Another GP Question

I did a search for GP and for Greeland paddles and I dont know why but did not get much information. I remember reading more during the past couple of months than my search came up with.

I have talked with several p-netters about various techniques and know many of you are using Greenland Paddles. I have done an internet search and asked several manufacturers for recommendations.

I may attempt to make my own in the future but I am considering buying one first. Who should I look at?


That site has lots of info on Greenland paddles – if you have specific questions, ask in their forums:

Hope this helps.


Commercial GP choices
Two of the cheaper quality choices would be

and the nearly finished “blanks” at

Len T

Beale without a doubt
Don is by far one of the best guys you would ever wish to work with. He works with you to get the proper measurements to custom fit the paddle to your body, he stands by his work (doesn’t take payment until you love the paddle), and is a true artist when it comes to his paddles. I have never ever been happier with a paddle than I am with my cedar Beale (I’ve used everything from carbon Werners to carbon Superior GPs).

On a related note, I recently found a slight sliver on my loom. Don immediately offered to recarve me a paddle which really impressed me. Because it is a superficial scratch, that wasn’t necessary. Don is now sending me some wood flour and epoxy along with instructions to repair the slight blemish. He is a total class act and he has a customer for life in me.

I second the Beale
I have both a Beale WRC GP and a Superior Carbon GP. I recently sold my wood Superior GP.

The carbon is the lightest and the Superior Wood was the heaviest although none of them are really heavy.

The Beale is my favorite. The carbon feels real good on flat water, but as soon as there is some texture, or if I am on a longer paddler, I miss the flex that the wood has.

Although it is a couple of ounces heavier than the carbon, the Beale is gentler on your shoulders because of the flex.

You can also buy two Beale paddles for the price of one carbon.

How lucky am I?
I also have a Beale paddle (#129) and agree with everything said above, in spades :slight_smile: And I am enrolled in his paddle carving class at the SSTIKS gathering in June. Don’t know how much better it can get :slight_smile:

Thank You
It appears that the Beal paddle is the one to look at. Thank you all!


so far I feel the opposite
why would having flex on textured water be of benefit?

Possible answer??
I’m not sure of why the flex is better in the textured water, but I can say that the wooden paddle puts less stress on my joints than the carbon. Several times I have gone out and switched between both paddlse frequently so that I spent about 1/2 the time using each in the same conditions. There is something about the wood that is more comfortable. The carbon “feels” like it gives a little more speed - but that is subjective. I don’t use a gps for speed measurements and the small difference between the two paddles could also be chalked up to gps error-so I can’t quantify that.

At first I thought that it might be because my Beale’s blades are 1/4 inch narrower. However, a friend has a carbon and a wood GP (not a Beale) and he too has the same feelings about the paddles–and his too paddles have the same measurements as far as length and the width of the blades.

I’m not knocking either paddle, I really enjoy them both–but if forced to choose, the wood has a slight advantage.

the ease on the joints is always
a bonus, but in waves, surf, or textured water, having a very rigid paddle for acceleration and maneuvering is crucial. I have been in many circumstances where having a springy wood paddle is not much help. Backed into a corner where rocks surround you and waves are dumping without enough acceleration is not a good place to be. As to how much difference one would find between a springy wood traditional paddle, and a rigid paddle in this situation is probably debatable. But the difference between a modern and a traditional is probably notable. And this is not to say that a traditional paddle is not good for rough water, but in situations where one needs immediate and quick acceleration and power, the GP is not it. For long distance, I would find something more springy very comfortable. Forgive the running analogy, but it to me it is the difference between having a pair of cushioned stability shoes and having a pair of racing flats when you have bad joints and want to run a marathon. The springy cushioned shoes are going to be a lot easier on the joints for anyone who is not a complete featherweight kenyan runner.

The difference in acceleration is

When I first started paddling with a GP I was very nervous about using it in surf or rocks because I didn’t think the acceleration was as good as a Euro’s. I’ve since found that there is plenty of acceleration using either the wood or the carbon GP to take off in surf and even do some light rock gardening (I’m not a die hard rock gardener). The more vertical you keep the paddle, the greater the acceleration.

While punching through surf, my stroke is very vertical and then flattens out after I get through the surf zone.

The only time I really notice the differences in the paddles is after I’ve been paddling for quite a while.

Beale Paddles

You can snatch Don Beale’s email address of the page listed above.

Better yet, here’s his webpage

Great paddles!


Is ther anyone else here
who finds beale blades thin. I have very little time with a gp and am no expert but maybe sanjay sing or another of the new england elders could chime in,I liked paddles with a pretty thick diamond cross section extended well into the blad best, but again I am a total newbie.

thin is good!

– Last Updated: May-22-05 11:45 PM EST –

My first couple paddles that I carved all had a think diamond shaped blades. This tends to be slightly more bouyant but in regards to paddling efficiency, a thin blade seems to be much better. Both Beale and Superior use thin blades and after paddling both thick and thin blades, it's no contest. The only problem is that it is difficult for a hack like me to carve blades that thin correctly. I guess I could epoxy the tips as I don't think I could do hardwood inserts like a Beale paddle.

Diamond shape
I like the blade thick and diamond shaped near the loom area but have evolved to thin edges along the whole blade just thickening up a bit near the loom.The flat V shaped area at the base of the blade feels good on the palm of my hand and works as an index,so I know which way the blades are facing.

I guess it depends on how you define…
…thick and thin. I wouldn’t call Superior’s blades “thin”. I’ve seen a few paddles that were real clubs, but I’ve also made them with considerably thinner blades than a Superior.

I prefer to start with a rounded diamond shape at the shoulders and gradually transition to a lenticular shape at the tips. I’ve found that paddles with thinner edges seem to produce more lift when sculling, but they’re not durable (at least not in cedar).

my experience

– Last Updated: May-24-05 7:34 AM EST –

has been that the power you get from a euro paddle on take off is much better and the only way to come close to the acceleration is with a sliding stroke.

I agree that a more vertical stroke with a traditional paddle will get you there faster than a more horizontal angle. But if you want to just get moving quickly a very vertical stroke from a blade with a giant spoon tip will most likely get you moving even quicker. Once you're up to speed, I think the gp vs euro thing evens out and the gp may even gain some ground for effeciency.

I Agree With Ya, Keith…
Short Euro is the way to go for surf and ww. I have tried to make a wider GP for surfing, but it doesn’t compare for acceleration as my short Euro blades. When you want to take off and sprint, a wider GP takes more work. You have to “fight” to submerge the whole blade to get the needed grab area. Not so with the Euros. The blade enters and grabs right at the top of the water column.


Finally got my Lendal

I finally got my 194cm double torque cf 30 degree ww paddle, can’t wait to go surfing with it!!!

It’s also a 4-piece which is sweet.

You’re right
For straight acceleration or for surfing, the GP doesn’t compare to the Euro.

It does provide enough acceleration to punch out through surf for launching.

I can’t really talk about efficiency, because I can’t measure it; but, from a purely subjective stand point, the GP is easier to use when not surfing.