European vs. Greenland

If this is a topic that has already been beaten to death, tell me now and let’s STOP! I searched the archives over the past year and didn’t see anything specific regarding a debate over the pros and cons of Greenland style paddles versus European style.

I’m getting ready to step up to a “top of the line” paddle. My thoughts so far have been towards getting a good carbon, possibly foam core Euro paddle but am intrigued by what I read about Greenland paddles. I am willing, despite the pain, to shell out upwards of $400-$500 for a good Euro paddle so it’s not about the money. If I’m going to spend my hard-earned money I want to spend it wisely. From the websites I’ve visited it appears most custom-made Greenland paddles will cost up to about $225-$250, maybe a little more.

I’ll bet no one out there has any strong feelings on the subject! Ha ha! ;^)

I’m sure this is the tip of the iceberg on this subject but here goes. I think it’s more important to get the paddle that is right for you than to worry about one type or the other. I’m sure you know the determining factors,your height, boat width, paddling style, ect. If you have questions about these talk to your kayak dealer or i,m sure you can get advice on this forum. I’ll be glad to help if i can. You are more than welcome to e-mail me. Vaughn Fulton

I thought it was decided already, and the skinny-stick won.

: )



I Just Switched

– Last Updated: Jan-06-08 10:55 AM EST –

I think the Greenland does just about everything better than the Euro.

Exceptions: Greenlands don't break down; harder to transport. A wooden Greenland is a little more fragile when it comes to banging into rocks and such.

Bill! I just put a coat of oil on my beautiful Lumpy. Damn it looks good.

Don’t have to be exclusive

– Last Updated: Jan-06-08 11:45 AM EST –

You can get a greenland paddle for a huge range of price from making your own to paying for a fancy one. Most around here mix it up a bit rather than go strictly speaking one of the other for big water. The either/or thing you seem to have going really isn't necessary unless you want to go the whole ride with greenland paddling, which starts involving more than the paddle.
I have and often use a GP as my spare when we paddle in Maine because it can be ripped off the deck with less fuss in a pinch than handling a Euro split, and it give me a chance to alter my paddling to put my joints under a slightly different (and reduced) stress than the Euro.

GP’s don’t break down
Which relieves the frustration of struggling to separate that stuck two piece paddle.

: )



– Last Updated: Jan-06-08 12:18 PM EST –

Greenland paddles do break down

Mitchel used to make a take-apart G paddle....none listed anymore , that I am able to find

Best Wishes

Euro vs Greenland
I like to use different paddles at different times. In my opinion, Greenland paddles are great for rolling and shorter trips. I like to use a wing for high mileage days (they are just faster), and a euro paddle for rough water and surf. I’m just more comfortable with a euro paddle in surf. They are all different, and they all have their pros and cons. I do love the look of a beautifully built red ceder Greenland paddle, it’s almost like a work of art.

You should use what feels right for you, without worrying too much about what other people say. Also, whatever paddle you choose, learn how to use it correctly, whether it’s taking classes, reading books or watching videos, or just experimenting yourself. Each type of paddle is different, and require a slightly different techinique.

I feel that both types of paddles
are enjoyable to use. Each has it’s own characteristics that will let you learn different techniques and skills and allow you to get more out of the sport if thats what you want. Thats one of the nice things about kayaking, there are so many different things to explore to see what feels right for you. I enjoy using a variety of kayaks and equipment, thats what works for me.

: ) equals sarcasm?

The smugness of your message combined with the little smiley face made me assume you were being sarcastic with your praise of the “skinny stick.”

Then I looked at your profile and see that you own a greenland paddle manufacturing company.

So now I assume you were not being sarcastic. You are actually promoting the equipment your business sells. That’s okay. I just think people should realize your opinions may be biased because of your financial interests.

Kudzo & Recluse are Shameless

You are also using the message board to promote the Greenland paddles made by Recluse’s company.

Anyone reading about greenland paddles here needs to decide how much merit to give to either Recluse or Kudzo’s opinions since they both are using this forum to promote Recluse’s greenland paddle company.

Get a Twofer
I suggest spending the big bucks on a good lightweight Euro paddle and then building your own Greenland paddle.

Unless you are a skilled composite builder you will be better off buying a Euro paddle from one of the better companies. There are many choices and pros & cons of the different features you might find.

One of the advantages of the Greenland paddle is that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to fabricate yourself with a suitable piece of wood and a draw knife. It would be kinda hard to screw up a Greenland paddle since it is basically a 2 x 4 with a little wittling. If you do a little research you will see a plethora of blade shapes that all seem to work well.

So buy that Euro and build the GP yourself. Its a twofer.

two peice Greenland paddles
I’ve made two two peice Greenland paddles so far for friends. They have a carbon ferrule and they seem to be quite solid and well liked.

