table that are way cooler and have more potential than this:


Merman (OK - maybe not on the table but should be - if the design’s really all that is deserves a man sized version to match and give an more personal challenger to EPIC 18/QCC 700/CD Stratus types that are selling VERY well BTW).

That long fast boat you’ve mentioned…

If you’re really crazy - how 'bout a surf boat?

Paddles you have pretty well covered, no?

If you have the time - knock yourself out on it man. Can’t wait to see it - but if I’m big time into GPs and would rather see your other projects more, how interested can most people be in this? What’s the demand likely to be?

Pretty easy thing to mess around with for you though…