I just looked at that CISI paddle and I wouldn’t even consider it, as the blade design is seriously lacking. First off, the blades are too short. The edges appear to be blunt and the junk wrapped around the root of the blade looks like it would be a problem. This paddle is obviously meant to be paddled by holding the loom, rather than the traditional root-of-the-blade grip used by Greenlanders. I’m also very leery of a carbon fiber paddle for only $160. Judging by the poor overall design, I’d you’re getting what you pay for. This is not really a Greenland paddle.
Additionally, I don’t recommend shoulderless paddles for beginning Greenland paddlers, as the shoulder really help you learn proper canted-paddle technique. Once you have the mechanics of the stroke down, you can use any type of GP.
Another important consideration is that if you buy a carbon fiber paddle, you’re stuck with it as-is. You can’t easily make modifications to suit your personal preference. I suggest that you look for a good wooden paddle designed by someone who is actually a Greenland-style paddler. Get a paddle with pronounced shoulders to start; you can always reshape it once you have enough experience to determine what works best for you. If you have any woodworking skills or interest in woodworking, consider making your own paddles. That way, you can experiment to your heart’s content for far less than the cost of a carbon fiber paddle. Full disclosure, I have a vested interest in promoting the making of wood GPs, so I’ll not elaborate any further on the subject.
Your paddle technique will change considerably with a GP. You plant the paddle farther back (mid-shin vs. near your ankles with a Euro paddle), you apply force gradually throughout the stroke (as opposed to pulling hard as soon as the blade had planted) and the stroke continues well past your hips. You do not use a “control hand” with a GP, so feathering is not necessary. Except in really rough conditions your grip is very relaxed, with the fingers of the lower hand hooking the paddle and pulling, and the base of the fingers on your upper hand pushing on the shoulder of the blade, canting it forward, while the end of the loom is loosely cradled between your thumb and forefinger. This canting is key to getting a powerful stroke, as it promotes water flow over the blade which produces lift. While it’s certainly possible to learn this technique on your own, it’s better to have someone demonstrate it, if possible.
Lastly, go to www.qajaqusa.org and look at the material they have available on Greenland paddles and technique. The site is a treasure trove of knowledge about Greenland paddling. You may also be able to find GP practitioners in your area that can help you and perhaps lend you paddles to try.
BTW, you don’t need a 2-piece GP as a spare. I and most Greenland-style paddlers I know carry what referred to in the US as a “storm paddle” on their foredecks. It’s a GP with a fist-width loom that’s used with a sliding stroke. It’s easy to secure on-deck where it’s always in easy reach and I’ve needed to use mine on a couple of occasions where my primary paddle was torn from my grasp. Storm paddles are also great in close confines, such as when paddling in sea caves.