Also, I primarily use a Greenland paddle. I started off with a Euro paddle and eventually upgrades to a carbon one but after I tried a Greenland paddle the Euro has never seen the water again. I find the Greenland paddle is much easier on my shoulders and elbows and I don’t feel as tired at the end of a paddle. It is also great for rolling. However I also have a whitewater paddle that I used at the beach. In the breaking waves the extra surface area and shorter length of the whitewater paddle makes a big difference. It really comes down to personal taste. One suggestion, before you spend the money on an expensive carbon paddle see if you can borrow a Greenland paddle to try.

Surprised you didn’t mention it’s even harder to make a wing. Buy rather that DIY. :wink:

For general touring, the GP has the ease of minimal confusion from offset with rolling and bracing.

For white water and surf, I want short paddle with big honkin’ Euro blades for faster aceleration and maxim grip without haveing to dip and fight a buoyant, narrow 2-3’ of wood into the water.

If I were a serious speedster/competitor, I would go with a wing.


I ain’t made a dime from any paddling related business.

and it’s Kudzu.

I have had two GP’s and tried very hard to like them, but I don’t. My carbon bent shaft Werner Kalliste and bent shaft AT paddles just seem much better in every way. Lighter, better bracing, just as efficient, more comfortable grip. Note: these are both “low angle” paddles that I use with a GP type stroke. I admit that I do not know how to do all the fancy greenland rolls, but I come up more reliably and quickly with my euro’s than with the GP’s, in the screw or c-c rolls.

Some thoughts and …
a request for GP advice. If you paddle in cold water, with cold temps and don’t have a pair of quality gloves, your hands will be cold, wet, and in short order, freezing. Because you grasp the blade that was just in the water, you are always grabbing water. Also, I’ve never seen a GP with drip rings, some water finds its way down to your hands on every stroke.

So, for advice, What do you winter GP paddles use for gloves? Btw, I’m in Alaska, and paddle in 33 degree water and in temps down to 0. Beats sitting inside though.

GPs do not have cold shafts
Most GPs are made of wood and inherently warmer than other types of paddles. Don’t even think about using a metal-shafted paddle in cold water, or even cool water. Actually, metal shafts are horrible in hot weather also–I’ve gotten burned by black metal shafts that sat in the sun even a few minutes.

I’ve found drip rings to be useless. If the paddle stroke is low, they’re not necessary in the first place. If the paddle stroke is high, there will be some dripping whether or not the rings are installed. (And if the water’s that cold, I am wearing clothing that makes the dripping harmless.) I took them off and haven’t looked back.

GP Versus Euro…
IMHO, the best way to decide between a Euro or GP is to find someone who has one or two Greenland paddles, or even a collection (if you’re lucky), and try them out. Use each one for 20 or 30 minutes unless you get one you just don’t like the feel of, and try another. I was lucky to run into BrazilBrazil paddling in a swamp one day, and we set up a day paddle where he brought his collection of GP’s. After paddling with several, I found one I really liked the feel of and used it for several weeks before I made one for me using the one he loaned me as a guide.

I’ve just begun my seventh year of paddling, have over $1100 tied up in the four Euro style paddles in the garage, but use a GP that I made out of two cedar 1 x 4 x 8’s laminated together. Total cost for the lumber at Lowes was around $16. I just wish that I switched over to a GP years earlier. I have since made one for a friend, completed a second for me, and have a laminated and a storm paddle under construction. I carve it, paddle with it, carve it, paddle it, etc, etc until I get it EXACTLY the way I want it. Critical to me is loom shape, thickness, and the thickness of the blades…specifically the last twelve inches. How else can you get a totally custom paddle for under $20.

I can only make a recommendation, relate my experiences, and add the caveat that whatever you use to propel your kayak is a highly personal choice…A GP or a Euro will do a great job for you either way. I’ve used both but find that I actually enjoy paddling more with a GP than I ever did with a Euro.

Envyabull, you tickle me with your comment “It would be kinda hard to screw up a Greenland paddle since it is basically a 2 x 4 with a little wittling.” That’s like saying a surf ski is basically a Tarpon 120 but a little skinnier!


It’s good to see others making take apart paddles. I’ve made a few myself and much prefer their versatility for travel to that of a one piece.

I only posted since the issue had been raised that made it sound like all Greenland paddles were one piece rather than take-apart.

Don Beal use to also make take apart paddles but as far as I know, he no longer offers that option.

If someone was interested in a commercial take apart Greenland paddle, he might still be talked into making one. But Superior does offer a take apart so there is the option and not all Greenland paddles are one piece /non take-apart.

Best Wishes