A Storm for a first GP?

What say you? Is a storm paddle too limited, or will being forced to use the sliding stroke be a plus?

Not Even My Tenth GP
I just carry two Greenland paddles. Never felt the need for a storm paddle. Different strokes…

Not for a first GP
You need to learn GP technique and adding the sliding stroke to the mix will needlessly complicate the learning process. I can easily see it becoming an exercise in frustration. Start with a full-length paddle, then once you have the technique down, you’ll know how your storm paddle should perform.

Not for me!
I tried one and really did not like it. I will stck with the full length paddle.

Not for a first
I would really suggest a full size paddle first. The storm is great for back up and yes, the sliding stroke is quite usefull but not full time. Make sure when you make or order a GP you follow the basic guidelines for proper fit. You make not stick to this down the road as your technique and experience changes but it’s a good place to start. Skinny sticks are addicting!


I agree
As another Greenland fan, I agree that a storm would be a poor entry paddle for the type. I only have one because it came with a used skin on frame boat I bought. I carry it as a backup, but honestly have used it more as a utility stick, for pushing off from rocks or poling through gravel bars, as it is cheap heavily varnished pine and using it spares my lovely laminated cedar full sized GP. I’ve only used the storm a few times to actually paddle, only when someone asked to borrow and try out my full sized GP (I have become so averse to standard spoon style (“Euro”) paddles I decline to “swap” with their users.) The problem with paddling with a storm is that you can’t get that nice cadence going that you can with a full sized one.

On sizing for your first GP, don’t be surprised if applying the metrics yields a shorter paddle than you are used to. I use 230 cm’s (90") when I paddle with standard “Euro” paddles but the comfortable GP size for me with the same kayaks is only 213 cm (84").

thanks for all the replies…
…, but in truth, when I first posted the topic I’d already rough cut my first ever paddle,(a storm of course). It’s now pretty close to being finished, though it’s not something of beauty or to be very proud of. Since it will be done before I have a chance to work on another, I’ll be trying it out a bit. The only paddle I own otherwise is a aquabound manta-ray, which I like a lot, especially on the river. So, it looks to be that I’ll be going against all the advice at least for the short term. I’ll plan to take the storm out as a second paddle & play around with it to see how I like it. With regards to the next stick I cut out; in you opinions, should I make a “standard” GP, or a slightly longer “touring” GP that does not require the sliding stroke?

Make an Aleut instead.
No sliding stroke necessary, no cant necessary, and works damn well!

GP “Cruising” paddle
There’s no such thing as a “standard length” but the size that most people use for touring is often one armspan plus a cubit (distance from elbow to fingertips). For me this works out to about 88".

A paddle sized this way does not require a sliding stroke (unless you make the paddle shaft too short), but a sliding stroke is always an option for more power if needed.

Please see the sizing information at Qajaq USA at http://www.qajaqusa.org/Equipment/paddles.html .

Regarding canting the blade (mentioned as apparently a perceived negative in another post), this happens naturally if the paddle fits you and you hold it with only your thumbs and forefingers on the shaft with your other fingers draped over the blades. Your palm is angled forward when your wrist is “straight” and this angle is transferred to the paddle when you hold it as described. This is very comfortable and natural.

Greg Stamer

Storm as a Spare

– Last Updated: Feb-24-12 10:33 PM EST –

I use GPs in my 17', 23" beam VOLKSKAYAK. My favourite is 87" long, about 4" over the ideal armspan + cubit length. The loom is 21". I find it really comfortable to use - when cruising along, it feels almost effortless. Used in the extended positions, it provides strong bracing, a lot of power and great turning ability.

A storm paddle, for my purposes, would fit one of two scenarios. Firstly, as the name says, it could reduce paddle-blade windage in extreme conditions, although I think I'd rather have the bracing potential of the full-length if I got caught out in that bad a situation. The other is simply to have a shorter paddle to store; my full-length GP spare runs from a bow hold-down back to near the cockpit coaming. In a shorter boat, a shorter paddle would perhaps be a tidier fit.

Now that you've done your first GP, why not make a full-length? It's not like you're investing mega-bucks to see if you like some high-tech, big-ticket super-paddle, is it?

What about a storm paddle for
moving water? River paddling? Even mild white water?

If you don’t like the storm…
…don’t let it discourage you from making a full-length GP. They’re very different animals, especially when you’re trying to learn a new technique anyway. I would actually recommend that you stick the storm paddle in a corner while you make a full-length paddle and learn to use it.

A proud tradition –
asking a question, and then doing what you want anyway, even though 5 out of 5 people just recommended against it! :wink:

Storm in WW
The long, narrow blades of a GP generate good power, but only if you can bury the whole blade at the catch.

I have used my GP in fast tidal races just fine, but for whitewater and other environments where rocks and obstructions prevent you from burying the entire blade, it’s not what I would choose.

Greg Stamer