First Time Out with Greenland Paddle....

Give it time
I found it took me several outings using just the GP to get a real feel for it. Years later, I’m still learning from it.

After a couple of classes, lots of reading, and listening to a few talks on technique, I found many differences on how people use them. You will find your own way with time.


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what he said
it may take you a year or more paddling the GP daily to really begin to feel the subtleties of the canted stroke. yes, you can go vertical, keep the blade angle square, try to get most of your power from the front of the stroke, chicken wing the blade exit, but if you just listen to the GP (and learn by watching experienced paddlers) you’ll find that your stroke becomes less and less like your EP stroke. And if you like rolling, once you get used to a GP it is very hard to go back to the EP. The secret to keep up your speed is not more power in stroke itself, but increasing the cadence a bit. You also can carry the stroke a bit further back and lift up on the still canted blade to move the boat forward–a no no with the EP, but accepted good technique with the GP.

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I did follow Beale’s instructions and spoke to him on the phone as well. He recommended that I go with a bit longer paddle than my EP, especially with the wider loom. I am just wondering if I should have gone even wider.

Blade width…Some more bite might be nice but on the other hand I don’t think that I could comfortably grip the paddle at the end in the extended paddle position. Right now the 3.5 inch blade is a bit on the wide side for me to do this…I can grip it but it is a little wider than what is comfortable. Again, I followed Beale’s instructions but did not have something 4 inches wide to grip to test out whether it would be comfortable despite the ability to grip something that wide. I almost wonder if a bit narrower blade would have been better, but I would be giving up some bite.

Maybe a bit longer and narrower blade would give the best balance of bite and comfort…longer would give some more leverage and some more wetter surface area.

Just thinking…will keep using what I have for now.

I think that what people have said about the paddle “teaching you” how to use it seems true. I have probably only used it for about 45 mintutes or so and am already starting to feel comfortable with it. Seems that it is very intuitive to feel what works and what does not (unlike a EP which does not cry out to you when your form stinks).

The GP seems so easy to turn the boat in the extended position that I almost feel like I am “cheating” and it is too easy! Hardly even have to edge with my Greenlander Pro…maybe the Greenland paddle is well suited to this boat both being of Greenland design…or maybe the GP would have the same efffect with any boat. Probably the latter although nice to think it may be the former.

I am still thinking that I may teach my wife to paddle with the GP. It seems easy to pick up for me as an experienced paddler. Wonder how it will do for a beginner. Seems like it makes almost everything easier so may be good for a beginner. Not sure.


your really curious about the dimentions…You still have an empty spot in your den where you planned on using the G Paddle as a decoration…Maybe you need to call Don Beal back up…order one for your wife and another in a size that you might like

hang the one you don’t use in the den…

(beware… you might end up with a euro blade hanging in the den):slight_smile:

Best Wishes


Teaching beginner
Hi Matt,

My wife, Margaret, loves the GP, which she’s used almost from the beginning. In some ways it is much easier to start with the GP from the get go–no EP habits to unlearn, and you never have to worry about front/back face, feather etc.

If you paddle with a group, there will be many sizes of GPs to play with, so you might trade around paddles. If, on the other hand, you are around 6 feet tall give or take a few inches, then an 86" GP with 3.5" blades and a 20-21" loom will be pretty standard. Beale’s are wonderful paddles, and any problems you are having are probably due to the fact that you are just learning the GP rather than to something “wrong” with the paddle you have.

Have fun,


dimensions reply.
measure the surface area of the gp from the tip to the loom and then the surface area of your EP. I think you will be further surprised.


Surface area…
Good point on the surface area, but this raises another question I had…should I be paddling so that I am submerging nearly the entire blade up to the loom? Was not sure how deep to spear it into the water.


Sometimes fully (or more), sometimes not - whatever’s right at the moment. Another GP benefit is that there is no correct amount to submerge the blade.

RE size: Lots of opinions here. Height can be misleading too. I’m 5’9" but have a nearly 6’ arm span. 86" fits, I prefer 88". Wide shoulders, and like 21"+ loom. Wider than 3.5" blades feels like too much and gets away from GP feel for me. Wide can blades favor/reinforce euro habits. Going narrower can yield unexpected benefits/efficiencies - and definitely give more quality technique feedback (less forgiving but rewarding at same time). Try one under 3" sometime - preferably with a GPS hand. You may lose a bit of sprint power, and bracing ability, but cruising speed’s still good and at much less effort. It’s all about matching the paddle to the power plant.

I’m even shorter at 5’9" (barely) and I
use a Beale that is 89" long and 3.25" wide. I’ve owned 4 different GP’s and tried countless others. These are the dimensions that work best for me.

I use (besides storms):

88/21/3.5 Superior Carbon GP

88/21+/3.25 WRC GP

90.5/24/3 Aleut (loom is longer as grip is different)

Between these, I have developed definite preferences as to which gets used with what kayak.

In my narrower 18 7/8" SOF - The wider Superior. Drives the skinnier hull better and offers more built in bracing. Just feels right. The narrower GP is decent too, just not as nicely matched. I do not like the Aleut in this kayak at all. It favors more leg work than I can do in the SOF.

In the 21" QCC - the Aleut (funny as I’ve always thought of the 700 as a little baidarka-like). Skinnier GP a close second. Very nice for longer calmer paddles and easier to hold 5mph for hours on end than the Superior. At 3", the Aleut’s my skinniest paddle - but the technique differences make it as powerful as the Superior = and it’s dual nature gives me a lot of options to match me energy and conditions. Similar efficiencies to the narrower GP - but with better top speed potential and rough water stability.

For rolling play, all work OK (Aleuts a bit odd but quite functional) - but the Superior is my cheater/easy/comfort paddle.