the Beale Greenland Paddle arrived today just as I was loading the kayak on the top of the car for my daily lake run. big grin
so I unpack it and it is a very good looking piece of wood. My wife just shakes her head and says "couldn’t you have made that with a 2x4? …and by the way…Happy birthday…(coming up in November)…so I got away with the expense…barely.
So I go out to the lake and strap my aquabound on to the back of the tempest and off I go…sort of.
The blades are fluttering all over the place…hmmm. ok sort of kinda got that manageable. Then I am hearing what sounds like scraping sounds as I am pulling the blade through the water…what gives? Also I am getting a definite kathump when trying to put the blade into the water…so I slow down, and really try to stick the blade in and I think I figured out the best angle for entry and the fluttering stops and the kathump stops and life is good. Well at least not so irritating.
What I noticed I did was exactly what I have been hearing all along…torso rotation… yep…sounds strange but as i increased the rotation, I had much less flutter to the point of being negligible, and no noise? (Had to be a good combination for placing the paddle) It was incredibly quiet! I had the blades as close to the boat as I have ever had when paddling to the point where I scraped my thumb knuckle on the skeg button a couple of times.
I did 6 miles and for about 3000 yards of it I sliced through the water in dead silence and was extremely efficient. Now that was almost magical gliding through the water in complete silence!
Another thing I noticed was the incredible control I had with the boat. Most of the corrective strokes I used to have to do and the agressive leans to turn didn’t happen as much today.
The other big surprise was that I was able to get up to over 5 miles an hour for very short sprints with this paddle…who knew? My average was 4.2 today overall but I had a couple of good sprints. I was expecting a much lower overall cruising speed.
Will have more opinions later but for now I think that I am going to be very happy with this paddle.
tomorrow we roll with the GP! maybe…or we get really really wet.
the Beale Greenland Paddle arrived today just as I was loading the kayak on the top of the car for my daily lake run. big grin
I love my Beale GP too.
To make a cleaner catch and an all around better stoke, try angling your blades a bit by angling the top towards the bow. Somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees usually works. You’ll find the corect angle easily.
The blades will now have a diving angle and let the blade dive until it is completely submerged. Once you feel the blade catch, then start the blade moving towards the stern.
With a little practice, this becomes second nature, and you’ll have a very quiet catch. If you keep a loose grip on the loom with your thumb and index finger and leave the other fingers loose on the shoulder, you should also eliminate the flutter.
When my technique is correct, I roll very easily with the Beale. When I mess something up though, it feels less forgiving than a wide bladed Euro.
It is my paddle of choice even though I also have a Superior Carbon GP.
I also love my Beale…
I have yet to find another paddle which is even close to the Beale for me. With my Beale I have been able to sprint my (former) Valkyrie up to 7 mph (for a second) which is something I don’t think I could ever do with a Euro paddle (due to my personal paddling cadence and poor form rather than actual paddle limitation). The fine ends of the Beale has great grab on the water and it is really confidence inspiring in conditions. The loom is what makes the paddle for me. I like Superior’s blades equally to Don’s but Don’s loom/shoulder feels much nicer to my small hands. As far as rolling goes, forget about it. It’s just too easy.
Silence is golden
As you quickly found - a good GP will give you a lot of feedback and quite literally tell you how to paddle it. First getting a quiet catch, then eliminating the grating/scratching/flushing sound. It will get sweeter the more you use it.
Interested to see what you thing of it rolling. Bracing too. Trick with GP is to keep it moving through the water - even if just a bit and quite slowly. This is key for bracing (and rolls are just braces). Can’t beat the buoyancy and no brainer indexing and extension.
My Beale GP is about two weeks out and I’ve been trying to ignore the anticipatory pain of waiting for a new toy - your post has rekindled the trauma, thank you very much
Best of luck with the new stick.
where you grip the loom and paddle edge. Obviously I was gripping it too hard. The motion of curling my fingers brings a little shaft of pain on the top of my hand and i also feel a twinge in the forearm.
this is aside from the usual soreness (pleasant) from a good run on the water.
I noticed that i already have several dings on the side of the paddle from where I hit the boat trying to paddle real close in…also got my knuckles scraped on the skeg lever too. Oh well.
Did you know that this thing just barely fits in a Toyota echo sideways? Probably better to just strap it on the boat going to the water but I cringe at the thought of it faling off somehow.
I experienced hand soreness
as well whien I started using a GP. Wnet away quickly. The previous comments regarding canting the blades foreward are the key to eliminating flutter. I assume the noise you heard was what I notice as a “squeal”. I believe this is due to some cavitation, and the tiny bubbles bursting against the blade. I have not been able to key in on just what does this (my technique, that is).
Laminated or solid Beale? I’m planning on ordering one this winter.
the sound is more like scraping…almost as if it is scraping against another piece of wood. weird noise. At the edges of the lake where the water was really flat and calm I was able to eliminate the noise completely, but as soon as any wind at all got on the water, (I’m talking really little ripples) and the noise came back. I still don’t get it. The flutter and hand soreness, and kathump noise on entry I can see how I can control. the scraping sound I dunno yet. (yeah I know…only have a little over an hour paddle under my belt with this thing)
It’s a solid Beale, pretty light but I haven’t weighed it yet…certainly lighter than my aquabound seaquel/Seaclude aluminum shaft.
