Has anyone here ever used an Aleutian paddle? How do they compare to a GL paddle?
I can see a trade off, in the fact that the Aleutian blade has a flat side which would probably make it a bit better for sculling, but the trad-off is that it’s not used the same on both so the loom would have to be made in a way you could know which side was facing which way at any time 100% by feel.
I don’t know what shape the loom should be on the Alaskan paddle. Rounded triangle? If so, the point of the triangle should face either the flat or the ribbed side, but I don’t know which.
Still, making one with a laminated rib and laminated loom would be quite easy for me, so maybe I should make one and try it out IN ADDITION to making a new Greenland paddle and just see what I like.
It’s not all that time consuming for me to make the GL paddles. My last one was ready for sanding in 2 hours from the time I first started it. The time waiting is in the finish work after sanding. The coats of Tung Oil take only 10 minutes per day with wet-sanding, and so the "time’ is just what it takes for the finish to harden up. If the skies are clear I can apply a coat every day, and it usually takes only about 4-5 coats. If cloudy it can be one coat every other day.
My next GL paddle I intend to make too big, and probably too long.
I can then trim it down a bit at a time until I get exactly what I want. Once I am done with the reduction in size I’ll do the final finish.
The two I made so far are too short and I feel the blades should be a bit wider and longer from tip to the loom… I am learning how to use them, but I sure can’t get very close to my forward speed with what I have now, (standard spoon bladed type) but maybe I did them wrong.
Too short means my arc of the strokes are smaller then my Euro Paddle, and with blades only 3" wide I am not catching as much water either. If I make the blades 3.5" to 3.6" wide, and longe,r coming back to a shorter loom, and them make the whole thing 8 feet long I can trim it back for length and width both. I know my looms are longer then I like on the two I already made. I would like to make my loom about 4" and maybe 6" shorter on the next one. In doing that it also makes the blades longer so I’d catch water clear up to my hands.
Anyone out there that has used both would be someone I’d love to talk to.
The Alaskan natives have have used their style for many years and so I assume they know what they want, but I want to know WHY they prefer that shaping.
Learning about all these things is a LOT of fun for me.