A canted paddle stroke will help eliminated some of the annoyances that your experiencing. With the top of the paddle blade tilted slightly forward, toward the bow, It will make the paddle want to dive as you pull the paddle through the water. This diving effect will make the paddle submerge deeper into the water faster and add a good bite to the paddle stroke. The cavitating noise that you are getting can be eliminated if you let the paddle get more submerged into the water before apllying power to the stroke. Canting the blade helps the blade dive faster. Using a canted paddle stroke will give the stroke more bite or power and make the kayak want to tip to that side. To correct this tipping feel push down and across the deck with your pushing hand and it will nuetralize it. When you get the canting stroke working correctly it will be an awsome feeling. Play with different angles until it feels right. Thats when the paddle stroke starts to click. Practice sculling and extended paddle strokes and it will help with the rolling. I found that learning to use a greenland paddle efficiently took me some time to develope the new skills and it very rewarding. It will enhance the use of any other paddle you use in the future. Enjoy.
scraping will go away with time…
The scraping sound is the result of air bubble traveling up the paddle which is amplified to you along the length of the paddle. It just means that you haven’t found the optimal angle for paddling yet. Heck, the first time I tried a Superior carbon, I was hearing those scraping sounds all day (carbon really amplifies the noise!) which drove me nuts. After a solid summer of paddling greenland style, when I went back to the carbon GP, it was silent and beautiful. Even now, if I’ve been playing with my Euro paddle too much running whitewater, I get some scraping noises for the first couple minutes until my form settles down.
Man, I’m luck I can get my GPs in lenghtwise in my A3. Luckily those crafty Germans made a nice GP pass through in the rear seat. Had to fold down the rear seat in my NEON, but they fit.
With your growing collection you may want to make a GP case for your rack. Larger PVC pipe works well. Cap one end. Use a screw in cleanout fitting on the other. Add a hasp and lock. Look on Plumbers vans. Many do the same thing to carry smaller pipe.
You may want to…
…paddle easy with your new toy for a while. Normal cruising and consciously keep your grip relaxed. Opening the push hand can help this (with any paddle). The grip position is different and stresses tendons in your hand and forearm a little differently. Overall GP is easier on these parts - but only after you adapt to it. Paddling long/hard with your new toy, sprinting a lot, and death gripping before your hands and forearms have adjusted (and your technique develops/stabilizes a bit) could induce some tendinitis if you don’t work up to it. These early pains can be warning signs. Tendons in particular are notoriously slow to heal - damage accumulates faster than repairs so it sneaks up on you - and even when healed most of these injuries tend to reappear and easily become chronic. Best to avoid them in the first place. You can guess how I know this
just strapping the paddle to the rack? What’s against it?
Check this photo http://www.fullmoonkayak.com/images/guest%20pictures/Image368.jpg
Since I just downsized my kayak hauler from a Grand Cherockee to a VW GTI I’m debated about making a PVC paddle case.
I’ve done that and it works fine - but the thought of a potential 80mph carbon missile - leaving a prized (and pricey) piece of gear where someone could make off with it while I’m making a stop - and
Also - I have 2, plus Kim’s 2 if she’s along - and the car might take off!
The roof case was been on my “someday” list for a while - and likely to stay there. If I couldn’t fit them in the car I’d have already made one.
Yeah, I might have to make one of those, the storm and the full size gp are a pita to carry inside the car.
How do you guys secure the pipe case to the rack? Just strap it?
Strap it on
My first GP was shipped in a 4" PVC Tube. I replaced one of the caps with a clean out and it carries both the wood and CF paddles well. I’m still looking for some BIG U-bolts to use. Until I get that one figured out, 4’ straps from NRS are just the right length to secure the tube to the rack.
I had the same issues with my
selfmade GP. Simply too much grip and trying to get up to speed too fast (pun intended!).
Concentrate on a loose grip - its easy to lose focus and hold too tightly to a new paddle that is so different.
Paddle slow motion style and let the paddle guide your technique. Close your eyes and ‘feel’ the thing as it passes through the water. You’re training new muscle memory.
When you experimentally alter the cant of the blade, do so for a while - not just a few minutes. You’ll soon discover the best angle for you and your style.
One of the tactics I employed prior to the GP was weaning myself off a feathered conventional paddle. After a few weeks I found the unfeathered Euro just fine. I think this really helped me in my adaptation to the GP.
I never feathered my paddle to begin with so I was not in a position to unlearn. The issue is death grip, learning the right angle and just relaxing with it.
It will come.
I have Beale #153 - and carefully tried to emulate the angle that Greg Stamer uses with his from some pics. I went out the first day and just about took a fast dip when I went to “pull” the way I was used to with my Euro paddle. The angled blade almost pulls you into the drink, but once you get used to the diving paddle it feels so natural. Just don’t expect to get alot of support when it dives like that and you’ll be fine.
I used it with my Arctic Hawk and man-o-man could I move along fast! No problem cruising at 4+ kts for miles. Also remember that with the canted blade you also get forward movement on the upstroke, unlike a Euro. I read about it and tried it…put the blade in canted, then just lift and you will propel (slowly) forward…
Really like my Beale
I am just getting the hang of the Gp. I pulled off a combat roll so I am comfortable carrying it as a spare. I ordered my Beale a bit too short 83" and narrow 3" so… ordered another. Hope to try it out Sunday when Jun meets me in San Francisco. I still find Euro paddles preferable in bigger water for bracing and surfing.